Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 751–779 | Cite as

Valuing indigenous knowledge: to call it “science” will not help

  • Charbel Niño El-Hani
  • Fábio Pedro Souza de Ferreira Bandeira


In this commentary on Brayboy and Castagno’s paper, published in this volume, we discuss, on the one hand, many points of agreement between their proposal of culturally responsive schooling for indigenous youth and El-Hani and Mortimer’s proposal of culturally-sensitive science education. On the other hand, we focus on a key disagreement, not only with Brayboy and Castagno, but with a whole body of literature on multicultural, postcolonialist, postmodernist education. The main point of disagreement lies in the fact that we are not sure that to broaden the concept of science so as to talk about “native science” or “indigenous science” is indeed the best strategy to attain a goal that we wholeheartedly share with Brayboy and Castagno, to value other ways of knowing for their own sake, validity, and legitimacy.


Multiculturalism Science education Indigenous knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charbel Niño El-Hani
    • 1
  • Fábio Pedro Souza de Ferreira Bandeira
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversidade Estadual de Feira de SantanaFeira de SantanaBrazil

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