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ERIC Number: EJ905261
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
van Eijck and Roth's Utilitarian Science Education: Why the Recalibration of Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Invokes Multiple Perspectives to Protect Science Education from Being Exclusive
Mueller, Michael P.; Tippins, Deborah J.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v5 n4 p993-1007 Dec 2010
This article is a philosophical analysis of van Eijck and Roth's ("2007") claim that science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) should be recalibrated because they are incommensurate, particular to the local contexts in which they are practical. In this view, science maintains an incommensurate status as if it is a "fundamental" basis for the relative comparison of other cultural knowledges, which reduces traditional knowledge to a status of in relation to the prioritized (higher)-status of natural sciences. van Eijck and Roth reject epistemological Truth as a way of thinking about sciences in science education. Rather they adopt a utilitarian perspective of cultural-historical activity theory to demonstrate when traditional knowledge is considered science and when it is not considered science, for the purposes of evaluating what should be included in U.S. science education curricula. There are several challenges for evaluating what should be included in science education when traditional knowledges and sciences are considered in light of a utilitarian analysis. Science as diverse, either practically local or theoretically abstract, is highly uncertain, which provides opportunities for multiple perspectives to enlarge and protect the natural sciences from exclusivity. In this response to van Eijck and Roth, we make the case for considering dialectical relationships between science and TEK in order to ensure cultural diversity in science education, as a paradigm. We also emphasize the need to (re)dissolve the hierarchies and dualisms that may emerge when science is elevated in status in comparison with other knowledges. We conclude with a modification to van Eijck and Roth's perspective by recommending a guiding principle of cultural diversity in science education as a way to make curriculum choices. We envision this principle can be applied when evaluating science curricula worldwide. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: United States