Science & Education

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 289–307

Epistemic Universalism and The Shortcomings of Curricular Multicultural Science Education

  • Sherry A. Southerland

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008676109903

Cite this article as:
Southerland, S.A. Science & Education (2000) 9: 289. doi:10.1023/A:1008676109903


This paper identifies both epistemic and political shortcomings in the portrayal of science found in curricular multicultural science education. It is argued that this approach denies the unique characteristics of western science as it ignores the particular strengths of other systems of thought. This epistemic weakness has the unexpected political effect of reaffirming scientism. Drawing on parallels from writing instruction, it is argued that curricular forms of multicultural science education operate to limit student agency and potential. Finally, an example of a pedagogical alternative that meets the needs of diverse student populations is discussed.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry A. Southerland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA