, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 693-703

Rethinking argumentation-teaching strategies and indigenous knowledge in South African science classrooms

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Abstract

Our response to Hewson and Ogunniyi’s paper focuses, on the one hand, on some of the underlying tensions associated with alinging indigenous knowledge systems with westernized science in South African science classrooms, as suggested by the new, post-apartheid, curriculum. On the other hand, the use of argumentation as a vehicle to accomplish the alignment when the jury is still out on the appropriateness of argumentation as a pedagogical and research tool heightens the tension. We argue that the need for education stakeholders from indigenous heritages to value, know and document their own indigenous knowledge becomes paramount. The textualizing of indigenous knowledge, as has been done in western science, will create repositories for teachers to access and may help with the argumentation strategies such as advocated by the authors.

This review essay addresses issues raised in Mariana G. Hewson and Meshach B. Ogunniyi’s paper entitled: Argumentation-teaching as a method to introduce indigenous knowledge into science classrooms: opportunities and challenges. Cultural Studies of Science Education. doi:10.1007/s11422-010-9303-5.