Skip to main content

Ethnoscience

  • Reference work entry
  • First Online:
Encyclopedia of Science Education

Ethnoscience is a one-word conundrum, since its two parts – “ethno” and “science” – are in tension, if not outright opposition. Science is culture-free by definition: science claims to be universal knowledge, which applies equally everywhere. The prefix “ethno” has the meaning of “cultural,” so the word “ethnoscience” literally means “cultural science.” This notion of “cultural science” flouts the criteria of science and is denied by most working scientists.

Ethnoscience is a more technical form of two-word terms such as Indigenous knowledge, Native science, and many versions such as “African science,” “Maori science,” etc. This notion has been influential in education, where programs of reform in a number of countries have been based on incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the school science curriculum (Aikenhead and Michell 2011).

The concept of ethnoscience has two complementary parts: one, recognition of the basis in science of relevant parts of traditional cultural narratives...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 599.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 549.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Aikenhead G (2008) Objectivity: the opiate of the academic? Cult Stud Sci Educ 3(3):581–585. doi:10.1007/s11422-008-9126-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aikenhead G, Michell H (2011) Bridging cultures: indigenous and scientific ways of knowing nature. Pearson Education, Don Mills

    Google Scholar 

  • Benson GD (1989) The misrepresentation of science by philosophers and teachers of science. Synthese 80:107–119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boyd RN (2001) Reference, (in)commensurability and meanings: some (perhaps) unanticipated complexities. In: Hoyningen-Huene P, Sankey H (eds) Incommensurability and related matters. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 1–63

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Charlesworth M (1982) Science, non-science & pseudo-science. Deakin University Press, Burwood

    Google Scholar 

  • Dickison M (1994) Māori science? Can traditional Māori knowledge be considered scientific? N Z Sci Mon 5(4):6–7

    Google Scholar 

  • Hodson D (1999) Critical multiculturalism in science and technology education. In: May S (ed) Critical multiculturalism: rethinking multicultural and antiracist education. Falmer Press, London, pp 216–244

    Google Scholar 

  • McKinley E (2001) Cultural diversity: masking power with innocence. Sci Educ 85(1):74–76

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Georgina M. Stewart .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this entry

Cite this entry

Stewart, G.M. (2015). Ethnoscience. In: Gunstone, R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2150-0_362

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2150-0_362

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-007-2149-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-2150-0

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Publish with us

Policies and ethics