An Analysis of Language Use in Analogical Indigenous Knowledge Presented in Science Texts

M. Mukwambo, L. Ramasike, K. Ngcoza

Abstract


Analogy use in science teaching practices has occurred since the origin of science. Analogies are used in knowledge construction to create ways that enable learners to visualize abstract concepts in order to overcome misconstructions. The language of teaching and learning which a curriculum adopts has an influence on how analogies are presented. This makes the analogy used adopt the context of the cultural group whose language is favoured. This may pose a challenge in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) where many official languages are in use. This study aims to answer the main research question: To what extent do analogies from other cultural groups constrain and/or enable the teaching of science? To respond to the research question posed above, this study analysed how the concepts in electricity are presented using analogies in curriculum materials to promote effective teaching and learning of electricity. Document analysis, observations and interviews were used to collect and validate the data. The findings were: analogies in some curriculum materials provided a pedagogical style responsive to underprivileged groups and culturally contextualized the teaching of concepts in electricity. In addition, misconstructions of concepts from the text analogies were revealed. The study thus recommends that analogies presented as practical activities might be useful in science teaching and learning.

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