British Journal of Sociology of Education
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The perspectives of indigenous science learners in developed nations offer an important but frequently overlooked dimension to debates about the nature of science, the science curriculum, and calls from educators to make school science more culturally responsive or ‘relevant’ to students from indigenous or minority groups. In this paper the findings of a study conducted with indigenous Maori children between the ages of 10 and 12 years are discussed. The purpose of the study was to examine the ways that indigenous children in an urban school environment in New Zealand position themselves in relation to school science. Drawing on the work of Basil Bernstein, we argue that although the interplay between emergent cultural identity narratives and the formation of ‘science selves’ is not as yet fully understood, it carries the potential to open a rich seam of learning for indigenous children.