The term 'worldview' refers to the lens or framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets and interacts with the world. Students’ worldviews are diverse and reflect their cultural backgrounds and experiences. While curriculum documents outline content and outcomes for students, it is teachers who develop learning experiences that cater to the diversity of their students.
Students’ culture, family background and life experiences contribute to their ability to make meaning and sense of the world they live in. This is sometimes referred to as their ‘common-sense culture’1
in science education research and may influence their pre-existing ideas about science concepts. Students may experience discomfort, even anxiety if their ‘common-sense culture’ is at odds with the ideas presented in the contemporary ‘world of school science'2.
Teachers’ development of inclusive curricula and pedagogical practice will support students’ ability to cope with disparate worldviews by scaffolding ‘border crossings from their life-world culture to the culture of science'3. Teachers of science as ‘culture brokers'4 are crucial in guiding students back and forth across these borders in the classroom.
- Ogawa, M. (1995) Science education in a multi-science perspectives.Science Education, 79:583-93.
- Aikenhead G. (2000). Renegotiating the culture of school science. In R. Millar,
J.Leach & J.Osborne (Eds), Improving science education: The contribution of research.
Open University Press, UK.
- Aikenhead G. (2001). Students’ ease in crossing cultural borders into school science.
Science Education 85.
- Jegede O.J. and Aikenhead G.S. (1999). Transcending cultural borders: implications for science teaching. Research in Science and Technology Education 17
See http://www.ouhk.edu.hk/cridal/misc/narst99.htm for a selection of articles from well established scholars in the field of Culture Studies in Science Education.