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Whose interests are being served in cross-cultural science teaching?

Taylor, P.C. (1999) Whose interests are being served in cross-cultural science teaching? In: 1999 NARST Pre-Conference Workshop, ‘Culture Studies in Science Education’, 28th March 1999, Boston, MA



I have chosen to address this question by writing a story, ‘The Mission’, that, I hope, will serve as a prompt for the reader to join in dialogue with others interested in the need for culture-sensitive science education. The writing of stories based in science education research is becoming recognised as a powerful way of stimulating critical discourse (Taylor, in press; Taylor & Geelan, 1998). Although The Mission combines fact and fiction, it is based on recent interpretive research on the teaching of science in Kantri, a South Pacific country (Giddings & Waldrip, 1993; Waldrip & Taylor, in press a, b), and on a call for a critical science education (Taylor & Cobern, 1998). There are two epistemic warrants for the story. For the character of Lapun, I have drawn on interviews of village elders to give the story authenticity and plausibility (verisimilitude; Adler & Adler, 1994). And to engage the reader in critical reflective thinking I have raised many questions and proposed no answers (pedagogical thoughtfulness; van Manen, 1990). Although I must admit to having fashioned some pointed clues...

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