Locality-based science education in sociocultural approach: ‘Scientific Exploration in Culture’ in the context of Korea
Recently there have been various approaches to highlight sociocultural aspects of science and education in context of research and educational practice. In spite of widespread awareness that sociocultural aspects should be reflected in teaching science, it is hard to practice appropriately in concrete situation of school science, which might be another problem comparing to theoretical exploration about how students learn in science class with sociocultural lens. In this study the authors introduce and discuss a practical approach in teaching science focused on sociocultural context of Korea, called ‘Scientific Exploration in Culture.’ It is like a field trip but deliberately focused on sociocultural aspects of science as well as scientific inquiry enacted at the place like historical heritages. For a decade this program has been spread among teachers as an alternative activity of field trip, special curriculum of school science, and informal science education program. Although there are several studies and much more feedback from practitioners on the topic of inquiry-based teaching and its effectiveness, there is relatively little academic discussion on connections to sociocultural theory. In this paper the authors provide more details of this program and discuss their work in terms of a locality-based science education with sociocultural lens.
Keywords: scientific exploration, sociocultural, locality, place, field trip, cultural context, informal science education