Science, Culture, Education, and Social–Ecological Systems: A Study of Transdisciplinary Literacies in Student Discourse During a Place-Based and Culture-Based Polynesian Voyaging Program

  • Pauline W. U. Chinn


As the world’s most isolated islands with the highest number of endangered species per square mile anywhere on earth (Bishop Museum 2003), Hawai’i provides a unique setting for exploring questions concerning science, technology, and society. For reasons ranging from issues of health, safety, and schedules to adoption of science curricula developed for national audiences to science teacher education, relatively little of the science students learn in school relates to Hawai’i or connects to students’ familiar environmental experiences and knowledge. Conventionally presented as a body of universal knowledge discovered through objective, impersonal, and culture-free experimentation, students perceive school science as largely unrelated to their places, practices, and personal knowledge.


Global Position System Reef Flat Science Teacher Education Cultural Discourse School Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author gratefully acknowledges the multiyear collaboration with Michelle Kapana-Baird and Project Ho‘olokahi students that allowed insight into the development of her culture- and place-based school project. Project Ho‘olokahi received support from an award to the Consortium for Hawai’i Ecological Engineering under the Native Hawaiian Education Act, U.S. Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum StudiesUniversity of Hawai’i at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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