This blog has been created as a forum for examining recent developments in Science education. We are graduate students at the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Development of the Sciences

According to Glen S. Aikenhead (2005) in his book entitled, "Science Education for Everyday Life," the history of today's Western science curriculum is grounded in the historical processes and cultural conventions that have evolved since the 19th century. 

In ancient science cultures (i.e., Babylonia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Islam), the term "science" was defined as the systematic knowledge of nature. During the Paleolithic and Neolithic times, indigenous science explained the phenomena of nature. 

Neolithic Cultures

Approximately 10,000 years ago in Asia Minor, the agricultural revolution began and, as a result, two cultures developed - Takers and Leavers - terms coined by Quinn (1992).

1) Takers
  • Cultural stories place humans above nature in hierarchical importance
  • Takers take from nature as the world is a human life-support system designed to sustain human life
  • Communicate their culture-based stories in written tradition
  • e.g., Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek cultures
2) Leavers
  • Cultural stories tend to place humans equal to or below nature in hierarchical importance
  • Leavers leave nature or give back to nature in a way that disturbs nature as little as possible
  • Harmony with nature will sustain human life
  • Communicate their culture-based stories by teaching their youth in oral tradition emphasizing the value of harmony with nature (focusing on survival sense)
  • Influenced 21st-century indigenous sciences and Western science
  • e.g., Native Americans, First Nations of Canada, Indian nations of South America, the Saami of Europe
Asia Minor (aka Anatolia)

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