Science takes a front seat
Primary Science Teacher Fellowship
of Science Research and Technology (MoRST) is taking the lead in making
Science a priority for Primary Education.
“This is not an academic exercise but a chance for
teachers to get their hands dirty and live the life of a real
scientist. Our Primary Science Teacher Fellows are challenged to take
the creativity, excitement and innovative thinking they have
experienced back to the classroom. “
Up to 30 teachers at a time undertake a Fellowship
programme that provides 6 months release from the classroom.
The Royal Society oversees the programme delivered by
CORE Education Ltd.
This represents a significant financial investment at
raising the level of science education in New Zealand.
The pay off could be just around the corner.
'We have no shortage of people claiming business or
entrepreneurial skills....what we do have is a shortage of is new
products to sell. It is well known that a strong science capability
leads to technological innovations and products to export.'
A number of reports, such as the National Education
Monitoring (NEMP) report as well as recent research in
the classroom overseen by CORE Education, indicate that New
Zealand students are missing out on understanding what Science is all
Primary schools seem the perfect place to start
Secondary school teachers readily admit that assessment
drives teaching at the expense of students gaining a living knowledge
of the nature of science.
And that is where Primary teachers can make a
“It’s exciting to be part of a programme
that could transform the contribution New Zealand makes in a
sustainable 21st Century global economy. Asking students to consider
their impact on the environment, to think creatively and understand the
wonders in the natural world is an awesome responsibility and something
that makes the teaching profession so rewarding”.
how real scientists work has been an eye-opener for many teachers.
Inquiry in the classroom is too often focused on the Scientifc Method
or Fair testing. Science Fairs inadvertantly over emphasis the
importance of Fair Testing in science. The Fellows reported back
the types of science activities and investigations their hosts were
involved with and were surprised to find the Scientific Method was not
as important as they had believed; many other strategies were used instead.
Society administers the New Zealand Primary Science Teacher Fellowship
The goals of the Fellowship
- Develop both personally
and professionally in order to confidently take on leadership
responsibilities in Science
- Enhance understanding of
the Nature of Science
- Enhance awareness and
understanding of the applications of Science in the wider community
- Enhance awareness and
understanding of potential careers involving Science
- Share enhanced knowledge
and positive attitudes to Science with colleagues, students and others
in the general community
Ltd provides a team of facilitators to write and deliver 2-day
curriculum workshops, cluster meetings and make school visits once
Fellows return to the classroom.
A once in a life time
"I've got six months to work
like a professional scientist. Then I'll use my skills and knowledge in
the classroom and upskill other teachers. The main thrust is that it
all feeds back to the kids." Steven
Tait, Mt Eden Normal Primary
Never too young...as a
10-year-old Jamie conceived of a classroom noise meter. Research
indicates junior students love science...if given a chance in the
crowded curriculum to experience it.
Scicon 2010 Presentation