Rural Basotho preservice students’ cultural and indigenous experiences of astronomy (ethnoastronomy) and implications for science education
This paper is a case study of rural Basotho preservice students’ cultural and indigenous experiences of astronomy (ethnoastronomy) explored through focus group interviews conducted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The study uses a Vygotskian social-cultural lens in viewing how the different ways that astronomical phenomena, namely, events linked to the moon, sun, stars and season are woven into students’ cultural and indigenous beliefs arising from their daily practices. The data obtained is qualitatively analysed using the phenomenographic research approach-a perspective based on different ways of experiencing phenomena. This study reveals that Basotho rural students have experiences that are embedded in meaningful contact with their natural surroundings and through social interactions with their peers and elders, ethnoastronomical knowledge is shared and transmitted. Their experiences of ethnoastronomy are holistic and are linked and integrated with their daily practices of agriculture, religion and community way of life. The data in this study support the view that rural Basotho students have enhanced observational skills and authentic astronomical experiences that they can share with students at university. This paper has implications for the inclusion of ethnoastronomy in science education.
Govender, N. (2009). Rural Basotho preservice students’ cultural and indigenous experiences of astronomy (ethnoastronomy) and implications for science education. Education as Change, 13(1), 117–134. https://doi.org/10.1080/16823200902941340