Cultural Identity In Education

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For generations, the oversimplified scientific method has been taught in schools as the way scientists do science, and thus, science is commonly thought of as a systematic progression of steps lacking any creativity or imagination. However, the process of science is complicated, unpredictable, and exhilarating. Developing scientific knowledge through inferences and theories requires substantial amounts of creativity from scientists. In fact, creativity pervades an entire scientific investigation, from generating a question to creating a research design to analyzing data. Barron and Harrington (1981) revealed how a person's creativity relates to her/his intelligence and personality. They defined creativity as "socially recognized achievement…show more content…
Some students lose interest in science because they have not been exposed to the creative and imaginative nature of science. Through the support of policymakers, science educators can help solve this problem by integrating scientific creativity into the curriculum. A goal of science education is to raise students who create, invent, discover, and solve; therefore, we must be compelled to accurately teach science as an inspiring and creative…show more content…
All students will not choose advanced studies or careers in science. However, they will become "consumers of science, or critics of science" (Carlone et al, 2008). Therefore, in order to develop students into scientifically literate citizens, science educators must take students' cultural identities into account when making instructional decisions. What exactly is cultural identity? In order to understand this important concept, it is beneficial to examine culture and identity separately. Defining culture is a complex task, as it is viewed differently among scholars. Sewell (1999), an anthropologist, defined culture as the inseparable conflict of practice with a system of symbols and meanings. He emphasized a culture's system of symbols being at risk, and therefore, subject to continual change. This ultimately led Sewell to the conclusion that cultures are weakly bounded, loosely integrated (when integrated, it's based on power structures), and filled with contradictions. Finally, he signaled the importance of the interaction of subordinates and dominants within a cultural group. "Struggle and resistance may paradoxically have the effect of simplifying and clarifying the cultural field" (Sewell, 1999, p.

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