Indigenous Science Network

May, 1999

Some more papers which have come to my attention include:

Fleer, M. (1999). Children's alternative views: Alternative to what? International Journal of Science Education, 21(2), 119-135.

Waldrip, B G, & Taylor, P C. (1999). Standards for cultural contextualization of interpretive research: A Melanesian case. International Journal of Science Education, 21(3), 249-260.

Peter Ninnes sent me this message some time ago, just after the last 'newsletter'.

'I am presenting a paper at a conference in Toronto next week. The paper is called "Representations of Indigenous knowledges in science textbooks in Canada and Australia". Could you please inform members of the network about this paper and let them know that I am willing to email a copy to anyone who is interested and I would also welcome feedback on it.'

Peter can be reached at

June/July is conference time, with conferences in Durban (IOSTE), Adelaide (CONASTA) and Rotorua (ASERA). Perhaps members of the network might want to let us know whether they are attending these or other conferences and if they are presenting.

Mark Linkson and I will be attending and presenting at ASERA. Here's a copy of the abstract.

Interfacing Western science and Indigenous knowledge: A Northern Territory perspective

Michael Michie and Mark Linkson
Northern Territory Department of Education
Three initiatives for the implementation of primary science education in Aboriginal schools in the Northern Territory are described. These attempt to value Indigenous knowledge alongside Western science learning. These are

1. a curriculum which places a higher value on Indigenous knowledge other than simply "enrich" Western science
2. resource materials which parallel the experiences of Indigenous learners with Western understandings, and which are inclusive of Indigenous cultural considerations
3. an attempt to facilitate profiling of Western science learning outcome in the context of a holistic Indigenous curriculum.

Michael Michie writes:

I'm currently working on an upgrade of the NT Department of Education's "Aboriginal Science Teacher's Handbook", whicvh was written back in 1982. I'm trying to incorporate some of the research which has been done since that time as well as making in it accessible and useful. I'm having trouble, even with the title, because there are multiple focuses. It's for

- non-Indigenous teachers teaching Western science to Indigenous students
- Indigenous teachers teaching Western science to Indigenous students
- non-Indigenous teachers teaching Indigenous knowledge to non-Indigenous students (ie science with an Indigenous perspective).

Perhaps once I sort out who the focus group is, then the rest may be easier; maybe there needs to be multiple handbooks, sealed sections, etc.

Anyway, if you would like to see where I'm at with the process, please let me know and I can send you a copy. Unfortunately, it's not available on the web and isn't likely to be for a while. You can e-mail me here at

Michael Michie

I downloaded some interesting materials from the Alaskan Native Knowledge Network website recently, which may be of interest to other people on the network. It included

- Guidelines for preparing culturally responsive teachers for Alaska's schools
- The summer eddition of "Sharing our Pathways", their newsletter - Drafts of a number of science units they had prepared, on local indigenous themes such as plants, animal classification, moose and snowshoes.

The website is located at

Please don't hesitate to use the network to let other people know what you're up to, particularly if you're going to conferences, etc. Feel free to pass it on to other colleagues.

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