Indigenous Science Network Bulletin

February 2002 (Volume 5, Number 1)

Editor: Michael Michie






Nelson urges students not to feel pressured to complete year 12

The Federal Education Minister says high school students should not feel compelled to complete year 12 or go on to university if they do not want to.

Brendan Nelson says it is critical to increase and sustain high school retention rates, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

But Dr Nelson says not everyone is able or prepared to complete year 12.

He says young people should be able to make choices about their future without feeling less worthy than those who continue studies.

"At the same time that we're trying to do the best we can to encourage our children to complete their year 12, let's not create an environment that says to a year nine or a year 10 student and that if you don't complete year 12, if you don't go on to university, you and your life is less valuable than if you did," he said.


Communities consulted over Aboriginal education centre

A Northern Territory education consortium says a project to build a new Aboriginal education centre in Alice Springs is in the remote community consultation phase.

The consortium says community educators met central Australian elders to establish the themes and values of the Desert Peoples Centre.

The meeting supported Aboriginal involvement at all stages of the project being developed by the Institute of Aboriginal Development, the Centre for Appropriate Technology and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Technology.

Spokeswoman Betty Pearce says the centre should open in 2003, providing adult education for indigenous people.

"It is an Aboriginal-driven program and we're going to attempt in every way possible to teach from an Aboriginal perspective," she said.

Alternative school wins VicHealth promotion award

A Warrnambool school has been commended for its traditional indigenous games program.

Warrnambool Alternative School won the VicHealth Award for health promotion through community participation.

The school's indigenous games program provides students and staff with a closer look at Koori culture.

Minister promises Aboriginal school finished in 2 years

WA Education Minister Alan Carpenter has given a commitment that a new Aboriginal primary school in Bunbury will be completed in two years.

Mr Carpenter says the Department of Education is working to secure the land and employ architects to develop culturally appropriate school designs.

He has welcomed a decision by the Bunbury City Council to support Djidi Djidi Aboriginal Primary School's permanent location in Glen Iris.

He says Djidi Djidi has operated in temporary facilities for five years under less than perfect conditions.

He says the new school will provide a better education for young Noongars.

"That will mean a lot better educational outcomes for the Aboriginal children down there," Mr Carpenter said.

"Obviously, the spin-off benefits for the town, better employment opportunities for the Aboriginal kids, less likelihood that they are going to be involved in social problems and so on."

NT Govt to implement indigenous education plan

A committee will be set up later this month to implement the 150 recommendations of the independent review of indigenous education in the Northern Territory.

The former senator, Bob Collins, wrote the report more than two years ago and the new Labor Government has given him the job of following through on the recommendations.

The make-up of the committee has not been finalised but Mr Collins says there will be a significant number of indigenous people on it, including remote-area principals.

"I think that it's true to say that so far as indigenous education is concerned, I don't think there ever has been the focus placed on it," he said.

"That there is at the moment is certainly something that I welcome because it's a focus that's desperately needed."

(The first position in this process, Director Learning Lessons, was advertised in mid-January 2002. It's only been two years since the report was written. Ed.)



Recent papers

Ninnes, Peter. (2001). Writing multicultural textbooks: Perspectives, problems, possibilities and power. Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 47(4), 18-27. 

"This paper reports on a pilot survey of the authors of three sets of textbooks used in Australia and Canada, which have previously been shown to include a relatively high proportion of Indigenous and other minority groups' knowledges, cultures and sciences. ... The results reveal a wide diversity of views among authors regarding the merits of including multicultural perspectives in science textbooks." (from Abstract)

Ninnes, P., & Burnett, G. (2001). Postcolonial theory and science education: Textbooks, curriculum and cultural diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 36(1), 25-39.

"The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ways in which multicultural plurality is depicted in the science curriculum statement for Aotearoa New Zealand and in six sets of secondary school science textbooks which have been produced in response to that curriculum statement." (from Abstract)

Research in Science Education

The first issue of RISE for 2001 has finally arrived. The theme is "Developing research in technology education" and Alister Jones from the University of Waikato was the guest editor. The editor, Cam McRobbie, has written that all issues for 2001 have now been published and are in transit. I believe Glen Aikenhead has a paper in one of the issues.

Members of ASERA should have received their membership renewals as well as some information about this year's conference in Townsville (see below).

Bicultural Approaches to Environmental Management in New Zealand: Website launch

The following information was forwarded by Alister Jones at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

'Proceedings' of a hui (meeting) on bicultural approaches to environmental management in New Zealand held at Murihiku Marae last year are now available on the University of Otago Zoology Department's website at   The hui was called He Minenga Whakatü Hua o Te Ao which means an intense discussion of ways to sustain the fruits of the world.  The website records 21 presentations, 23 'posters' and report-backs of 9 workshops on topics concerning bicultural approaches to environmental management and research.  More importantly, the discussions following every presentation have been transcribed so that visitors to the site can sample the full range of opinion presented on issues of co-management, environmental philosophy, Mätauranga Mäori and science, Intellectual Property Rights and WAI262.  Policy makers and researchers of several iwi, government departments, Conservation NGOs and Tangata Whenua all contributed vigorous and honest debate, in the true spirit of the marae.

Please notify your friends and colleagues about the site's existence. We hope that ongoing discussion of the bicultural environmental issues will be possible via the 'Forum' section of the site where anyone can contribute a comment or debate an issue. Gaining some overseas perspectives would be very valuable too, so please prompt some of your overseas contacts to contribute to the forum - more immportantly, have a go yourself!!

Henrik Moller & Maureen Howard, Co-editors of the website.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art's Native American art site, Surrounded by Beauty

There is no equivalent in the many Native American languages for the word art. No distinction is made between what is beautiful or functional, and what is sacred or secular. Yet Native Americans are a highly spiritual people who create objects of extraordinary beauty. Explore dozens of works of art in The Minneapolis Institute of Art's collection at Surrounded by Beauty, a site designed to put these works of art in context for teachers and students.

Science education and culture: The contribution of history and philosophy of science

The International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group is pleased to announce the availability of the book, SCIENCE EDUCATION AND CULTURE: THE CONTRIBUTION OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2001) at the considerably discounted rate of USD27 (plus postage).  The book of 360 pages contains 21 papers selected from the group’s 5th International Conference held at Pavia University and Lake Como in November 1999. Details of the book follow. Contact

Fabio Bevilacqua, Enrico Giannetto, & Michael R. Matthews (eds.). (2001). SCIENCE EDUCATION AND CULTURE: THE CONTRIBUTION OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 362pp.


  1. JOHN HEILBRON / History and Science Education: Cautionary Tales about the Agreement of Measurement and Theory .
  2. ALBERTO CORDERO / Scientific Culture and Public Education
  3. PETER MACHAMER / Galileo and the Rhetoric of Relativity  
  4. F. JAMES RUTHERFORD / Fostering the History of Science in American Science Education                           
  5. RON GOOD & JAMES SHYMANSKY / Nature-of-Science Literacy in Benchmarks and Standards: Postmodern/Relativist or Modern/Realist?                  
  6. ROBERT N. CARSON / The Epic Narrative of Intellectual Culture as a Framework for Curricular Coherence    
  7. HSINGCHI A. WANG & WILLIAM H. SCHMIDT / History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science (HPSS) in Science Education: Results from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study  


  1. JAMES DONNELLY / Instrumentality, Hermeneutics and the Place of Science in the School Curriculum                                 
  2. BO DAHLIN / The Primacy of Cognition  or of Perception?  A Phenomenological Critique of the Theoretical Bases of Science Education    
  3. EDGAR JENKINS / Constructivism in School Science Education: Powerful Model or the Most Dangerous Intellectual Tendency?
  4. SIBEL ERDURAN / Philosophy of Chemistry: An Emerging Field with Implications for Chemistry Education
  5. FRITZ KUBLI / Narratives in Science Teaching: Some Results from an Investigation into Students’ Interests
  6. DOUGLAS ALLCHIN / Values in Science: An Educational Perspective 
  7. ALEXANDER T. LEVINE / Which Way is Up?  Thomas Kuhn’s Analogy to Conceptual Development in Childhood  
  8. ROBERT NOLA / Saving Kuhn from the Sociologists               


  1. IGAL GALILI & AMNON HAZAN / The Effect of a History-Based Course in Optics on Students’ Views about Science
  2. NAHUM KIPNIS / Scientific Controversies in Teaching Science: The Case of Volta       
  3. ROBERTO DE ANDRADE MARTINS & CIBELLE CELESTINO SILVA / Newton and Colour: The Complex Interplay of Theory and Experiment
  4. MICHAEL R. MATTHEWS / Methodology and Politics in Science:  The Fate of Huygens’ 1673 Proposal of the Seconds Pendulum as an International Standard of Length, and Some Educational Suggestions      
  5. OLIVIA LEVRINI / Reconstructing the Basic Concepts of General Relativity from an Educational and Cultural Point of View      
  6. FANNY SEROGLOU & PANAGIOTIS KOUMARAS / The Contribution of the History of Physics in Physics Education: A Review     

Science and Education 2002 (Volume 11)

The first of the six issues of ‘Science & Education’ for 2002 will shortly be printed by Kluwer Academic Publishers.  All personal subscriptions are handled through the IHPST group. The Contents of Vol.11 No.1 follow. Contact Michael R. Matthews, email:

  • ANTON E. LAWSON / What Does Galileo’s Discovery of Jupiter’s Moons Tell Us About the Process of Scientific Discovery
  • KAI HAKKARAINEN & MATTI SINTONEN / Interrogative Model of Inquiry and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
  • LEAH M. MELBER & LINDA M. ABRAHAM / Science Education in U.S. Natural History Museums: A Historical Perspective
  • JULIE GESS-NEWSOME / The Use and Impact of Explicit Instruction about the Nature of Science and Science Inquiry in an Elementary Science Methods Course   SCED666   ACCEPT
  • HSINGCHI WANG & ANNE M. COX-PETERSEN / A Comparison of Elementary, Secondary and Student Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices Related to History of Science Instruction
  • CALVIN S. KALMAN / Developing Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Courses: A Philosophical Approach
  • EDUARD GLAS / Klein’s Model of Mathematical Creativity

The Big Questions: Paul Davies in conversation with Phillip Adams

Since the year dot, humans have wondered about, and pondered upon, and come to strange conclusions concerning the Big Questions. In this series, Paul Davies and Phillip Adams examine the whys and wherefores of the cosmos; its beginning, its endings, and where - if at all - humans fit.

The Big Questions began as a TV series filmed at Coober Pedy in the Australian outback in 1995. A new chapter will be published each week, starting on 17 January 2002.



The Pacific Circle Consortium 26th Annual Conference 2002, Seoul, Korea, 1-3 May 2002.

This Conference is organized by The Korean Educational Development Institute, Seoul, Korea and sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development. The Hong Kong Institute of Education is also one of co-sponsors.

The Pacific Circle Consortium is an international educational organization dedicated to the improvement of teaching and researching about peoples, nations and issues of the Pacific-Asian region. Its participants come from universities, educational agencies, and schools of the region. The Consortium is an official program of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/CERI).

The theme of the Conference is "Diversity and Unity in Schooling for Future Citizens in the Pacific-Asian Region." Participants are welcome to join in the panel presentations and discussion covering the following sub-themes.

  • Education Reform
  • Curriculum Innovation
  • Higher Education
  • Teacher Policy and Education
  • Lifelong Education
  • Distance Education/Cyber Education
  • Human Resources Development
  • School or Student Evaluation
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education for International Understanding
  • Citizenship Education

Interested colleagues should submit a brief abstract (200 words) to the conference organizer by March 15, 2002. For further information and registration, please visit the website at or email to the Conference Secretariat at <>.

Thank you for your kind attention. Regards, Centre for Research and International Collaboration, Hong Kong Institute of Education

Australian Indigenous Education Conference, Sharing Success : An Indigenous Perspective. 2-4 July 2002, Townsville, Queensland

This three day national conference is designed to inform and inspire participants to recognise and acknowledge Indigenous educational achievement. This conference will bring together professional educators and community people, to showcase Indigenous achievement across all levels o f education and celebrate Indigenous pathways to success. This Conference will appeal to people in both government and non-government sectors, including schools, VET, TAFE and higher education institutions. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, invites you to register NOW. More information available at the website,

For registration forms and information, please contact :

Indigenous Education Conference Secretariat

Ms Raewyn Dooley, Conference & Events Management

PO Box 771, TOWNSVILLE, QLD, Australia, 4810

Phone: 61 7 4721 2377 Fax: 61 7 4721 4936


Australian Association for Environmental Education 12th Biennial Conference, Sustaining Environmental Education: Celebrating Diversity, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 2-6 July 2002


The 12th conference of the Australian Association for Environmental Education will provide an opportunity for environmental educators from universities, national parks, pre-schools and schools, private industry and government agencies to take part in presentations and workshops that celebrate our diversity as educators and that offer us ways of sustaining ourselves in our work.  Sub-themes include Foundations of Environmental Education, Environmental Education at the Cutting Edge, Creating and Sustaining Diversity and Sustaining Ourselves.

A call for papers (in .pdf format) can be downloaded from:

We hope you can join us!

Australian Science Teacher's Association (ASTA) National Conference, Hobart Tas, 6-11 July 2002: "Problem Solving and the Ethical Dilemma". For information visit

AUSTRALASIAN SCIENCE EDUCATION RESEARCH ASSOCIATION, 33rd Annual Conference, 11 - 14 July 2002, Townsville, Queensland

Abstracts for ASERA2002 conference papers are now due - email to no later than April 1.

As per previous correspondence, ASERA2002 leads you to Townsville in tropical North Queensland over July11 to July14.  Details are posted on the conference website at The conference brochure, including registration, can be obtained from Steve Ritchie.

For the first time we are conducting a limited trial of paper proposals for only those researchers who need refereed acceptance to secure funding.  We expect the majority of paper presenters will submit an abstract only, as usual.  If you are one of the few who needs to submit a proposal, the details (and criteria) are listed on the conference website - simply activate the "call for papers" button.  In order to review the proposals, we'll need experienced researchers to volunteer to assist Dr. Greg Thomas with this trial.  If you are interested and available, please contact Greg directly at

I have been advised by the Southbank Hotel that they have taken bookings for the conference already.  Please book your accommodation early (there is a NRL football game scheduled for Townsville over the same weekend).

I hope to see you in Townsville in July. Cheers, Steve Ritchie

Papers on Postcolonial science education, ASERA, 11-14 July, 2002, Townsville

I would like to put together a symposium (or more if the interest is there) on postcolonial science education for the coming ASERA conference in Townsville. In particular, I was looking at some of the theory out of literary criticism and philosophy - the likes of Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Frantz Fanon and several others. Is there anyone that is working with some of the ideas from these people in science education and would be interested in joining a symposium at Townsville? Peter Ninnes and myself would be interested in this aspect. I was thinking 4 or 5 papers perhaps. I will coordinate this one if there is interest.

There is probably scope for other 'cultural' foci as well if there is enough interest. Perhaps someone else could do that if there is enough interest.

Contact Liz McKinley on <>



Rethinking Science and Technology Education to Meet the Demands for Future Generations in a Changing World, 28 July - 2 August 2002, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil

Symposium Address/Queries: All queries about the symposium and contributions should be directed to:

Professor Nelio Bizzo, Faculdade de Educação, Universidade de São Paulo, 10th IOSTE Symposium, Av. da Universidade, 308, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brasil. Phone: +55 11 3818 4927/4928, FAX: +55 11 3818 3149, + 55 11 3816 8168. e-mail:, homepage:

World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education - August 4 - 10, 2002

WIPCE 2002 will be hosted by the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC) at a beautiful site on Stoney Nation lands in the mountains just west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium, Suite 310, 6940 Fisher Rd. SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0W3. Phone: (403) 258-1775, Fax: (403)258-1811

For more information, visit their website at

7th  International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group Conference, 30 July  to 3 August 2003.  

The seventh conference of the IHPST group will be held in Winnipeg Manitoba.  The conference chair is Professor Art Stinner (, and the conference secretary and programme chair is Dr Stephen Klassen (  The conference will be held in the University of Winnipeg, with accommodation at nearby first-class hotels with an expected tariff of about USD60-70 per room.  Further details are available from the secretary and from the IHPST web site (


This is mostly a summary of upcoming conferences. More details may have been given in previous bulletins or circulated by e-mail. A web-based contact is usually included.

April 2002

1-5 April 2002: American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, USA ( - this site currently has a Chinese Ninja virus and does all manner of weird things)

7-10 April 2002: National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST 2002), New Orleans, USA (

May 2002

1-3 May 2002: The Pacific Circle Consortium 26th Annual Conference 2002, Seoul, Korea. For further information and registration, please visit the website at or email to the Conference Secretariat at <>.

July 2002

2-4 July 2002: Australian Indigenous Education Conference, "Sharing Success : An Indigenous Perspective". Townsville, Queensland. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, invites you to register NOW. More information available at the website,

2-6 July 2002: Australian Association for Environmental Education 12th Biennial Conference, Sustaining Environmental Education: Celebrating Diversity, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. A call for papers (in .pdf format) can be downloaded from:

6-11 July 2002: CONASTA 51 Australian Science Teacher's Association (ASTA) National Conference, Hobart Tas: Problem Solving and the Ethical Dilemma. For information visit

11 - 14 July 2002: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 33rd Annual Conference, Townsville, Queensland. Convenor: Dr Steve Ritchie, for information

14-18 July 2002: CULTURAL ASPECTS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS, A section within the 6th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics - SCI2002, Orlando, Florida (USA)

27 July - 2 August 2002: "Rethinking science and technology education to meet the demands for future generations in a changing world", IOSTE 10th Biennial Symposium,  Foz do Iguaca, Brazil (

August 2002

4-10 August 2002: World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education - Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 6-11 August: 'The Boston TEE Party'. DRAFT details of North American Association for Environmental Education's 2002 conference, Boston Email:,

December 2002

December 2002:  Australian Association for Research in Education, 2002 Education Research Conference, Brisbane, Queensland  (

July, 2003

30 July  to 3 August 2003: 7th  International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The conference chair is Professor Art Stinner (, and the conference secretary and programme chair is Dr Stephen Klassen ( Further details are available from the secretary and from the IHPST web site (

A listing of conferences is also maintained by the University of South Australia's Indigenous Online Network, at From there you can also access proceedings from the first Forum on Indigenous Research (the Umulliko forum).

Last updated: 1 February 2002

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