Cultural Memory Banking in Preservice Science Teacher Education
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- Handa, V.C. & Tippins, D.J. Res Sci Educ (2012) 42: 1201. doi:10.1007/s11165-011-9241-6
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This study focused on the exemplification of cultural memory banking as an ethnographic tool to understand cultural practices relevant to science teaching and learning in a rural coastal village in a central island of the Philippine archipelago. Using the collaborative action ethnography as a research methodology, 10 prospective science teachers and a science teacher educator/doctoral candidate formed a research team and documented community funds of knowledge relevant to science teaching and learning through their participation in a Community Immersion course. The study employed the use of the cultural memory banking as a meditational tool to analyze, make sense of, and represent interview, focus-group discussion, and observation data, among others, for the development of culturally relevant science lessons. Originally used as an anthropological tool to preserve cultural knowledge associated with the cultivation of indigenous plant varieties, the cultural memory banking, as adapted in science education, was used, both as a data collection and analytic tool, to locate relevant science at the intersection of community life. The research team developed a cultural memory bank exemplar, “Ginamos: The Stinky Smell that Sells,” to highlight the learning experiences and meaning-making process of those involved in its development. Dilemmas and insights on the development and use of cultural memory banking were discussed with respect to issues of knowledge mining and mainstreaming of indigenous/local funds of knowledge, troubling the privileged position of Western-inspired nature of science.