Teaching life sciences while integrating teachers’ and learners’ cultural belief systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper reports a study, which explored teachers’ perceptions and experiences on integration of cultural belief systems when teaching life sciences. Beliefs have been found to influence teachers’ pedagogical practices and ultimately impact on learning and understanding of concepts. These beliefs can be classified as originating from one’s religion or one’s culture. Life sciences is a subject that deals with real life issues hence has topics that challenge or impact on one’s belief systems. In a qualitative case study research design, 20 experienced life sciences (biology) teachers were purposively selected for the study. Each teacher was interviewed, and data was subjected to content analysis. Findings showed that though teachers strive to suppress their own belief systems in the classrooms, both teachers’ and learners’ beliefs need to be integrated when teaching certain topics. The practice enhances development of critical thinking skills and ultimately learner understanding. These findings allude to the need for teachers’ development in employing contextually relevant pedagogical strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberem2379
JournalEurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • contextual knowledge
  • cultural belief systems
  • life sciences
  • teachers’ understandings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics


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