Two Somali Fathers’ Views of Science: What Should My Children Learn in Science?

Nancy Albrecht, Bhaskar Upadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This exploratory qualitative study examines the views of two Somali fathers on science, nature, and content of science that Somali students should be taught, and how science intersects with Somali sociocultural practices. The fathers were interviewed for over a year. We analyzed data inductively using a systematic qualitative process. The findings of the study show that the Somali fathers desired their children to learn science that was useful in Somali lives and connected to their sociocultural experiences. Learning evolution science created resistance and challenges to Somali fathers’ views of scientific evolution and future careers in science-related fields. Because of their deep-rooted Islamic faith, the fathers’ views of scientific evolution created internal resistance and challenges for themselves and for their children. In addition, Somali fathers expressed a greater sense of responsibility to resist the labels that science assigns in the “name of disease diagnosis.” A larger implication of this study might call upon urban school teachers to seek out Somali adults and parents as resources to make science teaching and learning socioculturally more relevant and respectful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1154
Number of pages22
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Islam and science
  • Somali
  • immigrant
  • parents
  • science education
  • sociocultural


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