Understanding The Socio-Historical Nature of Place

Background / Summary

People have developed layers of culture connected to specific places over time. The ways we come to know a place are varied, some of those ways are through evidence-based understandings that may be recorded in oral traditions, written almanacs or scientific data collections. Science education needs to consider questions such as what is considered evidence without dismissing different ways it may be stored in diverse cultural communities. In Hawai‘i we are fortunate that during the 1795–1893 Hawaiian Kingdom, text literacy in Hawaiian was achieved through universal education and continuous publication of newspapers, some hand-written, from 1834–1948. The archive of knowledge extending back into centuries preceding western contact in 1788 and extending into the mid-20th century supports language continuity, scholarly studies, and interdisciplinary curricular integration of past climate, cultural, environmental, and economic changes. Environmental science articles translated into English may be read at the Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation.

In any given place, not all people have the same connection or sense of place even if they are all living in that location. The way in which people are culturally situated may influence the histories they tell about a place, their sense of time in relation to a place, and the ways they have come to know things.

Questions for Reflection

Further Reading/Resources

Research Articles and Books

Businger, S., Nogelmeier, M. P., Chinn, P. W. U. & Schroeder, T. (2018). Hurricane with a History: Hawaiian Newspapers Illuminate an 1871 Storm. Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0333.1.

Chinn, P. W. U., Businger, S., Lance, K., Ellinwood, J. K., Stone, J. K., Spencer, L., McCoy, F. W., Nogelmeier, M. P., & Rowland, K. (2014). Kahua A'o—A Learning Foundation: Using Hawaiian Language Newspaper Articles for Earth Science Professional Development, Journal of Geoscience Education, 62, 217-226.

Gallay, E., Lupinacci, J., Sarmiento, C. S., Flanagan, C. A., & Lowenstein, E. (2016). Youth Environmental Stewardship and Activism for the Environmental Commons. Contemporary Youth Activism: Advancing Social Justice in the United States: Advancing Social Justice in the United States, 113.

Gruenewald, D. A. (2014). Place-based education: Grounding culturally responsive teaching in geographical diversity. In Place-based education in the global age (pp. 161-178). Routledge.

Haraway, D. (2003). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Turning points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief, 2003, 21-46.

Harding, S. (2016). Whose science? Whose knowledge?: Thinking from women's lives. Cornell University Press.

Lowenstein, E. (2010). Navigating teaching tensions for civic learning. Learning and Teaching, 3(1), 32-50.

Lowenstein, E., Martusewicz, R., & Voelker, L. (2010). Developing teachers' capacity for ecojustice education and community-based learning. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37(4), 99-118.

McInerney, P., Smyth, J., & Down, B. (2011). ‘Coming to a place near you?’The politics and possibilities of a critical pedagogy of place-based education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 3-16.

Sewell Jr, W. H. (1992). A theory of structure: Duality, agency, and transformation. American journal of sociology, 98(1), 1-29.

Smith, L. T., Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (Eds.). (2018). Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View. Routledge

Sobel, D. (2004). Place-based education: Connecting classroom and community. Nature and Listening, 4, 1-7.

Tuck, E., & McKenzie, M. (2014). Place in research: Theory, methodology, and methods. Routledge.

Vélez, V., & Solorzano, D. G. (2017). Critical race spatial analysis: Conceptualizing GIS as a tool for critical race research in education. Critical race spatial analysis: Mapping to understand and address educational inequity, 8-31.

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