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Nahua Middle School Students' Experiences Learning Science as Border Crossing

Sat, April 18, 2:45 to 4:15pm, Hyatt, Floor: East Tower - Purple Level, Riverside West


This paper analyzes the experiences of Mexican Nahua 7th grade students’ when border crossing between Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Western Science Knowledge (WSK), supported by a contextualized science curriculum. An ethnographic approach was used to understand these experiences during the twelve weeks of enactment in a Nahua school, located in the highlands of Veracruz, Mexico. Evidence is presented that supporting students in taking multiple perspectives to analyze natural phenomena in the science class facilitates border crossing, leading to significant learning gains and supporting the idea that students’ TK does belong in the science classroom. A border crossing approach to science learning has the potential to support indigenous students to master complex science concepts, while developing pride in their ethnic identities.