Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education
Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1131663Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 904
 N. R. Council, P. G. Affairs, T. E. P. Board on Science, C. C. C. B. P. S. R. I. Initiatives, and C. W. Wessner, Building the Illinois Innovation Economy: Summary of a Symposium. National Academies Press, 2013.
 Department of Education, “Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) Physical Sciences,” Government Printers, Pretoria, 2011.
 E. Chigwedere, “Zimbabwe Cultural Policy,” Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Harare, 2007.
 F. Abd-El-Khalick and N. G. Lederman, “Improving science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: a critical review of the literature,” Int. J. Sci. Educ., vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 665–701, Jul. 2000.
 V. Mpofu, F. S. Otulaja, and E. Mushayikwa, “Towards culturally relevant classroom science: a theoretical framework focusing on traditional plant healing,” Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 221-242, 2014.
 V. Mpofu, “Possibilities of integrating indigenous knowledge into classroom science: the case of plant healing,” Witwatersrand, Johhanesburg, South Africa, 2016.
 H. Verran, “Knowledge Traditions of Aboriginal Australians: Questions and Answers arising in a Databasing Project,” Making Collective Memory with Computers, School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems, 2005. Online Available: http://www.cdu.edu.au/centres/ik/pdf/knowledgeanddatabasing.pdf. (Accessed: 18-Apr-2017).
 L. Russell, “Indigenous Knowledge and Archives: Accessing Hidden History and Understandings,” Aust. Acad. Res. Libr., vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 161–171.
 M. Battiste, “Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Reommendations.” Apamuwek Institute, 2002.
 C. Levi-Stauss, The Savage Mind. Chicago: University of Chcago, 1962.
 R. Barnhardt, “Indigenous knowledge systems and Alaska Native ways of knowing,” Anthropol. Educ. Q., vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 8–23, 2005.
 E. Vhurumuku and M. Mokeleche, “The nature of science and indigenous knowledge systems in South Africa, 2000–2007: A critical review of the research in science education,” Afr. J. Res. Matehematics Sci. Technol. Educ., vol. 13, no. Supplement 1, pp. 96–114, 2013.
 M. G. Hewson and M. B. Ogunniyi, “Argumentation-teaching as a method to introduce indigenous knowledge into science classrooms: opportunities and challenges,” Cultual Stud. Sci. Educ., vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 679–692, 2011.
 M. B. Ogunniyi, “Teachers’ Stances and Practical Arguments Regarding a Science‐Indigenous Knowledge Curriculum: Part 1,” Int. J. Sci. Educ., vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 963–986, 2007.
 C. Odora Hoppers, “Indigenous Knowledge and the Integration of Knowledge Systems: Towards a Conceptual and Methodological Framework,” in Indigenous Knowledge and the Integration of Knowledge Systems, 2002, pp. 2–22.
 R. Driver, J. Leach, R. Millar, and P. Scott, Young people’s images of science. Buckingham: Open University Press, 1996.
 M. Sanders, “Integrative STEM education: primer,” Technol. Teach., vol. 68, no. 4, pp. 20–26, 2009.
 L. M. Semali, A. Hristova, and S. A. Owiny, “Integrating Ubunifu, informal science, and community innovations in science classrooms in East Africa,” Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ., vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 865–889, 2015.
 L. Shulman, “Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform,” Harv. Educ. Rev., vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 1–23, 1987.
 B. Davidowitz and M. Rollnick, “What lies at the heart of good undergraduate teaching? A case study in organic chemistry,” Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 355–366, 2011.
 M. Rollnick, J. Bennett, M. Rhemtula, N. Dharsey, and T. Ndlovu, “The place of subject matter knowledge in pedagogical content knowledge: A case study of South African teachers teaching the amount of substance and chemical equilibrium,” Int. J. Sci. Educ., vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 1365–1387, 2008.
 H. Chitate, “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): A Case Study of Zimbabwe’s Educational Approach to Industrialisation,” World J. Educ., vol. 6, no. 5, p. p27, 2016.
 M. Q. Patton, Qualitative research. Wiley Online Library, 2005.
 V. Van Mele and R. Renson, Traditional Games in South America, vol. 4. International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, 1992.
 C. Burnett, “Paradigm Lost: Indigenous Games and Neoliberalism in the South African Context,” in Native Games: Indigenous Peoples and Sports in the Post-Colonial World, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2014, pp. 205–227.
 W. B. Arthur, The nature of technology: What it is and how it evolves. Simon and Schuster, 2009.