Indigenous Science Network Bulletin

October 2002 (Volume 5, Number 5)

Editor: Michael Michie






Garma Festival 2002

The Garma Festival was held in August in Northeast Arnhemland by the Yolgnu people, with many balanda (white people) as their guests. One of the features of the Garma Festival is that you can visit the website and see what happened over the five days of the festival.

The website is

Declaration on Indigenous People's Higher Education

Attached here is the text of the declaration recently signed at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education near Calgary, Alberta. This declaration established the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. This text was sent to the Indigenous Online Network from Merritt Helfferich, President of the Consortium for Alaska Native Higher Education, Inc. Email:

The text is the declaration recently signed at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education near Calgary, Alberta. This declaration established the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.


On this day, August 5, 2002, at Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, we gather as Indigenous Peoples of our respective nations recognizing and reaffirming the educational rights of all Indigenous Peoples.  We share the vision of Indigenous Peoples of the world united in the collective synergy of self-determination through control of higher education.  We commit to building partnerships that restore and retain indigenous spiritually, cultures and languages, homelands, social systems, economic systems, and self-determination.

We do hereby convene the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium. This Consortium will provide an international forum and support for Indigenous Peoples to purse common goals through higher education.  By our signatures, we agree to:

1. Accelerate the articulation of Indigenous epistemology (ways of knowing, education, philosophy, and research);

2. Protect and enhance Indigenous spiritual beliefs, culture and languages through higher education;

3. Advance the social, economical, and political status of Indigenous Peoples that contribute to the well-being of indigenous communities through higher education;

4. Create an accreditation body for indigenous education initiatives and systems that identify common criteria, practices and principles by which Indigenous Peoples live;

5. Recognize the significance of Indigenous education;

6. Create a global networks for sharing knowledge through exchange forums and state of the art technology; and

7. Recognize the educational rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In the spirit of ancestors and generations to come, we hereby affix our signatures below.  

Signatures included a large number of participants at WIPCE.

The Executive Board is composed of Chairperson: Türoa Royal, Te Wänanga-o-Raukawa, New Zealand, Co-chairperson Lionel Bordeaux, Sinte Gleska University, South Dakota, USA; and Co-chairperson Rongo H. Wetere, CEO of Te Wänanga-o-Aoteroa, New Zealand. The Australians signing the declaration, participating in the planning, and on the interim executive board for WINHEC are: Charlie Broadwater, Gumurri Centre, Griffith University and Vincent Knox Gumurri, Griffith University.

Indigenous Australians in Higher Education

The Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) has recently released an issues paper: Achieving equitable and appropriate outcomes: Indigenous Australians in higher education. This paper is part of the Australian government's review of higher education. It outlines the performance of the higher education sector with regards to the participation of Indigenous Australians in light of the major programmes funded by the Commonwealth to effect successful outcomes. [Also placed in ed resources under education/papers] (ION Update)

The protection of genetic information of Indigenous peoples

Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into the protection of genetic information. This submission was presented by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. It considers the human rights implications of the use of the genetic information of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the adequacy of current levels of protection. (ION Update)


Peter Taylor's website

Peter Taylor, from Curtin University in Perth, wrote inviting people to access the following from his website:

A couple of recently completed Masters degree projects, which exemplify contemporary socio-cultural perspectives working within postmodern qualitative research approaches, might speak to ISNB readers. 

Complete project reports are downloadable from my web site ( Follow the links: ‘Mentoring’/’next page’, then scroll down to ‘Master projects’.

Emilia Afonso (2002) ‘Rethinking science teacher education in Mozambique: An autoethnographic inquiry’

Vilimaka Foliaki (2000) ‘The reality of teaching: A hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry into the Tongan classroom’


UN Atlas of the Oceans 

The UN Atlas of the Oceans is an Internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans. It is designed for policy-makers who need to become familiar with ocean issues and for scientists, students and resource managers who need access to databases and approaches to sustainability. The Atlas includes information: about the oceans; uses of the oceans; issues; geography. The UN Atlas supports Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, the blueprint for the sustainable development of oceans adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. (ION Update)

Saltwater People

Saltwater People is a display mostly of bark paintings done by the Yolgnu people of Northeast Arnhemland in the Northern Territory of Australia. These are the same people who are responsible for the Garma Festival, and the rock group, Yothu Yindi, also has its origins with these people. The display is currently at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. I recently visited the display and was very impressed by the array of paintings on display.

Also included in the display in Sydney was computer access to a CD-ROM which is currently being developed by the NSW Department of Education. The section available included Yolgnu science, particularly relating to bush foods. Part of  the Indigenous Science Curriculum Project, it is still in its early stages and as yet has only a development site but hopes to go live at the end of the year. I'm hoping we'll hear more about this project in the near future. (MM)

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Prior Art Database (T.E.K.*P.A.D.)

The following item was forwarded by Clare Christensen from QUT in Brisbane.

By way of e-mail let me introduce Justin VanFleet, who works with the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As a follow-up project of their  "Traditional Ecological Knowledge Prior Art Database (T.E.K.*P.A.D.)" - see <>, he and Stephen Hansen are developing an Intellectual Property Manual for Traditional Knowledge Holders.

Quoting from their report on this project:
"The primary purpose of the manual is to explain intellectual property rights and options to indigenous traditional knowledge holders. The guidebook presents a user-friendly synopsis of the advantages, disadvantages, and necessary criteria for potential IP options. Through a series of models, the guidebook helps indigenous traditional knowledge holders evaluate their traditional knowledge, cultural aspects of their knowledge, and the goals and interests associated with their knowledge in order to select appropriate intellectual property options.  The guidebook also contains a series of case illustrations that further explain the implications of each option for traditional knowledge holders."

They hope to have the manual completed by early December for peer review at the fourth meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore.  Planned regional workshops in South Africa, sponsored by the South African Agricultural Research Council, will allow knowledge holders the opportunity to work with the manual and provide feedback.

I'm writing to see if there are CATaC listmembers (and/or colleagues you know) who have worked closely with indigenous peoples vis-a-vis IT  - and thus who might have some helpful comments to make regarding the cultural interface of such a manual.  I mentioned this to Justin and he is, indeed, very eager to hear from such CATaC folk and glean whatever advice and insight you can provide. If you would like to offer comments to Justin, please write to him directly at <>. (CATaC is the listserve that Clare received this information through. MM)

Recent publications:

Michie, M. (2002). Why Indigenous science should be included in the school science curriculum. Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 48(2), 36-39. (e-mail for copies)

Science & Education

Volume 11   No. 5 September 2002

MARIA A. RODRIQUEZ & MANSOOR NIAZ / How in Spite of the Rhetoric, History of Chemistry has been Ignored in Presenting Atomic Structure in Textbooks
ANDREAS QUALE / The Role of Metaphor in Scientific Epistemology: A Constructivist Perspective and Consequences for Science Education
M. CECILIA POCOVI & FRED FINLEY / Lines of Force: Faraday’s and Students’ Views
CRISTINA SPELTINI & MARÍA CELIA DIBAR URE / Conservation in Physics Teaching, History of Science and in Child Development
GENRIKH GOLIN / Introducing Fundamental Physical Experiments to Students
VANDANA HUNMA / Secondary School Science and Technology in Mauritius’
M. NEIL BROWNE / The Mandate for Interdisciplinarity in Science Education: The Case of Economic and Environmental Sciences

Coming Articles

DANIEL GIL-PÉREZ ET AL / The Fall of Constructivism in Science Education?
SILVIA RAGOUT DE LOZANO & MARTA CARDENAS / Some Learning Problems Concerning the Use of Symbolic Language in Physics
NANCY BRICKHOUSE, ZOUBEIDA R. DAGHER, HARRY L. SHIPMAN & WILLIAM J. LETTS IV / Evidence and Warrants for Belief in a College Astronomy Course
OLIVIA LEVRINI / The Substantivalist View of Spacetime Proposed by Minkowski and Its Educational Implications
PIOTR SZYBEK / Science Education: An Event Staged on Two Stages Simultaneously
MERCÉ IZQUIERDO i AYMEERICH & AGUSTÍN ADÚRIZ-BRAVO / Epistemological Foundations of School Science

IGAL GALILI & MICHAEL TZEITLIN / Newton’s First Law: Text, Translations, Interpretations and Physics Education
EDUARD GLAS / Educational Reform and the Birth of a Mathematical Community in Revolutionary France, 1790-1815
RAVINDER KOUL / The Relevance of Public Image of Science in Science Education
JOHN T. LEACH & PHIL SCOTT / Individual and Sociocultural Views of Learning in Science
PAUL HAGER, RAY SLEET, PETER LOGAN & MAL HOOPER / Teaching Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Science Courses
MARIO BUNGE / Twenty-five Centuries of Quantum Physics: From Pythagoras to Us, and from Subjectivism to Realism
MASSIMO PAURI / Don’t Ask Pythagoras about the Quantum
JOHN FORGE / Sharpe and Blunt Values
JEAN-MARC LÉVY-LEBLOND / On the Nature of Quantons
ALBERTO CORDERO / Understanding Quantum Physics
ADRIAN HEATHCOTE / Quantum Heterodoxy: Realism at the Plank Length
MARCELLO CINI / How Real is the Quantum World?

ILEANA MARIA GRECA & OLIVAL FREIRE Jr. / Does an Emphasis on the Concept of Quantum States Enhance Students’ Understanding of Quantum Mechanics?
GESCHE POSPIECH / Philosophy and Quantum Mechanics in Science Teaching
OLIVAL FREIRE JR. / A Story Without An Ending  About the Changes in the History of the Controversy on Quantum Physics (1950-1970)
ROBERT NOLA / ‘Naked Before Reality; Skinless Before the Absolute’: A Critique of the Inaccessibility of Reality Argument in Constructivism
MICHAEL J. FORD / Representing and Meaning in History and in Classrooms: Developing Symbols and Conceptual Organisations of Free-Fall   Motion
DAVID E. GOODNEY & CAROL S. LONG / The Collective Classic: A Case for the Reading of Science
WILLIAM J. ASTORE / Smart Warriors: Educating Air Force Academy Cadets in the History of Science, Technology, and Warfare
JEFF DODICK & NIR ORION / Geology as an Historical Science: Its Perception within Science and the Education System
ART STINNER & JÜRGEN TEICHMAN / Lord Kelvin and the Age-of-the-Earth Debate: A Dramatisation
DAVID W. RUDGE / The Role of Photographs and Films in Kettlewell’s Popularisations of the Phenomenon of Industrial Melanism
JOSTEIN SAITHER / The Concept of Ideology in Analysis of Fundamental Questions in Science Education: A Review with Selected Examples from Norwegian Curricula and Textbooks
DOUGLAS ALLCHIN / Lawson’s Shoehorn, or Should the Philosophy of Science be Rated X?
ANTON E. LAWSON / Allchin's Shoehorn, or Why Science is Hypothetico-Deductive

For more information, email:


Birabahn Cultural Festival Conference - "Education and Cultures: Time to Listen". 16-17 October 2002, Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies, University of Newcastle. This conference has an interesting group of international speakers and is being held in conjunction with the Birabahn Cultural Festival (17-20 October). For details please visit the ION conference page (Australian) at or visit the conference website

The 4th Indigenous Researchers' Forum will be hosted by Curtin University of Technology, The University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University and will be held at Curtin University, 27 - 29 November, 2002. The closing date for call for papers is 21 October 2002.

"Yarning About Research" is an opportunity for Indigenous researchers to present, explore and exchange ideas. This forum welcomes conversation, dialogues, artworks and performances as well as short papers that address key issues relevant to undertaking research in Indigenous contexts; with Indigenous people and; by Indigenous researchers. This forum is intended for Indigenous Researchers and academics. The convenors are seeking Indigenous presentations within the 4 themes of the forum. Co-presentations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars will also be considered. Indigenous presenters will have the choice of nominating their session as an Indigenous only session or as an open session.

The forum has 4 key themes:

  1. Institutional Governance of Indigenous Research: ethics and protocols; intellectual property, copyright; institutional research policies and practices; funding and resources issues; power, politics and people in research; inclusive research - issues and practices.
  2. Social, Cultural, Political Imperatives and Directions for Indigenous Research: new paradigms; cultural revival and reclamation; Indigenous methodologies; Indigenous knowledges; leadership in Indigenous research; international research - collaborations, policies, initiatives.
  3. Access, Enablers and Barriers to Research: Share your stories about what has constrained or assisted you in the research process; competing demands - work and other demands - share stories and strategies; getting published; collaborations and partnerships; issues for new and emerging researchers; the funding game; gaining access to the tools of research.
  4. Research Outcomes, Findings and Impacts: Share the outcomes of your research; does research really make a difference; recognition of Indigenous research in universities.

For further information contact Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Ph 08 9266 2120; Fax: 08 9266 2888; Email:<> or <s.timmins@gunada>

Contemporary approaches to research in mathematics, science, health and environmental education, hosted by the Centre for Studies in Mathematics, Science and Environmental Education, Melbourne Campus, Deakin University, 9-10 December 2002

The symposium will focus on both practical and theoretical aspects of a range of research methodologies. It follows the highly successful symposia held over the past nine years, in which methodological techniques and issues - such as activity theory, capturing complexity, probing understanding and issues in interviewing - have been  discussed in a lively, informal setting. It is expected that academic researchers and post graduate research students will gain from the symposium. The emphasis will be on the methodologies employed for conducting research. Presentations at the symposium will be organised into four sessions designed to promote focussed discussion of methodological issues related to mathematics, science, health and environmental education. Each session will consist of a number of brief presentations, followed by an opportunity for extended discussion. There will again be two keynote addresses this year exploring different methodological issues - the first will be given by Professor Marilyn Fleer and the second by Professor Kaye Stacey.

The closing date for expressions of interest for presentations is Friday 27 September 2002. Please phone Anusha Weerasinghe on (03) 9244 6369 or email if you would like more details or a copy of the symposium brochure.

EDUCATION AND SOCIAL ACTION CONFERENCE  2002 - 11-13 December 2002 at the Centre for Popular Education, city campus of University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

*  Democracy and Community
*  School  - Community Building
*  Facilitating Change for Healthy Environments
*  Celebrations for Change and Development
*  Popular Education and Advocacy: Refugees and Asylum Seekers
*  Arts and Social Change
*  Community Leadership

THE 'EDUCATION AND SOCIAL ACTION' CONFERENCE building on the tradition of previous conferences organised by the Centre for Popular Education will:
*  bring people engaged in different fields of social action and education together
*  be a forum where activists, workers, policy makers, artists and scholars alike are encouraged to participate
*  encourage research and enquiry to promote practice that helps people analyse and address social injustices
*  have workshops that are sufficiently long to have decent discussions or engage in hands on activities
*  have plenty of music, theatre and dance; but more importantly there will be some opportunities for collaborative art-practice.

Direct enquiries, to: Centre for Popular Education, UTS
PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007

Tel. 02-9514 3843 Fax: 02-9514 3030 E-mail:

ICASE 2003: World conference on science and technology education. "Increasing the relevance of science and technology education for all in the 21st century". 7-10 April 2003, Penang, Malaysia.

The conference aims to bring together science educators, industry representatives and national teams from over one hundred countries 

  • to share and discuss current developments and issues
  • to identify important policy and research directions
  • to strengthen international cooperation
  • to set an agenda for world science and technology education.

Contact: ICASE 2003, SEAMEO RECSAM, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +60-4-658 3266/7, Fax: +60-4-657 2541, E-mail:


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

October 2002

16-17 October 2002: Birabahn Cultural Festival Conference - "Education and Cultures: Time to Listen".  Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies, University of Newcastle.

November 2002

18-21 November 2002: Globalization and Localization Enmeshed: Searching for a Balance in Education, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. For the detail of the Conference, please visit the Conference website at or contact the organizer of E-mail: <>

27 - 29 November 2002: 4th Indigenous Researchers' Forum will be hosted by Curtin University of Technology, The University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University and will be held at Curtin University. For further information contact Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Ph 08 9266 2120; Fax: 08 9266 2888; Email <> or <>

December 2002

1-5 December 2002:  Australian Association for Research in Education, 2002 Education Research Conference, Brisbane, Queensland  (

2-5 December 2002: Remaking Asia Pacific Studies: Knowledge, Power, and Pedagogy - School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa  (, e-mail

6-8 December 2002 :  Internationalizing Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Critical Reflections, Critical Times  - University of New England, Armidale NSW (,  E-mail:

9-10 December 2002: Contemporary approaches to research in mathematics, science, health and environmental education, Centre for Studies in Mathematics, Science and Environmental Education, Melbourne Campus, Deakin University. Please phone Anusha Weerasinghe on (03) 9244 6369 or email if you would like more details or a copy of the symposium brochure.

11-13 December 2002: EDUCATION AND SOCIAL ACTION CONFERENCE  2002 -  at the Centre for Popular Education, city campus of University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Tel. 02-9514 3843 Fax: 02-9514 3030 E-mail:

January 2003

5-8 January 2003: International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI 2003) Sydney, Australia.

April 2003

7-10 April: ICASE 2003: World conference on science and technology education. "Increasing the relevance of science and technology education for all in the 21st century". Penang, Malaysia. (

July 2003

July 2003: CONASTA 52 - Australian Science Teacher's Association (ASTA) National Conference, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

July 2002: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 34th Annual Conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria

30 July - 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 (

July 2004

July 2004: CONASTA 53 - Australian Science Teacher's Association (ASTA) National Conference, Canberra ACT

July 2004: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 35th Annual Conference, University of New England, Armidale NSW

Sometime 2005 - World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Aotearoa New Zealand

A list of conferences is also maintained by the University of South Australia's Indigenous Online Network, at
ION Updates are released fortnightly and are forwarded to members of this Network. If you wish to receive these Updates directly or you know of other people who would like to receive them, please ask them to send a message to asking that they be included on the distribution lists. 
Anyone with information or resources they would like added to the site can email from the website or to the general ION email address.

Last updated: 1 October 2002

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