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Paengaroa School - Mark Boyle

2021 | Carbon Capture and Utilisation in Horticultural Systems

School: Paengaroa School 

Region: Bay of Plenty

Host: Plant and Food Research – Te Puke 

Paengaroa School has a vision for science, which is reflected in their Charter and Annual Plans. The vision states – ‘Science will fundamentally be one of the key drivers of the localised curriculum and Place-based learning (Learning Priorities).  The Board of Trustees and the teaching team have prioritised Science as an area for PLD and Curriculum development for 2021-2022.

Paengaroa School celebrates having a balance of modern learning environments and the pedagogy that supports the students learning through science. The school believes that this science leadership opportunity is not only the right fit for Mark but will allow the school to develop a distributive leadership model and ambitions around promoting leadership opportunities. This opportunity will help to lift science understanding in the school and the greater community aligning perfectly with the goals of the school to develop a more localised and place - based education for the community and especially our whānau.

Throughout Mark’s placement at Plant and Food Research Te Puke (PFRT) Mark has been afforded multiple opportunities to work and explore the Nature of Science (NOS) in real life scientific/horticultural contexts.  The variety of learning experiences have shifted his thinking and questioning around science as a knowledge system, to more about, science and education being guided by the NOS. Mark has developed a greater awareness, in particular, around the capabilities of gathering and interpreting information, using evidence to support ideas, critique evidence, making meaning of scientific representations and engaging with science.

Mark is fully aware that these capabilities are a guide for adapting teaching and learning and often the boundaries between these capabilities can often merge into one another. Furthermore, Mark has had the opportunity to develop his understanding of NOS by viewing the science at PFRT through a practical and contextual lens.  He has investigated (with scientists), observed, analysed data/information and has multiple opportunities to understand more about the features of physiology, biology and photosynthesis within horticultural systems.

As Mark’s understanding continues to expand, in respect to the NOS, he feels that he is in a better position to lead science starting with a robust self-review process.  Having the time and resources to establish key questions/goals, as well as, student, teacher and community voice will be critical for Mark to ensure that science is well placed at Paengaroa School.  Mark will confidently lead the self-review and the PLD (Phase 2) with a lens from the Leadership Development Course (Otago University) that works on his strengths as a leader and identified opportunities for improved leadership from the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) and the MBTI questionnaire. Mark will endeavour to try to build the capacity of others and be prepared to lead learning through modelling and opening his class up for observation.  The school, with Mark’s leadership will allow all staff, students and community/Whanau to gain a greater understanding of the nature of science and what it is to ‘Think and act like a scientist’.