Lessons from Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: Teaching Science in Culturally Responsive Ways

Regina McCurdy reflects on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well and what this story has to show us about teaching science in culturally responsive ways.


Beautiful insights in how we can better communicate with others in a culturally diverse community using Jesus’ example.


Thank you “Cousin” Phil! :blush: It was a pleasure to make a few of these discoveries as I re-read this text several times. Hopefully, it has some helpful and practical take-always for learning spaces in the church communities as well as the school classroom.


Beautiful and inspiring indeed.
Thank you Regina


@Regina_McCurdy this sharing resonates well with the approach I have found necessary to promote faith integration in learning in Ghana. The emphasis on beginning a science learning from the cultural orientation, understanding is what I have argued to make the lesson relevant and becomes a practical foundation to build any complex scientific theories.


Thank you! :blush:

Me as well, Ebenezer. This is core to my research and teaching practice. Connecting content to students’ cultural backgrounds makes learning so much more meaningful to them.

Sorry, why does Science need Teaching in Culturally Responsible Ways? Apart from in creationist sub-cultures? And even then? And what is the lesson? Asking as a Brit.

Hello Klax,

These are interesting questions. First, I am not sure if you read all of the article that I wrote. If you did, I’d welcome specific questions or ideas you have regarding the article, the Scriptural text I used, etc. Secondly, I’ll direct you to take a look at a really great resource about the characteristics of the nature of science. I use this when I teach science to all levels of learners. What you will notice as you read through these characteristics, is that science is “part of social and cultural traditions”, “Scientific ideas are affected by the social and historical setting” and “People from all cultures contribute to science.” So, it follows that teaching science in both culturally responsible and responsive ways makes sense, and it is supported by the exhaustive research that has been accomplished by knowledgeable and internationally notable scholars, such as Dr. William McComas and Dr. Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. Again, I appreciate your interest in this topic, and here is the link to the website I mentioned: Describing the nature of science

Hope this helps answer some of your concerns.


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I did read it all Regina, yes, thank you. I’ll have to run it past a UK ‘panel’. Again the only cultural orientation that seems to need special handling in the US, is creationist. Are there any others?

We have a history in cultural issues, Martin. And it’s complex, deep and wide-reaching. Even Dr. McCurdy’s reference to water carries huge cultural weight here, particularly for Black students.
I know as an outsider to the experiences that Dr. McCurdy has lived, but I’ve been watching my whole life.

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I appreciate the appalling fault lines of injustice that I have observed remotely in US culture for 55 years. I have read deeply and been deeply radicalized, acceleratingly recently unusually. I didn’t think I could get any more liberal : ) I’m happy to call myself a Christian communist now.

Dr. McCurdy’s experience would have me taking up arms. Not that I know what she has suffered. But she will have by being in the two major power oppressed groups (Hi @Regina_McCurdy!).

Teaching basic science to socio-economically oppressed indigenous peoples is a worthy endeavour, if that’s what we’re talking about here. I can see the Samaritan Woman echoes. As with the West, you might be able to catch a quarter with it.

I just can’t see it working with the poor in the West.

Poverty is the issue. By a country mile. First, second and third. Poverty, class, race all presided over by an utterly blindly corrupt ruling class.

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