An investigation and identification of indigenous science understandings among Zulu community elders and the impact of these understandings on the Zulu secondary school learners.
A lot of scholars have alluded to the existence of indigenous knowledge among community elders. The purpose of this study was to explore existence of indigenous science understandings among Zulu elders and determine the impact of these understandings on the indigenous secondary school learners. A group of elders and a group of learners from a selected rural community were interviewed on three phenomena pertaining to biology and physical science. Each phenomenon was chosen according to its relevance to the traditional African practices of the rural community studied. The data from both groups was analysed to determine understandings held by each group. Findings of this study revealed that elders held indigenous science understandings that had an impact on the indigenous secondary school learners. Elders transmit these understandings as views that I chose to call indigenous conceptions and duality explanation conceptions. As a result of the impact of elders' views and school science, learners on the other hand held three types of conceptions, namely, unchanged indigenous conceptions, hybridised conceptions and duality explanation conceptions. The recommendations I made are based on the findings that elders' indigenous knowledge has an impact on learners' science understandings. This then has implications to classroom practices and science education.