Indigenous and Western knowledges in science education: An ethnographic study of rural and urban secondary schools and classrooms in Kenya
O'Hern, Darren M.
MetadataShow full item record
In Kenya, indigenous knowledges related to the natural sciences are not considered in the formal science education of secondary students. Despite the prevalence of studies that examine indigenous knowledges in Kenyan school and community contexts, the perspectives of students and teachers concerning indigenous natural science knowledges and their function in the formal educational arena are remarkably absent from discussions of indigenous knowledges. How do Kenyan students and teachers view indigenous natural science knowledges and their role in formal educational formats and contexts? In this dissertation, I draw on ethnographic data collected in rural and urban public secondary schools in Kenya to explore the dichotomization of indigenous and Western science knowledges agriculture, biology, and geography classrooms. The dichotomization of these knowledges is well established in Kenya due to historical factors, state control of curricula and evaluation, and the politicization of indigenous knowledges and people. However, the research carried out for this dissertation in rural and urban secondary schools in Kenya also shows that this dichotomy is present in student and teacher voices as well. In order to move beyond the binary representations of these knowledges, I suggest the use of curricular and critical perspectives to (re)envision a more contextualized and relevant natural science education for all Kenyans.