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ERIC Number: EJ829960
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
The Contribution of Ethnobiology to the Construction of a Dialogue between Ways of Knowing: A Case Study in a Brazilian Public High School
Baptista, Geilsa Costa Santos; El-Hani, Charbel Nino
Science & Education, v18 n3-4 p1-18 Apr 2009
This paper reports results obtained in pedagogical interventions in a Brazilian public high school which aimed at promoting a dialogue between scientific and traditional knowledge in the context of biology teaching. The interventions were based on the use of a didactic material and teaching sequence elaborated on the grounds of school knowledge about botany, as presented in biology textbooks, and interviews with students who were also farmers, so as to gather data about their ethnobiological knowledge. Our goal was to develop and test resources that can offer support for teachers who wish to build a dialogue between different ways of knowing in multicultural settings. Our results indicate that the use of the didactic material and teaching sequence indeed created possibilities for a dialogue between the students' ethnobiological knowledge and biology school knowledge. We observed some shortcomings in classroom practice, partly reflecting our very choice of subject matter to develop the teaching sequence. But the interventions also revealed important limitations that we regard as representative of problems that may generally make multicultural science teaching a hard goal to achieve. It was clear that important shortcomings were related to teachers' difficulties to conduct a dialogue between ways of knowing in a science classroom, and, thus, called attention to the importance of introducing a multicultural dimension into teacher education. We also observed that the fact that students did not show much sensitivity towards dealing with cultural diversity was a factor constraining the success of the interventions. These results highlight the importance of proposing and testing teacher education initiatives aiming at preparing them to teach science in a culturally sensitive manner, and also managing classroom tensions and conflicts so as to make it possible an effective dialogue between different ways of knowing in a multicultural setting.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil