Teacher Education and Indigenous Epistemological Discourse in Integrated Science: The case of a College of Education in Zambia.
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The purpose of this research is to investigate to what extent the Primary Teacher Education Integrated Science course addresses indigenous / local knowledges in both content and actual teaching practices at a college of education in North-western Zambia. The study explores the experiences, perceptions and attitudes of lecturers and teacher students towards indigenous epistemology in science education. The challenges faced by educators in integrating indigenous knowledges in formal science classroom teaching have also been addressed. The data to the research was collected at a college of education after a realization of the important role that colleges of education play in the creation and re-creation of knowledge. Qualitative methodology has been used in this study and all the respondents in this study were drawn from a college of education. Cheong’s (2002) Theory of a tree, Freire’s (1970) Transformative Role of Education and Holmes and McLean’s (1989) Curriculum Dependency Theory inform the analysis of this study. The study reveals a gap between state theoretical education indigenization policies and practical integrated science education in the college of education. I argue that despite somewhat firm policy pronouncements on the need to incorporate indigenous knowledges in formal schooling, the integrated science course lacks significantly in indigenous content and is largely Western Knowledge dominated. The nexus between theory and practice and the practical is gray. Lack of Indigenous learning and teaching resources coupled with a highly bureaucratic and centralized curriculum and examination institutions, impact greatly on what is taught and how it is taught and is thus, seen as impacting negatively on localization. Teacher apathy and the lack of capacity and skill are but other challenges affecting the effective inclusion of indigenous knowledges. The research has proposed alternative measures to remedy Western knowledge hegemony and decolonize the Integrated Science curriculum.
Master i flerkulturell og internasjonal utdanning