chapter  14
13 Pages

School science in New Zealand

Support for curriculum reform and implementation
ByCathy Buntting, Alister Jones

New Zealand is a small democracy with a bicultural heritage, a robust infrastructure, and conditions that should favour the successful implementation of curriculum reform. In particular, schools are self-governing and required to make their own decisions about teaching and learning within the framework provided by the national curriculum. Nonetheless, assessment policies significantly influence the foci of school teaching and learning programmes. Teacher change can also be difficult to achieve. This chapter explores the changing socio-political landscape in which school science takes place, including increased recognition of the importance of wider public engagement in science and the need for enhanced scientific literacy of all citizens. The New Zealand Science Learning Hub is provided as an example of a government-funded initiative designed to support wider student and teacher engagement in the nature of science and contemporary scientific endeavours.