Getting Started: things to read and things to know about critical education

Oct 25, 2010

CEN Seminar #7 Now Available

In this seminar, Renee Herde, PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at USQ discusses some of the developments in her research centred on Indigenous Knowledges and the National Curriculum. The seminar titled “Whose Knowledge is Best: indigenous knowledge in the mainstream science classroom” opens points of dialogue for the engagement of indigenous knowledges and practices within formal, institutionalized settings- primarily schooling and charts some of the epistemological challenges of working between knowledge systems.

Access the video here.

1 comment:

  1. Great presentation Renee. Some points I thought of as I was watching.

    1) There is an issue which you raised as to where the Indigenous experts are to come from. It runs the risk of Indigenous perspectives being facilitated by non-expert Whites, as you pointed out in the course of the presentation.

    2) There is a risk of an element of reductionism being introduced in the teaching of Indigenous Perspectives in relation to science teaching. That risk would encompass pedagogy, where a Western Scientific approach is presented on one hand, correlated with the Indigenous approach/perspective on the other. The reductionism could surface where a comparison is introduced with the biased ideology behind the pedagogy advocating the 'superiority' of the Western scientific approach. I suppose my point is not only does one have to consider how to introduce Indigenous Perspectives, but where to introduce them, the pedagogy to be used. The other inherent risk associated with this is it becomes the 'Indigenous' bit tacked on to the end of a science unit, cause it is 'politically correct' to do it.

    3) Something I think you didn't necessarily raise but I think is quite apt, is the discourse around the 'crisis' around the lack of science teachers in schools, coupled with the 'crisis' around Australia losing and lacking a science skill set. Australia is seen as lagging behind other OECD nations in terms of the number of uni students studying and subsequently number of graduates in the science disciplines. This then is blamed on the poor state of science teaching in schools. Consequently Teach for Australia type programs aim to address this 'crisis' of science teaching in schools. Any proposal to adopt Indigenous 'scientific' approaches or perspectives to the school curriculum is bound to rouse the right-wing crisis pundits who will declare a further eroding of science curriculum and takeup in schools should such a proposal find favour.

    Anyway, good luck with the proposal. Would love to hear about your methodology of your research study, what your approach will be to study that which may not necessarily exist in schools at the present time.