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ERIC Number: EJ1236258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
The Giant, the Wintermaker, and the Hunter: Contextual Ethnoastronomy towards Cultivating Empathy
Hechter, Richard P.
Physics Education, v55 n1 Article 015025 Jan 2020
'It is the belt!' This is how middle school teachers in a science teaching professional development program rationalized why they believe Orion is the most recognizable of all constellations in the night sky. It was from this foundation that we chose Orion to be the focus of a four-phase ethnoastronomy-based project reported here. Ethnoastronomy, within this context, can be described as the study of myths as bearers of cultural knowledge from oral traditional societies (Lankford 2007 "Reachable Stars: Patterns in the Ethnoastronomy of Eastern North America" (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press)). After identifying the stars comprising the 'belt', and the greater asterism through the singular and oversimplified lens of the Greek mythology that dominates our astronomy curricular learning objectives, we explored deeper through Ojibwe, Arab, and Jewish perspectives as these cultures and religions were represented in our group. The purpose of this paper is to share insights emanating from emergent critical questions generated in our professional development program regarding where, how, and why we should introduce traditional cultural knowledge that complements Western skylore into our classrooms towards helping to cultivate empathy for others in our community.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A