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Appreciating the knowledge of students in computer science education in developing countries

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4 Author(s)
Tedre, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Joensuu Univ., Finland ; Sutinen, E. ; Kahkonen, E. ; Kommers, P.

Computer science education in developing countries should take the cultural background of students into account. Not only classroom work or teaching practices, but also the science itself should be adapted into the cultural settings. Instead of trying to find problems in developing countries that western computer science could solve, the goal should be to use the science creatively to solve the problems currently at hand. This kind of cultural contextualization has to start from the educational level. If western philosophy is emphasized as the single right worldview, it definitely alienates the science from the culture it should help. We believe that appreciating the knowledge that students have about their world is invaluable when addressing the problems in their own countries. Fostering culturally bound ways of inferring, quantifying, classifying, representing, and measuring, will definitely lead to a better understanding of science because it supports the students' mental images. Also, this esoteric knowledge may well produce new ideas and fresh views on computer science itself.

Published in:

Information Technology: Research and Education, 2003. Proceedings. ITRE2003. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-13 Aug. 2003