Shamanism and Science: Curriculum as reciprocal and transformative

Archer, Arlene
July 2010
Education as Change;Jul2010, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
This paper examines how students' resources can be drawn on in curriculum design in tertiary education to develop a pedagogy of diversity. It asks what kinds of resources are privileged through existing academic practices, and how certain traditionally unused resources can be included in teaching, learning and meaning-making. With reference to a case study in engineering in South Africa, an argument is made for a 'reciprocal curriculum', an exchange of cultural practices and not just bridges to established norms. In this conception of curriculum, students' practices and resources can be utilised, whilst the discourses and knowledge of the discipline can also be made accessible. The parameters of 'science' and scientific discourse are explored by analysing students' texts from a multimodal social semiotic perspective. The paper ends by proposing that students' resources be harnessed through using metalanguages to describe and reflect on their own practices as well as on academic practices, and the need to create less regulated spaces in the curriculum in order to enable this reflection.


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