Traveling with and through your backpack: a personal reflection on the infrastructure of science education
Abstract In this paper I respond to Ajay Sharma's Portrait of a Science Teacher as a Bricoleur: A case study from India, by speaking to two aspects of the bricoleur: the subject and the discursive in relation to pedagogic perspective. I highlight that our subjectivity's are negotiated based on the desires of the similar and competing discourses we are exposed to, and the political powers they hold in society. As (science) teachers we modify our practices based upon our own internal arbitration's with discourses. I agree with Sharma that as teachers we are discursively produced, however, I suggest that what is missing in the discussion of his paper is the historically socially constructed nature of science or science education itself. I advocate that science education is not neutral, objective or unproblematic. Building on Gill and Levidow's (Antiracist science teaching, 1987) critique, it is precisely because we are socially constructed by the dominant hegemonic science education discourse that we rarely articulate the underlying political or economic priorities of science; science's appropriation of other cultural ways of knowing; the way science theory has been, or is used to justify the oppression of peoples for political gain; the central role science and technology play in the defensive, economic and political agendas of nations and multinational corporations who fund science; the historical, and contemporary role science plays in rationalizing an exploitative ideological perspective towards the more-than-human world and the natural environment; and finally, the alienating effect science has on students when used as a ranking and sorting mechanism by educational systems. Therefore, we need to do what Mr. Raghuvanshi could not imagine: we need to destabilize the foundations of science education by questioning inherent structural and ideological inequities.
Cultural Studies of Science Education