Defining Science From Multicultural And Universal Perspectives: A Review Of Research And Its Implications For Science Education In Africa

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Ayodele O. Ogunleye

Keywords

Multicultural Science Education, Universalistic Perspective of Science, Indigenous Science, Cultural Pluralism, Acculturation, Teaching/Learning Science, African Science, Boarder Crossing Theory, Collateral Learning Theory, Contiguity Learning Hypothesis

Abstract

The current move toward "science for all" in all parts of the globe necessitates that consideration be given to how pupils move between their everyday life and the world of school science, how pupils deal with cognitive conflicts between those two worlds, and what this means for effective teaching of science. In recent times, multiculturalism’s proper place in science education has been the subject of considerable controversy in science education literature. The key issue has been whether a multicultural approach to science education is compatible with a universalistic conception of science. The purpose of this paper is to examine the scope of multicultural education and to review the definition of science put forward from multicultural perspectives in contrast to a universalistic perspective on science; i.e. the standard account and the various propositions put forward for both universal and indigenous science. The paper then offers suggestions as to the implications for teaching science in the African context by encouraging science teachers to incorporate examples of African science into their lessons and also teach children to have equal respect for the accomplishments of all cultures, such that they realize that science is a part of every culture worldwide.

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