In many Western countries the participation of indigenous students in school science begins to drop away by their early high school years. In New Zealand schools this pattern is also evident for indigenous Māori students despite initiatives including science curricula and resources written in the Māori language, science scholarships, and mentoring programs. International studies describe the importance of curriculum content and pedagogy, making connections with the learner’s culture as a means to engage indigenous students with school science, especially how schools acknowledge Western science and indigenous knowledge in their programs. In this paper I will explore the concept of ‘place’ specifically in relation to the Māori culture, the environment and identity, and how these ideas can be used to mobilize indigenous student engagement with school science. To support my argument I will draw on my recent study conducted with Māori students, exploring their views about school science.
|Keywords:||Indigenous Knowledge, Science Education, Student Engagement, Place and Identity, Culture|
Lecturer, Te Kura Māori, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand