Exploring young peoples' understanding of scientific and cultural knowledge

Muza Gondwe

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    637 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] Students’ declining interest in science taught at school has been associated with the lack of relevance of science classroom content to students’ everyday lives. This is more pronounced for students who come from minority ethnic groups as western science is the system of knowledge that is predominately taught in science classrooms. All this is happening as schools in many countries such as Australia are becoming increasingly culturally diverse. It is therefore important to address the relevance of science education and embrace indigenous knowledge, which has been included in the Australian science curriculum. This thesis - presented as a series of four papers - investigates how students (aged 12-15 years) construct the meanings of and connections between scientific knowledge and cultural knowledge through three research activities: a group meaning map, a science and culture story box and filmmaking about science and culture.

    Personal meaning maps modified for small groups and a science and culture story box designed as an informal education activity explored how students construct the meanings of and connections between scientific knowledge and cultural knowledge. Seven schools (Years 7-9, students aged 12-15, N = 190) participated in these two research activities comprising: four culturally diverse Australian schools, two Aboriginal after school homework programs and one culturally diverse school in Malawi, Africa. Three of these schools (two from Australia and one from Malawi) then participated in the filmmaking program in which students made films about science and culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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