Urban students' ideas about the "heated" body: Implications for science education



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School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine


This paper presents the results of an investigation into lower secondary urban students' traditional beliefs about, and practices in, health related matters. The students were between the ages of 11-15 years and attended a seven-year, single-sex school located in Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. The data were obtained through a written questionnaire, which was distributed to a class of 36 students, and semi-structured, focused interviews. The latter were conducted with a sample of 10 students, who gave at least 70 percent of the responses on the questionnaire in accordance with traditional practices and beliefs, and their parents. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse the data, and the dominant traditional category that emerged was the concept of the "heated" body. The students and their parents gave consequences of inappropriate management of the heated body, and strategies that are recommended for the management of the heated body. The implications of this prior knowledge for the development of lower secondary science curricula in Trinidad and Tobago are discussed


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Customs and traditions, Health, Science education, Secondary school students, Urban areas, Student attitudes, Scientific concepts, Trinidad and Tobago


Herbert, S. M. (1999). Urban students' ideas about the "heated" body: Implications for science education. Caribbean Curriculum, 7(1), 1-20.