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ERIC Number: EJ776685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 90
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Keeping the Local Local: Recalibrating the Status of Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in Education
Van Eijck, Michiel; Roth, Wolff-Michael
Science Education, v91 n6 p926-947 Nov 2007
The debate on the status of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in science curricula is currently centered on a juxtaposition of two incompatible frameworks: multiculturalism and universalism. The aim of this paper is to establish a framework that overcomes this opposition between multiculturalism and universalism in science education, so that they become but one-sided expressions of an integrated unit. To be able to do so, we abandon the concept of "truth." Instead, we adopt a contemporary epistemology that (a) entails both the cultural and material aspects of human, intersubjective reality; (b) concerns the usefulness of knowledge; and (c) highlights the dynamic, heterogeneous, and plural nature of products of human being and understanding. Drawing on narratives of scientists and aboriginal people explaining a comparable natural phenomenon (a salmon run), we show that both TEK and scientific knowledge, though simultaneously available, are incommensurable and irreducible to each other, as are the different processes of knowledge construction/evolution inherent to the constituting artifacts. Drawing on social studies of science, we point out that the transcendent nature of scientific knowledge implies absence of local heterogeneity, dynamic, and plurality making it useless in local contexts other than itself. We discuss the educational implications of this recalibration.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A