Both-Ways science education: Place and context

Joel Rioux, Gregory Smith

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    This paper presents a Both-Ways place-based science education initiative, which situates Indigenous and western science knowledge traditions together as official curriculum knowledge, within a Bachelor of Education science education unit. This program is delivered in-situ to preservice teachers who work as Aboriginal Teaching Assistants in school classrooms. The program, known as Growing Our Own, is established in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT). This initiative has engaged Indigenous preservice teachers in border-crossing pedagogical practices as a way to recognise the legitimate use of the Indigenous concepts of place. It has also contextualised the teaching of school science as described in the Australian curriculum. This Both-Ways approach privileges the voices and knowledge of local Indigenous peoples and creates a bridge to the curriculum of science in a place- based contextually relevant methodological manner. Such modifications realise a meaningful cultural and place contextualization, which values and enables border-crossing between local Indigenous science knowledge, language and western science. The paper presents pedagogical discourses of place-based and contextual approaches in five NT Indigenous communities to demonstrate how the teaching of science has been reconceptualised. The authors and the preservice teachers use Indigenous perspectives intertwined with the science of the Australian curriculum. Such approaches have provided meaningful border-crossing opportunities for preservice teachers in the Growing Our Own program.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-105
    Number of pages16
    JournalLearning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts
    Issue number25
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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