ERIC Number: EJ942315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
Argumentation and Indigenous Knowledge: Socio-Historical Influences in Contextualizing an Argumentation Model in South African Schools
Gallard Martinez, Alejandro J.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v6 n3 p719-723 Sep 2011
This forum considers argumentation as a means of science teaching in South African schools, through the integration of indigenous knowledge (IK). It addresses issues raised in Mariana G. Hewson and Meshach B. Ogunniyi's paper entitled: Argumentation-teaching as a method to introduce indigenous knowledge into science classrooms: opportunities and challenges. As well as Peter Easton's: Hawks and baby chickens: cultivating the sources of indigenous science education; and, Femi S. Otulaja, Ann Cameron and Audrey Msimanga's: Rethinking argumentation-teaching strategies and indigenous knowledge in South African science classrooms. The first topic addressed is that implementation of argumentation in the science classroom becomes a complex endeavor when the tensions between students' IK, the educational infrastructure (allowance for teacher professional development, etc.) and local belief systems are made explicit. Secondly, western styles of debate become mitigating factors because they do not always adequately translate to South African culture. For example, in many instances it is more culturally acceptable in South Africa to build consensus than to be confrontational. Thirdly, the tension between what is "authentic science" and what is not becomes an influencing factor when a tension is created between IK and western science. Finally, I argue that the thrust of argumentation is to set students up as "scientist-students" who will be considered through a deficit model by judging their habitus and cultural capital. Explicitly, a "scientist-student" is a student who has "learned," modeled and thoroughly assimilated the habits of western scientists, evidently--and who will be judged by and held accountable for their demonstration of explicit related behaviors in the science classroom. I propose that science teaching, to include argumentation, should consist of "listening carefully" (radical listening) to students and valuing their language, culture, and learning as a model for "science for all".
Descriptors: Indigenous Knowledge, Persuasive Discourse, African Culture, Beliefs, Foreign Countries, Cultural Traits, Scientists, Teaching Methods, Science Instruction, Cultural Differences, Cultural Capital, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa