Fwd: Conference in Noumea - March 2011
thien at UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Sat Apr 3 10:55:20 UTC 2010
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From: Salaun Marie <marie.salaun at paris5.sorbonne.fr>
Date: 3 April 2010 00:22
Subject: Conference in Noumea - March 2011
On behalf of my colleagues Eddy Wadrawane and Pierre Clanche...
THE TRANSMISSION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AND
AT SCHOOL IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
NOUMEA, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
ORGANISED BY THE PACIFIC TEACHERS’ TRAINING INSTITUTE, THE NEW CALEDONIAN
THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW CALEDONIA,
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE VICTOR SEGALEN UNIVERSITY BORDEAUX 2
(JULY, 4-8, 2011)
Leaders in the fields of education and politics, researchers and teachers from
the countries of the South Pacific who have lived for a long time under Western
colonial rule, share a certain realization and a certain worry which, in a way,
- Statement of the failure of strictly Western models of formal education: the
schools which follow those patterns have in a recent past led to the formation
of small local elites, but they have shown ineffictual and unfair face to
school massification and the increase of the skills and abilities required to
gain access to positions acceptable for the greatest number.
- Necessity of taking into account the local cultural specificities, the
indigenous knowledge and how they fit in the curriculum.
remarks first concerning these shared characteristics:
- Regarding the cultural heritage and more generally the local knowledge and
know-how, policies have first emphasized their preservation and valorisation,
and have more recently concerned with their diffusion through schools.
In the confrontation between local knowledge – often described as beliefs – and
daily behaviour on the one hand, and taught academic knowledge and expected
behaviour at school on the other, the issues of school anthropologists more
often emphasize disagreements and contradictions than complementarities and
possible pedagogic resources.
The issue of the co-building of knowledge with the local communities is too
often eluded, owing to a lack of models liable to integrate autochthonous
epistemologies in a wider process of “decolonisation of research.”
II - Problematic
>From this perspective, it is relevant to examine the relationship between
indigenous knowledge and teaching. Indigenous knowledge part of which is now
gathered and known as ethnosciences, has long been despised because it dit not
fit the allegedly universal standards of Western science. One might be tempted
to see a priori legitimation of whatever adaptations of programmes in the trend
about ethnosciences. Such infatuation is rather risky if precise political and
didactic analysis is not conducted.
Political point of view: Once the worth of some indigenous knowledge has been
aknowledged, it behoves politicians to decide whether some of it must be part
of school curriculum, owing to its interest or its necessity. That is why the
comparison of, national and local educational policies, will be a major
objective of the congress.
Didactic analysis: The ways indigenous knowledge is transmitted are closely
linked to the context of their happening. It would be absurd and dangerous to
import them directly into schooling. i. Absurd because school institutionally
makes the difference between the knowledge to be taught – the content of
educational programs – and the manner in which it is taught – the pedagogic
activity proper to “school form”. To make an exception to this distinction in
the case of traditional knowledge would be prejudicial both to the dignity of
the knowledge and the functioning of the institution ii. Dangerous, because
triviality of this knowledge, considered as simple entertaining complements,
even profitable ones, may lose all worth in the long run. It is a well-known
fact that some cultures die of all sorts of ethnic business.
Nouméa congress aims to contribute to the clearing out of these questions by
emphasizing the questions of transmission and diffusion:
- Examining through confrontation the processes of transmission and some
scientific and technical knowledge in ordinary daily-live situations.
- Setting up a balance of the broadcasting modes (didactisation) of some
indigenous scientific and technical knowledge in schools, and of the conditions
for integrating it into academic curricula.
- Examining the opportunities of facilitating the access to indigenous
scientific and technical knowledge with the help of concepts drawn from Oceanic
languages gradually taught in the school curriculum.
- Examining what extent specific apprenticeship modes of this indigenous
knowledge can be partially transferred to academic knowledge proper, and favor
the acquisition of the latter.
- Seeking a way to encourage experienced teachers to think about the ways of
disseminating knowledge proper to their own culture so as to better work with
it in a classroom situation.
Comparing the current policies for teacher training with respect to these
questions in the different countries of the South Pacific.
According to the standard scientific practice, papers offered will be submitted
to a international readers panel. The personal implication of the contributors
regarding the raised questions will be taken into account as much as their
The talks will be liable to deal with: empiric data, historical surveys,
comparatist surveys, innovating practices, critical survey of didactic
transpositions, anthropologist and/or didactic analysis of sequences,
storytelling of personal experiences, epistemologist debates, curriculum
reforms, policies of training. The languages spoken will be French and English.
Diversity in modes of presentation will be encouraged. To avoid monotony and
encourage interactions, each talk will first be trusted with one discussant
whose task will be to read it closely so as to facilitate discussion by
indicating to the author the main thrust of the text, its intentions,
implications and even contradictions.
Your name, contact informations, a provisional title and a short description of
your prospective paper are to be sent to
pierre.Clanche at sc-educ.u-bordeaux2.fr
pierre.chaillan at univ-nc.nc
Eddy Wadrawane and the organisational committee
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