A Māori Crisis in Science Education?
This article is written for school teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand schools who teach science to Year 7-10 students or as part of a primary classroom programme under 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. Towards the end I briefly discuss what teachers might do, and consider the potential of ‘bilingual science’ as an alternate approach with relevance for any classroom teacher, and a way of navigating the current theoretical impasse or ‘crisis’ in Māori science education.
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