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Opportunities to learn at different curriculum levels

Science in NZC aims to support all students to be ready, willing and able to engage with science. They show progress when they become increasingly independent in drawing on a widening and more complex combination of the science capabilities.

To become increasingly independent, capable, and positively disposed to engage with science, students need to encounter tasks that stretch them, yet are achievable.  A mix of the aspects in the task design will determine how much challenge they are given.

  • Think about how the other capabilities need to be engaged to achieve the task. Have the students had opportunities to develop and practice relevant aspects of all the capabilities they will need?
  • How much structure do you need to provide? Less capable students may need carefully scaffolded support to achieve the action envisaged. However growing independence does require that students are given opportunities to decide and act for themselves when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
  • Consider how open the task is to interpretation. More demanding tasks will not have one obvious course of action. In the most challenging cases it might not be possible to arrive at a “best” solution because different interests come into conflict and students need to make an on-balance, value-based judgment.
  • Consider whether knowledge and skills from other curriculum areas will need to be introduced. Sometimes the connections will be quite obvious but in more challenging tasks a web of less visible connections might need to be brought into view.
  • What sort of thinking does the task demand? Young students can be supported to make simple values judgments but abstract ethical reasoning is obviously more demanding in itself, and will also lead to more challenging reflection tasks.