A Māori crisis in science education

  • Georgina Marjorie Stewart Te Kura Mātauranga School of Education, AUT University, Auckland NZ
Keywords: Bilingual science, Philosophy of science, Kaupapa Māori, Pūtaiao, Māori science education


This article is written for teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand schools who teach science to Year 7-10 students or as part of a primary classroom programme under NZC (the New Zealand Curriculum). What can teachers do about inequity in science education for Māori students? Clear understanding of this complex issue is required, so this article offers a synopsis of the Māori science curriculum debate. Written from my perspective as an insider-researcher interested in this topic for many years, this article engages with important comments about Māori-medium science education made by Sir Peter Gluckman in a major report on science education (2011), and an earlier challenge by Graham Hingangaroa Smith (1995) about the ‘Māori crisis’ in science education. The article lists and discusses options for teachers, including the potential of ‘bilingual science’ both as a useful practical approach for any classroom teacher, and as a way of navigating the current theoretical impasse or ‘crisis’ in Māori science education. 


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How to Cite
Stewart, G. M. (2017). A Māori crisis in science education. Teachers’ Work, 14(1), 21-39. https://doi.org/10.24135/teacherswork.v14i1.101