Science education in a Philippine village Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zk51vk54x

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  • Research was undertaken to describe the teaching and learning of science in a non-Western village with particular attention paid to cultural parameters. Cognitive elements in a Philippine (Tagalog) village and school were analyzed. The local language was studied for its capacity of transmitting scientific information. Verbal interaction in the science classes was analyzed. A frequent element of the teachers' behavior was questioning. Statistical analysis showed more emphasis on naming and describing than on other logical operations such as classifying and explaining. There were similar patterns of questioning in spite of grade and teacher differences. Evaluation of this behavior suggests there exist culturally significant instructional procedures in the village school. Teaching patterns express local expectations of schooling and conform to cultural attitudes about knowledge and learning. Logical operations were investigated to understand cultural influences on the development of cognitive skills. Village children were given Piagetian tasks and science process assessments adapted to the local culture. The children achieved more success in some tasks than in others. Results indicate there were cultural factors affecting the development of cognitive skills. Conclusions were drawn about the bond between culture and cognitive development. The local culture stressed some intellectual skills whose development was facilitated while others were ignored and poorly developed. Selected village belief systems were studied in terms relevant to science education. Information about the explanation and manipulation of natural phenomena, sources of knowledge, and verification procedures was obtained. Taxonomies of local marine fauna and creatures of lower mythology were constructed. Results showed consistencies and contradictions between what was taught in school and believed in the village. The variance between traditional and modern Western scientific world-views was discussed. Three principle components of the village world-view were the Western school-oriented, the empirical, and the traditional. The use of school beliefs indicated they could be adopted at the linguistic rather than at the conceptual level. The significance of empiricism suggested a cultural transition from a traditional to a new world-view. Folk beliefs demonstrated elements parallel to and unique from the structure of Western science. Science education appears to have a role in the transition from a traditional to a modern cultural orientation; and it must recognize and account for the importance of the local world-view.
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