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Nature of science

The nature of science strand is the overarching, unifying strand in the science learning area. Through it, students:

  • learn what science is and how scientists work
  • develop the skills, attitudes, and values to build a foundation for understanding the world
  • appreciate that while scientific knowledge is durable, it is also constantly re-evaluated in the light of new evidence
  • learn how scientists carry out investigations and communicate science ideas
  • make links between scientific knowledge and everyday decisions and actions
  • see science as a socially valuable knowledge system.

Science learning area structure | NZ Curriculum online

The other four strands – living world, planet earth and beyond, physical world, material world – provide contexts through which your students can develop their understanding about the nature of science.

The achievement aims in the nature of science strand are expanded into a series of themes with an explanation, examples, and questions for teacher reflection.

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These teaching activities connect the nature of science strand with the other four strands to integrate learning and progress your students' understanding of science.

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Developing science capabilities through the nature of science

The nature of science strand explores how science knowledge is created and used in the world. The five science capabilities are linked to the four nature of science sub-strands.

Nature of science sub-strand Related science capabilities
Understanding about science  – the focus is on scientists' investigations
Investigating in science  – the focus is on students' investigations
Communicating in science  
Participating and contributing

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