The boundaries between Caribbean beliefs and practices and conventional science



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Office of the UNESCO Representative in the Caribbean


This monograph presents a summary and analysis of the research in the Caribbean on cultural practices and beliefs and their possible impact/influence on science education, especially in schools. Section 1 provides information on the history and evolution of this research, while Section 2 provides a worldview analysis of traditional beliefs and practices. In Section 3, some of the implications of the research findings and recommendations are presented as they apply to the students, the teachers, and the school curriculum. Finally, some recommendations for future research are suggested. These include: 1) study, documentation, and categorization of the beliefs/sayings on an ongoing basis; 2) analysis of the similarities/differences/congruence between the traditional and scientific understandings/explanations/worldview as it pertains to the various content areas of the beliefs/sayings; 3) design of pedagogical strategies to allow students to understand and, therefore, be able to make choices between the two worldviews, which are both "blueprints" for life; 4) examination of possible teacher education procedures to facilitate the implementation of such pedagogical strategies; and 5) extrapolation of the findings in science-related sayings to research in other disciplines with the aim of obtaining a more holistic societal picture


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Customs and traditions, Science education, Caribbean


George, J. M., and Glasgow, J. L. (1999). The boundaries between Caribbean beliefs and practices and conventional science. Kingston, Jamaica: Office of the UNESCO Representative in the Caribbean.