Philip Dorsah, Mary Okyer


According to Maddock (1981) "science and science education are cultural enterprises which form a part of the wider cultural matrix of society and that educational considerations concerning science must be made in the light of this wider perspective" (p. 10). The purpose of this study was to find out how cultural factors and beliefs affect the teaching and learning of some science concepts. The study focused on how students’ religious and cultural beliefs and their backgrounds affect their understanding of phenomena such as rainfall, earthquake, thunder, floods, eclipse and lightening. Individual interviews were used to obtain students views and opinions. Students’ views and their understandings of rain formation, lightning, thunder, earthquake, drought and how floods occur are influenced by their religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Students made reference to beliefs such as taboos, belief in gods, and supernatural powers. Although students were able to explain correctly how some natural phenomena occur, they held certain conceptions and views that are not scientifically accurate. These possibly were transmitted from their cultural backgrounds into the science classroom. Students also held misconceptions about particular natural phenomena. These cultural beliefs and taboos interfere with science teaching and learning and thus make the learning of science a difficult task for students.


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