Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Whose Names are in Science Textbooks? Justifying the Need for Critical Pedagogy in Tanzania Science Classrooms

Mjege Kinyota,, Patrick S. Kavenuke

Abstract

Textbooks are the most important teaching and learning resources in education in most developing countries, including Tanzania. However, researchers in education have tended to ignore critical issues related to textbooks. For example, while Africa, as a continent, has contributed a lot to the development of science and technology, it is unfortunate that African scientists and their achievements do not feature in science textbooks used in African schools. This paper seeks to explore critical aspects in science textbooks that are often taken for granted, such as names of scientists cited in those textbooks. Additionally, the question of what are the stereotypes and the hidden messages that students in developing countries learn when science textbooks are full of white male Western scientists’ names was considered pertinent for this study. We argue that such biased naming in science textbooks sends negative messages and stereotypes to students on what counts as legitimate science knowledge. We also argue that the messages, in turn, limit students’ creativity and affect their identities as science knowledge producers and owners. The situation may be worse for non-white female students from developing countries. We recommend that teachers should use critical pedagogy in science classrooms so that issues related to the nature of science and the historical development of scientific knowledge are critically questioned, analysed and discussed. Given the limited time due to the pressure of national examinations, we also recommend teachers to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to facilitate critical pedagogy. Lastly, we call for the integration of indigenous scientific knowledge in science curriculum in Tanzania.

Keywords

critical pedagogy, hidden curriculum, science textbooks, scientific knowledge, Tanzania

Full Text:

PDF

References

Akpan, C.O. 2011. The Method of African Science: A Philosophical Evaluation. American Journal of Social and Management Sciences, 2(1): 11–20.

Alexander, J. & R. Jarman. 2015. Prizing Children’s Science Information Books: The Text, Reading and the Reader. Literacy, 49(3): 123–132.

Alsubaie, M.A. 2015. Hidden Curriculum as One of Current Issue of Curriculum. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(33): 125–128.

Apple, M. 2004. The Hidden Curriculum and the Nature of Conflict. In M. Apple (ed.), Ideology and Curriculum (pp. 77–98). New York: Routledge.

Apple, M., W. Au & L. S. Gandin. 2009. Mapping Critical Education. In M. Apple, W. Au & L. S. Gandin (eds.), the Routledge International Handbook of Critical Education (pp. 3–20). New York: Routledge.

Apple, M. W. & W. Au. 2009. Politics, Theory, and Reality in Critical Pedagogy. In R. Cowen & A. Kazamias (eds.), International Handbook of Comparative Education (pp. 991–1007). Springer Netherlands.

Arnove, R.F. 1980. Comparative Edudcation and World Systems Analysis. Comparative Education Review, 24(1): 48–62.

Balboni, M. J., J., Bandini, C. Mitchell, Z. D. Epstein-Peterson, A. Amobi, J. Cahill, T. Balboni. 2015. Religion, Spirituality, and the Hidden Curriculum: Medical Student and Faculty Reflections. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 50(4): 507–515.

Bryce, N. 2011. Meeting the Reading Challenges of Science Textbooks in the Primary Grades. The Reading Teacher, 64(7): 474–485.

Clegg, S. 2008. Femininities/Masculinities and A Sense Self – Thinking Gendered Academic Identities and the Intellectual Self. Gender and Education. 20(3): 209–221.

Condon, B. B., C. Grimsley, T. Kelley & M. K. Nissen. 2014. End of Life and Beyond as Hidden Curriculum. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(1): 23–28.

Crotty, M. 1998. The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspectives in the Research Process. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

DeJong-Lambert, W. 2004. The Politics of Constructing Scientific Knowledge: Lysenkoism in Poland. In G. Steiner-Khamsi (ed.), The global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending (pp. 129–140). New York: Teacher College Press

Francis, B. 2000. The Gendered Subjects: Students’ Subject Preferences and Discussions of Gender and Subject Abilities. Oxford Review of Education, 26: 35–48.

Freire, P. 2005. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gadotti, M. & C. A. Torres. 2009. Paulo Freire : Education for Development, 40(6): 1255–1267.

Hale, S. 2012. Memory Work as Resistance : Eritrean and Sudanese Women in Conflict Zones. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 32(2): 429–436.

Hooks, B. 2010. Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, New York: Routledge.

Kellner, D. & J. Share. 2007. Critical Media Literacy Is Not An Option. Learning Inquiry, 1(1): 59–69.

Lacina, J. 2007. Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology: Designing and Exploring Webquests. Childhood Education, 83(4): 251–252.

Legewie, J. & T. A. Diprete. 2014. The High School Environment and the Gender Gap in Science and Engineering. Sociology of Education, 87(4): 259–280.

Marx, J. & F. Engels. 2006. The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas. In M. Durham & D. Kellner (eds.), Media and Cultural Studies (pp. 9–13). Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell.

Mason, L. E. 2015. Analyzing the Hidden Curriculum of Screen Media Advertising. The Social Studies, 106: 104–111.

Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC). 2005. Biology Syllabus for secondary Schools. Dar es Salaam: Ministry of Education and Culture.

Misiaszek, G. W. 2015. Ecopedagogy and Citizenship in the Age of Globalisation: Connections Between Environmental and Global Citizenship Education to Save the Planet. European Journal of Education, 50(3): 280-292.

Ogawa, M. 1995. Science Education in a Multiscience Perspective. Science Education, 79: 593– 593.

Pacho, T. 2013. Critical and Creative Education for the New Africa. Retrieved from http://www. researchgate.net/publication/280133902.

Paul, A. & F. Tilya. 2014. The 2005 Secondary School Reforms in Tanzania: Disjunction Between Policy and Practice in Its Implementation. Journal of Education and Practice, 5(35): 114–122.

Scherr, A. 2005. Social Subjectivity and Mutual Recognition as Basic Terms of a Critical Theory of Education. In G. Fischman, P. Mclaren, H. Sunker & C. Lankshear (eds.), Critical Theories, Radical Pedagogies and Global Conflicts (pp. 145-153). Lanham, MD: Rowman &Littlefield Publishers.

SCSU & Moevt-Zanzibar. 2012. Chemistry for Secondary School, Forms 1 & 2. Dar es Salaam, Oxford University Press Tanzania Ltd.

Settles, I. H., R. C. O’Connor & S. C. Y. Yap. 2016. Climate Perceptions and Identity Interference Among Undergraduate Women in STEM: The Protective Role of Gender Identity. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(4): 488–503.

Smith, D. E. 1987. a Peculiar Eclipsing: Women’s Exclusion From Man’s Culture. In D. Smith (ed.), The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology (pp. 17–43). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Snively, G. & J. Corsiglia. 2000. Discovering Indigeneous Science: Implicatios for Science Education. Science Education, 85(6): 6-34.

Spear, A. M. & R. B. Costa. 2018. Potential for Transformation ? Two Teacher Training Programs Examined Through a Critical Pedagogy Framework. Teaching and Teacher Education, 69: 202–209.

Sprague, J. 2010. Seeing Through Science: Epistemologies. In W. Luttrell (Ed.).Qualitative Educational Research: Readings in Reflexive Methodology and Transformative Practice, (pp. 78-94). New York: Routledge.

South Carolina State University & Ministry of Education (1st Ed.). 2008. Chemistry for Secondary Schools Form 3, Dar es Salaam, Ministry of Education.

Stets, J. E., P. S. Brenner, P. J. Burke & R. T. Serpe. 2017. The Science Identity and Entering a Science Occupation. Social Science Research, 64(1): 1–14.

Stromquist, N. P. 2002. Theorizing Globalization. In N. P. Stromquist (ed.), Education in a Globalized World: The Connectivity of Economic Power, Technology, and Knowledge (pp. 1-18): Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE). 1994. Physics for Secondary Schools Book Three. Dar es Salaam, Educational Publishers and Distributors.

Torres, C. A. 2002. Globalization, Education, and Citizenship: Solidarity Versus Markets? American Educational Research Journal, 39(2): 363-378.

Towse, P., D. Kent, F. Osaki & N. Kirua. 2002. Non-Graduate Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Some Factors Affecting Teacher Effectiveness in Tanzania, Teaching and Teacher Education, 18: 637–652.

Vavrus, F. & Bartlett, L. 2012. Comparative Pedagogies and Epistemological Diversity: Social and Materials Contexts of Teaching in Tanzania. Comparative Education Review, 56(4): 634–658.

Wang, M. & J. Degol. 2013. Motivational Pathways to STEM Career Choices : Using Expectancy-Value Perspective to Understand Individual and Gender Differences in STEM Fields. Developmental Review, 33(4): 304–340.

Zion, S., Allen, C. D. & Jean, C. 2015. Enacting a Critical Pedagogy, Influencing Teachers’ Sociopolitical Development. The Urban Review, 47: 914–933

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.