Urban Students' Ideas About the "Heated" Body: Implications for Science Education

Susan Herbert


This paper presents the results of an investigation into lower secondary, urban students' traditional beliefs about, and practices in, health related matters. The students were between the ages of 11-15 years and attended a seven year, single-sex school located in Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. The data were obtained through a written questionnaire, which was distributed to a class of 36 students and semi-structured, focused interviews. The latter were conducted with a sample of 10 students, who gave at least 70 percent of the responses on the questionnaire in accordance with traditional practices and beliefs, and their parents. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze the data, and the dominant traditional category which emerged was the concept of the "heated" body. The students and their parents gave information on the factors which contribute to the heated state, the consequences of inappropriate management of the heated body, and strategies which are recommended for the management of the heated body. The implicatioins of this prior knowledge for the development of lower secondary science curricula in Trinidad and Tobago are discussed.


Customs And Traditions; Health; Science Education; Secondary School Students; Urban Areas; Student Attitudes; Scientific Concepts; Trinidad and Tobago

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