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Discursive space(s) in science curriculum materials in Canada, Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand

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Abstract:

I examine how science curricula are complicit in maintaining the dominance of knowledge production by major powers, particularly the USA, through their efforts to tell the 'truth' about certain topics, and whether resistant counter-discourses are being mounted, especially in 'peripheral' states such as Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. I focus on one set of discourses within school textbooks, namely those about space science. My reading of selected textbooks indicates that students are presented with a limited and sanitized version of space science, with a heavy emphasis on US space-science achievements. Overall, attempts to counter this dominance occur through the inclusion of information about 'local' space-science achievements. Nevertheless, there is very little attempt to criticize, problematize or contextualize space science historically, socially and economically, with the result that the textbooks reproduce the discourses of space science promoted by organizations such as NASA.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220270110114081

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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