Indigenous Science Network

April, 1999

My apologies for the lack of activity on this network for some time. However, during the last few weeks there have been some interesting things happening internationally and a number of papers in the field have been published.

Glen Aikenhead's 'Science education and culture' cyberspace workshop saw eleven papers by a variety of authors from the field posted on a website, with discussion pages attached. Two of the papers attracted considerable attention, one by Peter Taylor and the other by Jegede and Aikenhead. If I can be parochial, much of the discussion came from Australians in both academic and professional positions.

Here in Darwin we organised our own workshop in mid-March. We had a surprising turnout of people, some coming from the education, health and land management areas of Batchelor College, a group from the Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (FATSIS) at the Northern Territory University as well as from the NT Department of Education. Discussion was generated from the papers and was focused as a response to the practicality of working directly with Indigenous Australians.

Our response to the papers was synthesised and has been posted as the Darwin Declaration. We used the byline, "Beyond borders towards interculturalism" to summarise our efforts.

The Journal of Research in Science Teaching recently published a theme issue on science education in developing countries, as volume 36, issue 3. Included in the offerings were

Aikenhead & Jegede (1999) Cross-cultural science education: A cognitive explanation of a cultural phenomenon (pp 269-287)

Waldrip & Taylor (1999) Permeability of students' worldviews to their school views in a non-western developing country (pp 289-303)

If anybody has read any of the other papers and feels they should be on everybody's reading list, please feel free to let the rest of us know.

Mark Linkson's workshop from CONASTA last year has been published at last. The details are:

Linkson, M. (1999). Some issues in providing culturally appropriate science curriculum support for Indigenous students. Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 45(1), 41-48.

The Proceedings of the Australasian Joint Regional Conference of GASAT and IOSTE has been published, About half the papers deal with gender issues and the others look at science and technology education. Although a couple of papers on Indigenous science were presented, only mine has appeared in the proceedings.

Michie, M. (1998). Crossing borders: Understanding differing world views of science in the Northern Territory science curriculum. (ed. J E Goodall) Proceedings of the Australasian Joint Regional Conference of GASAT and IOSTE, pp 441-448.

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