Millennial science student teachers’ views on decolonisation and culturally responsive teaching

Decolonisation and culturally responsive teaching

  • Thelma De Jager Tshwane University of Technology


Globally the striving of decolonised education for the acknowledgement of a nation’s values, skills, beliefs and acquisition of knowledge is being debated. In science education, the integration of cultural values and beliefs into the science curriculum is often ignored, which contributes to students being unable to express their individual cultural views during interactive class discussions. The study therefore aimed to engage millennial science student teachers (n=120) of a South African university in an action research study to express their views on concepts such as “decolonisation” and “culturally responsive teaching”. The responses were categorised according to the themes of the Hernandez, Morales and Shroyer (2013) model, which included: content integration; facilitation of knowledge construction; prejudice reduction; social justice and academic achievement. The main findings indicated that a cross-cultural perspective should be used where a balance is created between Euro-American centric sciences and indigenous knowledge from diverse cultures, that students should be instructed in their mother tongue, and that content needs to be connected to familiar everyday life experiences. The findings further amplified the importance of technology-assisted methods, the application of various integrated learning methods in science education, and the inclusion in science curricula of the science role models of various cultures.