Science Teachers’ Cultural Beliefs and Diversities: A Sociocultural Perspective to Science Education

  • Nasser MansourEmail author
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 8)


Research supports the idea that teachers are crucial change agents for educational reform and that teachers’ beliefs are precursors to change. A growing body of research argues that teachers’ beliefs and practices should be studied within the sociocultural framework of their work thereby showing that the relationship between their beliefs and practices is both complex and context dependent. Clearly, there is a need for further research in this area, especially in understudied contexts such as developing countries, in order to promote effective science education in schools and the professional development of teachers. I argue that if this ‘black box’ of cultural influences on reform implementation is better understood, it may be possible to identify specific aspects of the social and cultural context of educational organisations that act as supports or barriers to pedagogical reform or implementing innovations in science curricula. This chapter is grounded in empirical research and would enable evaluators to properly contextualise their findings and track cultural phenomena as both mediating and outcome variables. The key question for this chapter is to what extent teachers’ cultural beliefs, e.g. religious beliefs, have an impact on their pedagogical beliefs and practices in the classroom? The chapter will introduce the sociocultural perspective to science education, and then will argue theoretically the interplay between cultural beliefs and pedagogical beliefs. Finally, the chapter will present empirical case study to explore in-depth the interplay between teachers’ personal religious beliefs (as a case for their cultural beliefs) and pedagogical beliefs and practices. The chapter will discuss the findings of this case study from sociocultural perspective.


Science Education Science Teacher Cultural Belief Religious Experience Sociocultural Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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