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A number of NZCER staff contribute to our blogs and we link to and draw on external expertise. We hope it is a useful source of information, ideas and support about NZCER's work and wider educational and assessment issues. We welcome your questions and comments.

Please refer to the NZCER community guidelines for participation on NZCER blog posts.

This is the focus of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara – the national strategic plan for science in society. So to what extent does science learning at school support this goal? Before we can answer that we need to be clear about what supports the development of innovators.

Date posted: 12 August 2016

By Rachel Bolstad

My last post discussed the diverse ways that teachers in the Games for learning project used games in their classrooms.

Read rest of post: Advice from game-using teachers
Date posted: 5 August 2016

My last blog post , “Games OR learning”, asked whether digital games might be viewed by some teachers as distractions or intrusions into students’ learning time.

Date posted: 4 August 2016

Many of my friends who are parents, and especially those of teenage boys seem mystified or despairing about the amount of time their children spend in darkened rooms playing digital games.

Date posted: 4 August 2016

School science fairs get a bad rap. They are often criticised for not promoting real learning, being overly-competitive, advantaging students from already privileged backgrounds, putting extra stress on children, teachers and families, not representing science as it really is, and so on. Despite this though, some people do leave school with very positive memories of science fairs.

Read rest of post: Science fairs
Date posted: 2 August 2016


In the third of her series on the place of science in a future-focused curriculum, Ally Bull explores the idea of making school science personally relevant.

Date posted: 19 July 2016

In the second in her series on the place of science in a future-focused curriculum, Ally Bull explores the idea of science and certainty.

Science is science regardless of how you approach it. That’s kind of the nice thing about science – it’s true regardless of how you feel about it.

Read rest of post: Science and certainty
Date posted: 15 July 2016

By Rachel Bolstad

Read rest of post: Games OR learning?
Date posted: 12 July 2016

In the first of our new blog, Thinking about science education, Ally Bull considers the place of science in a future-focused school curriculum. Ally is a former senior researcher at NZCER and now consultant, with deep knowledge and expertise in science education, future-focused learning and professional learning for teachers.

Date posted: 8 July 2016

For this post, let’s assume that failure can have a positive, productive relationship with learning. Let’s explore what goes on when that potentially positive relationship is thwarted. If the possibility of failure is too awful to contemplate, using it strategically for learning is unthinkable. The strategy instead becomes one of avoiding failure at all costs.

Date posted: 16 March 2016