The Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals


Date & Time: May 29 (Tue), 2012 16:30- 17:30

Venue: Tonan-tei (Room No. 201), Inamori Foundation Memorial Bldg.,CSEAS, Kyoto University

Moderator: Prof. Yoko Hayami (CSEAS, Kyoto University)

By Vicente C. Handa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Science Education,
West Visayas State University, Philippines

Indigenization and Hybridization of Science Curriculum: Models of Culturally Relevant Science Education in the Philippines and Thailand

Section 1:
In this paper, I will build my discussion around indigenous knowledge and its parity with various ways of knowing nature including traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous ways of living in nature, a Japanese way of knowing seigo-shizen, and Eurocentric sciences. I will situate my discussion in Philippine postcolonial realities, where categorical boundaries are blurred, and any attempt to create culturally relevant preservice science teacher preparation will create confusions and tensions between/among/within abovementioned discourses. The Philippines is a highly colonized country—physically, for more than 300 hundred years, and mentally, after our colonizers have long gone. The marks of colonization are still present in our consciousness, in our current local knowledge and in our ways of living with nature. In the attempt to create a “third space” for culturally relevant science teacher preparation, tensions are highlighted and categorical boundaries are troubled. Where is science? Which one is indigenous/traditional ecological knowledge? Which one is Filipino? Which one is foreign? Which one is ours? Which one is borrowed? These tensions and insights are highlighted through analysis of narratives drawn from interviews with and written outputs of prospective science teachers, as they attempted to make sense of the local knowledge of residents of a rural coastal village in the Philippines during Community Immersion, a community-centered, early-field experience in science teacher preparation.

Section 2:
Culture often mediates knowledge production in a particular country. In Thailand, where Western scientific knowledge stands side by side with local wisdom, how does science education negotiate these two different and often times conflicting pathways of knowledge production and create hybrid spaces in order to expand the boundary of official science? Drawn from multi-site ethnographic studies in schools—in basic education and preservice science teacher preparation—and in local villages, I will discuss the epistemological basis of Thai local wisdom and Western science and discuss how hybrid spaces are created in schools to accommodate local wisdom in science instruction. Furthermore, I will present models of culturally relevant science education in Thailand, both from the macro- and micro-perspective, and discuss how these might inform science education in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.

Brief Introduction of Vicente C. Handa
Dr. Vicente C. Handa is an associate professor of science education and qualitative research in the Division of Science Education at the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Philippines. Dr. Handa finished his Ph. D. in Science Education degree from the University of Georgia as a Fulbright scholar from the Philippines. His research interests center around the socio-cultural dimension of science education, particularly on the use of place-based, community-centered, and culturally relevant pedagogies in the preparation of prospective science teachers. A fellow of the Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals, his research attempts to understand the indigenization and hybridization of science curriculum both in Thailand and Japan.