Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

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Superstitious Beliefs as Constraints in The Learning of Science

S Olorundare


This paper examines the nature, prevalence and effect of superstitious beliefs as constraints to the appropriate learning of science in our schools. Studies done on identification and analysis of types and degrees of superstitious beliefs have been reported as well as to how these beliefs inhibit the individual learner\'s learning from science. Superstitious beliefs have been found to exert negative influence in children (and even teachers!) learning from science. These beliefs are often held tenaciously and tend to impede an individual\'s conceptualization of scientific knowledge by creating an existing prior knowledge which is in contrast to science knowledge to be learned. A vigorously implemented and balanced . science curriculum will significantly reduce individuals dependence on superstitious beliefs, since more and better science create
scientifically literate individuals. The more scientifically exposed an individual is, the more readily she/he would discard these beliefs. Classroom teachers and school guidance counsellors should be sufficiently aware of the presence (and the type) of these beliefs.
Students\' difficulties in science arising from the presence of these beliefs can be appropriately ameliorated.

Nigerian Journal of Guidance and Counselling Vol. 6 (1&2) 1998: pp. 133-150
AJOL African Journals Online