It is with pride that we publish the fourth issue of our journal. It is our aim to present original and innovative peer-reviewed key papers together with thought-provoking and complementary contributions. We all recognise that over the last two centuries the lives of ordinary people have moved from being driven by the tangible daily activities to being surrounded by vastly more esoteric technologies. Throughout much of the world science and society are now intermingled and the trend is advancing at an astounding rate. The challenge is to understand the impact and ramification of this revolution. This distinctive journal offers researchers and authors the opportunity to make contributions on a broad spectrum of disciplines. It is a mix of high-quality scientific and social research appropriate for contributors who seek a professional platform on which to share their insights and experiences.
The paper published in this issue emerged from a survey conducted in an African university in 2015. The country of Tanzania is economically one of the fastest emerging nations in Africa. Young people there are faced with a collision of two worlds, their traditional socioreligious beliefs and the growing influence of western technologies and ideas. It was noted that university students were struggling with a conflict between their religious beliefs and the scientific theories they were being taught. A small study was conducted to clarify their thinking with the aim of finding strategies to present scientific and religious truths as an integrated whole.
Drawing upon the original survey results and educational theory, the author makes valuable recommendations for developing culturally relevant classroom pedagogies. The proposals will be useful for teachers in any situation but most particularly for those working in developing nations where students must fuse together religious and scientific ideas to make sense of their world and be a part of the advancement of their society.
The image chosen for this issue depicts a classroom teacher endeavouring to present scientific ideas to students of a different culture. Before I became Senior Editor of UNET JOSS, I taught sciences for three years in an international school in Europe where fifty different nationalities were enrolled. The concept of trying to merge new scientific concepts with cultural beliefs became quite an issue for me. I would recommend this paper as an excellent resource for anyone teaching or researching under these cross-cultural circumstances.
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