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Research reports and findings to support science capabilities education

Research evidence

NZCER | Science education

The NZCER work programmes include assessment resources and research-based curriculum support. This page provides access to all their publications, including the development of the five science capabilities for citizenship.

In 2011-2013 three research projects (funded by the Ministry of Education) focused on:

  • science curriculum implementation
  • science community engagement
  • e-learning opportunities in science.

The conceptualisation and design of "five science capabilities for citizenship" was a significant output. 

Capabilities for living and lifelong learning: What's science got to do with it?  (NZCER,2016)

This paper explores what student progress in developing capabilities might look like. It draws on student responses from a small research project with students from Years 1-10 in a range of New Zealand schools. The appendix includes a number of thinking objects developed from the student responses.

Developing science capabilities for citizenship through participation in online citizen science (OCS) projects  (Set 2020: no.1)

This 12 month inquiry focused on the potential of:

  • participation in online citizen science projects to support development of science capabilities for citizenship
  • teacher practices in embedding this new paradigm in their science units
  • student behaviour when participating using different digital device setups. 

The findings also helped to develop professional development resources that are shared on the Science Learning Hub. The report provides insights into best practices for purposeful digital device use in classroom settings.

How the science community and schools can work more closely together

These four summary pamphlets outline the main findings from a project that identified how science community programmes can support and enhance your local school science curriculum.

PDF icon. Summary 1 – Schools & the science community: A rationale for future-oriented engagements (PDF 1,020 KB)

PDF icon. Summary 2 – Schools & the science community: Schools' guide to getting connected (PDF 2 MB)

PDF icon. Summary 3 – Schools & the science community: Key elements for partnership (PDF 2 MB)

PDF icon. Summary 4 – Schools & the science community: Strengthening engagements across the system (PDF 1 MB)

Using digital technologies to transform science education

PDF icon. Digital technologies and future-oriented science education: A discussion document for schools (2013) (PDF 737 KB)

Use this discussion document to stimulate conversations about the important question, "How might digital technologies transform science education?" 

Background report on developing science education

The Chief Science Adviser raised these challenging questions in his  2011 report, Looking ahead: Science education for the twenty-first century

  • How can we “engage and enthuse” more young New Zealanders in science?
  • Is the science we teach getting students ready to address serious questions we will all face in the future?
  • How might science education help New Zealand's development as a smart, innovative, knowledge-oriented country?

The Ministry of Education responded by funding three science education projects to address these important questions.