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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw

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Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.

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20. The Challenges of Science Education and Indigenous Knowledge Lyn Carter 312

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As a field, science education is vast, diverse, and ambiguous, having developed its own areas ofinterest and groups of practitioners distinct from the concerns of academic scientists, general educational researchers or science teachers, only since the curriculum reforms of the early 1960s. It is formulated from, and represents, the multiple positionalities of educational theory and practice, and the heterogeneous assemblages that we call Western modern science (WMS). Its interests range from classroom-based teaching and learning, curriculum, teacher education, student-related factors, measurement and evaluation, historical perspectives and so on, to policy development and imple- mentation, and to the more theoretical concerns of epistemology, philosophy and sociocultural cri- tiques of the nature of WMS itself. While these areas are formulated predominately in normative terms, the literature also contains a small but influential collection of more critical perspectives usu- ally identified as the oppositional and marginal discourses (see, for example, the work of Calabrese Barton, 2003; Kyle, 2001). Recent times have seen a rise in sociocultural perspectives within science education that are a testament to the wholly transforming and increasing complexities of globalisation. While not explic- itly acknowledged within the science education literature (for exceptions see Bencze, 2001; Carter 2008, 2005), globalisation has meant on the one hand, the geo-political spread of the market ortho- doxy while on the other, increasing diversity, plurality and hybridity as the world’s peoples rub more closely together. Lemke (2001) suggests that the encounter between normative science education and cultural and linguistic diversity has been an important focus....

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