INTEGRATING WESTERN AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS: THE BASIS FOR EFFECTIVE SCIENCE EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA?
– This article responds to a call for rethinking the science that we teach to school learners in South Africa. Much of the debate on the nature of science and science learning is reflected in a body of literature which analyses the tensions between disparate perspectives on science education. Post-colonialists, feminists, multiculturalists, sociologists of scientific knowledge and those who refer to themselves as indigenous researchers argue that science is not universal but locally and culturally produced. Universalists on the other hand, argue that modern Western science is superior to indigenous perspectives on the natural world because of the formers advanced predictive and explanatory powers. The fact that indigenous knowledge has been included in South Africas recently developed National Curriculum Statements invites a fresh look at the kind of science that is taught to South African school learners. In this article the author argues for a (dis)position that moves the debate beyond the binary of Western science/indigenous knowledge. Ways in which Western science and indigenous knowledge might be integrated are explored.