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What is the Nature of Science?

It is important to clarify what it is about the nature of science that we want our students to understand. We can begin by asking ourselves: what is science and how do scientists work? And: how can we relate what we know about science and scientists’ work to the Achievement Aims of the Nature of Science strand?

The themes under each of the Achievement Aims below tease out ideas about the nature of science. Each theme is expanded with explanation, examples and questions for teacher reflection. The Achievement Aims are separated here for discussion and reflection, however, it needs to be acknowledged that this is somewhat arbitrary and it is not intended to imply that teachers will teach the Achievement Aims separately.

Exploring science ideas, forming scientific explanations, science knowledge and the culture of science are discussed here.

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The nature of student investigations, attitudes that support investigations, carrying out an investigation and interpreting observations are discussed here.

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Students develop knowledge of the vocabulary, numeric and symbol systems, and conventions of science, and use this knowledge to communicate about their own and others’ ideas.

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Students bring a scientific perspective to decisions and actions as appropriate.

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