Pedagogical principles in negotiating cultural conflict: a Melanesian example

Waldrip, Bruce and Timothy, Joe and Wilikai, Wilson (2007) Pedagogical principles in negotiating cultural conflict: a Melanesian example. International Journal of Science Education, 29 (1). pp. 101-122. ISSN 0950-0693


This paper draws on the personal experiences of three researchers: an “outsider” (or western oriented) science teacher, a science teacher educator who has lived in Melanesian countries for almost a decade, and a national researcher who was born and educated in Melanesia. During a recent interpretative research study of the problematic relationship between the traditional world-views of Melanesian villagers and the official school science views of young Melanesian people, Bruce became increasingly aware of the importance of conducting culture-sensitive interpretative research. Bruce and Joe describe three people with different experiences and approaches to education. Mindful of the important role of the outside teacher researchers in providing essential information for the local contextualisation of school science curricula, we propose a number of culture-sensitive practices when working in Melanesian cross-cultural contexts.

Karsoon: I like Melanesian ways. I wanted to learn Western ways and so when mission came, I went to school [so that I could] learn their ways. I thought I would learn new ways. I use school ways no more.

Karsoon: The white man didn’t want us to learn about his ways but only about his religion. (Waldrip & Taylor, 1999a)
I’ve studied overseas where I came across Papua New Guineans suffering from the “dry coconut syndrome”—brown on the outside, but white on the inside. These are the people who suddenly forget their own ways because they are living in another country. (Pamba, 1999)

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting Author's version which may be deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2008 04:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 21:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: science; pedagogy; Melanesia; research; principles
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200210 Pacific Cultural Studies
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220107 Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)
Fields of Research (2020): 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4513 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history > 451399 Pacific Peoples culture, language and history not elsewhere classified
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5001 Applied ethics > 500107 Professional ethics
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