Teachers develop science skills
Two northland primary school teachers are part way through a teacher fellowship programme to help develop their science teaching skills.
The teachers are spending the last two terms of 2012 as Primary Science Teacher Fellows, under a scheme administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Eden Hakaraia from Otaika School is currently assisting the implementation of scientific monitoring protocols in order to develop her knowledge and understanding of fresh water systems, the role of conservation and restoration ecology.
Jill Jackson from Tauhoa School in Warkworth is looking at scientific sampling techniques in marine fish farming with the assistance of NIWA.
Around 115 teachers have been through the Primary Science Teacher Fellowship programme, since it began in 2009. The programme was started following a report in 2008 from the National Education Monitoring Project, which highlighted a downwards trend in the attitudes of primary aged students towards science.
Under the scheme, teachers take leave from their schools to work with researchers at host organisations and learn more about science and its application.
"The goal is to make these teachers science curriculum leaders," says Richard Meylan, Manager - Education at the Royal Society of New Zealand.
"We hope the experiences the teachers have during their fellowships and the commitment the schools make to science will have a long-lasting positive effect on science teaching in these primary schools."
Host organisations for this group of teachers include organisations such as NIWA, Plant and Food Research, University of Canterbury, Department of Conservation, and UNITEC.