Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 1009–1026 | Cite as

TEK talk: so what? Language and the decolonization of narrative gatekeepers of science education curriculum

  • Giuliano ReisEmail author
  • Nicholas Ng-A-Fook


We provide a response to Michiel van Eijck and Wolff-Michael Roth’s article and Michael Mueller and Deborah Tippins’ rejoinder. As we adhere to the conversation, we hope to bring new insights on the matter of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and/in science education. As the title suggests, we divided the present commentary in two distinct but interconnected sections. The first section (Giuliano) deals with the limitations imposed by language in dealing with a possible amalgamation of TEK into the traditional school science curriculum and the threat that such a move would represent to the value of keeping them distinct from one another. The second section (Nicholas) touches on the unseen (or ignored?) perils of neglecting indigenous voices in the debate—which, in itself, corresponds to yet another limiting factor inherent to this forum. Also, the second section reports on a professional experience with B.Ed. students that speaks to the practical implications of the current discussion. Combined, the two sections seek to uncover the potential significance of the TEK-WMS discussion to different education actors beyond the non-aboriginal scholarly world.


Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) Western modern science (WMS) Science curriculum Indigenousness Colonial frontier logics Post-colonial theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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