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Te Aroha College - Jiji Kurian

2022 | Using science to maximise the value of bees

: Jiji Kurian
School: Te Aroha College
Host: Plant and Food Research
Region: Waikato

The goal of Te Aroha College Science Department is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be scientifically literate citizens and confident and connected learners. We would like to achieve this by integrating overarching strands of nature along with activities that can develop science capabilities such as gathering and interpreting data, using evidence, critiquing evidence, interpreting representations, and engaging with science. We expect this will manifest in open ended classroom activities that arouse curiosity, require critical thinking and encourage real world problem solving. To further enhance science curriculum delivery and science capabilities we would like to support student-initiated enquiries so that students feel they are taking ownership of their learning and participating in science. 

Jiji Kurian has been teaching science in New Zealand secondary schools for over 15 years. During this time, he has had the opportunity to teach years 9 to 13 science with a particular focus on senior physics. Jiji’s current role is Head of Learning Science at Te Aroha College. Their NZCER Engagement Survey and Thinking With Evidence assessment indicates that there is room for improvement in developing science capabilities among Te Aroha College learners. The Science Teaching Leadership Programme will help Jiji develop strategies to address student engagement in a more informed way and provide insights into how they can integrate the Nature of Science strand in their curriculum delivery so students can enjoy science learning and develop science capabilities. This leadership programme will help Jiji to deepen his professional knowledge and refine his skills in terms of supporting his science staff. 

Jiji’s programme placement is at Plant and Food Research (PFR) Ruakura. He will be working with the Bee Biology and Productivity Team. This team aims to use science to maximise the value of bees through increased pollination efficacy and honey production. If time permits, Jiji will have the opportunity to gain an insight into other research work that is happening at PFR, and attend internal and external seminars that further strengthen his knowledge in the Nature of Science.