Department of Physics

Postgraduate research profiles


Mzamose Gondwe

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1612

Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Mzamose Gondwe


Building bridges: connecting science and culture through cross-cultural digital storytelling


This research will examine Australian and Malawian students' connections between cultural knowledge and western science. The Timeline in the Cosmology Gallery at the Gravity Discovery Centre tells the story of the creation of our Universe – from the Big Bang through to the present. The Timeline will serve as the context for the students' exploration. This research will adopt a unique approach through the use of student-produced digital stories that connect science and culture. Digital stories are short personal narrative films that combine the traditional art of storytelling and new media. Digital storytelling has been shown to foster empowerment through community engagement and student participation. Students will receive training in digital storytelling film production, research the connection between science and culture and produce films that represent those connections. Finally, students through a cross-cultural exchange will watch films produced by their student counterparts in Malawi and Australia. The multidisciplinary methodological approach synthesizes educational and anthropological frameworks within the context of participatory action research. Qualitative (interviews, think aloud, personal meaning maps, observations) and quantitative (survey) tools will be used to investigate the impact on students of the process of producing digital stories and their perceptions of science and culture in three case study schools.

Why my research is important

The outcomes of this research will provide useful information to educators, community members and policy makers, who are looking at fostering cultural integration within the science education curriculum.


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