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Te kaupapa rangahau

Background to the Te Ohu Rauemi Pūtaiao research project

Te Ohu Rauemi Putaiao works to develop and evaluate resources in te reo Māori for the study of sciences.

How this rauemi pūtaiao initiative began

Some years ago, teachers from Whare Kura visited the Department of Physics as part of Otago University Advanced School Science Academy (OUASSA) and mentioned the lack of resources for teaching physics and other sciences in te reo Māori. This eventually led to discussions with Māori academics, and pākehā academics from other departments with the aim of creating physics resources written in te reo Māori and informed by te ao Māori.
Otago University Advanced School Science Academy (OUASSA website)

Connecting with secondary school teachers

Meetings with secondary teachers attending the OUASSA have continued, following up on the earlier discussions. These teachers have talked about:

  • How few science resources there are in te reo Māori
  • The difficulty many schools have finding teachers with a background in physics, and
  • Even in total immersion Kura Kaupapa, most students taking physics have to learn it in English.

Goals for the future

Te Ohu Rauemi Pūtaiao endeavours to address these issues through partnerships with teachers to:

  • Develop resources that support science education in te reo Māori
  • Provide support for teachers that are teaching topics outside of their specialist area, and
  • Contribute to new research on best practice in science education.

Sources of funding

The Department of Physics provided funding that enabled the translation of an internal assessment resource, in conjunction with Jinesh Joseph from Te Kura Māori o Porirua, available here:
Waka Ama Physics task and assessment

A Te Poutama Māori Advancing Research Collaborations grant provided funding for Utaina! 2021 - one-day symposium to bring together educators and researchers interested in science education in te reo Māori.
Utaina! 2021 event