Putaiai - Science
Science education is about
learning about the world around us and the interconnectedness of nature.
While alignment of traditional beliefs and concepts with contemporary
learning and education paradigms does occur naturally, today's mainstream
Science education is only just now coming to grips with the interconnected
aspects of science and nature that the ancestors always knew existed.
Akoranga should be watching, discussing, listening, testing, exploring,
experimenting, making observations and learning from them and exploring what happens when you create change. Science learning can
look at a wide range of topics and ideas, from molecular composition, to
biome management and wildlife species.
We cannot expect to understand how the hopo can fly, if we dont
understand how it knows when to fly or where it has to fly to.
The New Zealalnd Science curriculum is seperated into the following
strands: Tuhinga Mua Putaiai (nature of science), Te Ao (the world), Ao
Tukupu (space and beyond), Te Ao Matatini (the material world), and Te Ao
Tinana (the physical world).
The ancestors knew that the planets, the seasons, the weather, the manu
(birds), the kai moana, the plants and even the Gods were all connected, and
failure to acknowledge, appease, listen to, or understand any of these would
have had a devastating impact on their very existence.
In te ao o tenei ra (the world of today) the mainstream education systems
tend to instruct akoranga (learners) about narrow bands of knowledge within
the wider subject of science, rather than seeing each as part of a bigger,
'holistic' world. ie: the teaching of strands in early science learning,
followed by the distinctive pathways of learning (biology, chemistry and
physics) in high school 'sciences' and the ignorance of interconnectedness
in university-level sciences.
Our hokotika (belief) is that this underserves the learner. This
shortsighted approach neglects the philosophy of life that served Te
Imi Moriori well for centuries. It is only in this so-called modern
world that our people, like most 'colonised' peoples around the
globe have lost and are having to re-learn their connection with
papatuanuk (planet earth) and Rongomaiwhenua (Earth Mother).
Putaiai (science) should be learned using the tukanga uiui
(inquiry process) where learners ask their own questions, pose their
own ideas, test their own hypotheses and design their own
experiments and learn and create their own knowledge and
Ancient Moriori may not have had a word for "science", but;
They new enough about the material and physical worlds to create
fire for warmth and to cook their food to avoid sickness
They knew enough about plant growth and development to manage
They knew enough about the physical characteristics of various
stone types to make spectacularly beautiful works of art, tools and
weapons from them and with them
They knew enough about the world around them to predict seasons,
gather various species and prepare and store food for periods of
They knew how to construct craft, tools, houses and weapons and
which materials were best for each,
and they knew that certain events happened with various pahses of
For the ancestors of today's Moriori, having an understanding of these
things was essential for their very survival.
Why learn about science?Why learn about science?
Scientific knowledge and awareness helps us with problem solving and decision making in many
areas of life. Many of the major challenges and opportunities that confront
our world today need to be approached from a wholistic scientific perspective, taking into
account social, global, cultural and ethical considerations.
According to the New Zealand Curriculum
document, Science Education is about:
Science is a way of investigating, understanding, and
explaining our natural, physical world and the wider universe. It involves generating and testing ideas, gathering
evidence – including by making observations, carrying out
investigations and modelling, and communicating and debating with
others – in order to develop scientific knowledge, understanding,
and explanations. Scientific progress comes from logical, systematic
work and from creative insight, built on a foundation of respect for
evidence. Different cultures and periods of history have contributed
to the development of science.
How is the learning area
The fundamental aims of science education are expressed as a series of
achievement aims, grouped by strand.
Nature of Science
The nature of science strand is the overarching, unifying strand. Through
it, students learn what science is and how scientists work. They develop the
skills, attitudes, and values to build a foundation for understanding the
world. They come to appreciate that while scientific knowledge is durable,
it is also constantly re-evaluated in the light of new evidence. They learn
how scientists carry out investigations, and they come to see science as a
socially valuable knowledge system. They learn how science ideas are
communicated and to make links between scientific knowledge and everyday
decisions and actions. These outcomes are pursued through the following
major contexts in which scientific knowledge has developed and continues to
The living world strand is about living things and how they interact with
each other and the environment. Students develop an understanding of the
diversity of life and life processes, of where and how life has evolved, of
evolution as the link between life processes and ecology, and of the impact
of humans on all forms of life. As a result, they are able to make more
informed decisions about significant biological issues. The emphasis is on
the biology of New Zealand, including the sustainability of New Zealand’s
unique fauna and flora and distinctive ecosystems.
Planet Earth and Beyond
The planet earth and beyond strand is about the interconnecting systems
and processes of the Earth, the other parts of the solar system, and the
universe beyond. Students learn that Earth’s subsystems of geosphere (land),
hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life) are
interdependent and that all are important. They come to appreciate that
humans can affect this interdependence in both positive and negative ways.
Students also learn that Earth provides all the resources required to
sustain life except energy from the Sun, and that, as humans, we act as
guardians of these finite resources. This means knowing and understanding
the numerous interactions of Earth’s four systems with the solar system.
Students can then confront the issues facing our planet and make informed
decisions about the protection and wise use of Earth’s resources.
The Physical World
The physical world strand provides explanations for a wide range of
physical phenomena, including light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism,
waves, forces, and motion, united by the concept of energy, which is
transformed from one form to another without loss. By studying physics,
students gain an understanding of interactions between parts of the physical
world and of the ways in which they can be represented. Knowing about
physics enables people to understand a wide range of contemporary issues and
challenges and potential technological solutions.
The Material World
The material world strand involves the study of matter and the changes it
undergoes. In their study of chemistry, students develop understandings of
the composition and properties of matter, the changes it undergoes, and the
energy involved. They use their understanding of the fundamental properties
of chemistry to make sense of the world around them. They learn to interpret
their observations by considering the properties and behaviour of atoms,
molecules, and ions. They learn to communicate their understandings, using
the symbols and conventions of chemistry. Using their knowledge of
chemistry, they are better able to understand science-related challenges,
such as environmental sustainability and the development of new materials,
pharmaceuticals, and sources of energy.
The core strand, Nature of Science, is required learning for all students
up to year 10. The other strands provide contexts for learning. Over the
course of years 1–10, science programmes should include learning in all four
Students in years 11–13 are able to specialise in one or more science
disciplines, depending on the choices offered in their schools. The
achievement objectives in the context strands provide for strand-based
specialisations, but a wider range of programmes is possible; for example,
schools may offer programmes in biochemistry, education for sustainability,
agriculture, horticulture, human biology, or electronics.
There are a number of ways in which you can
submit your unit plans to us. We accept unit-plans and lesson-plans
via email (thats the easiest way) but you can "share them with us"
on Google, send them to us via dropbox (yours) or even physically
post them to us (that last one is probably the least reliable
If you are
after more information about Moriori, or facts, figures, history, traditions
related to Moriori, pop along to our Moriori Education Resources site by
clicking the green button above.
Check out the NEW
Settlement Unit Here
There are some interesting differences between the settlement of
Rēkohu and the settlement of New Zealand. On Rēkohu, the Europeans arrived
the Māori, but after the Moriori
. Have a look, its fascinating and students are genuinely intrigued by it. This is something completely new for them and gets them away from the 'same old stuff' that some
tend to teach for their Treaty topics.
Don't forget; you can also download the fully workable MSWord or PDF version for each unit plan and unit-plan template, for FREE. That's right! No tricks and no gimmicks: absolutely 100% FREE.
To share your unit plans or lesson plans with us via Dropbox.
You copy, move or
save your unit plan to your dropbox and then "invite" us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to access it.