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Science capabilities for citizenship

The science learning area in the New Zealand Curriculum promotes the idea of developing citizenship capabilities. Students (citizens) need to be ready, willing, and able to use their science knowledge. This means dispositions are important. What does this mean for teaching and learning?

Engaging critically with science is a bit like being a book or theatre critic. To do this well, learners need a functional knowledge of science in order to be able to:

  • say what science is
  • say what its strengths and weaknesses are
  • ask informed questions about science issues.

Building knowledge of science content and the processes of science is important, and so is building knowledge of the nature of science. Five science capabilities have been defined to combine learning in these three areas.

The science capabilities help students practice the types of thinking, questioning, and actions needed to become informed citizens. This helps build their knowledge and confidence to use their growing capabilities. 

What are these capabilities?  How do the capabilities relate to the NOS strand of NZC? What can you do with the capabilities?


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