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Lincoln High School - Willem Tolhoek

2022 | Biodiversity Conservation in Canterbury

: Willem Tolhoek
School: Lincoln High School
Host organisationLincoln University
Region: Canterbury

The Science department at Lincoln High School is a collaborative, professional and highly functioning team. They have a competent and strong leadership team which fosters continual improvement from both teachers and students.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme is ideal for the science department because the team is looking for more opportunities to extend their knowledge and understanding around the Nature of Science. In particular, there is interest around how the science capabilities can be used to better engage priority students in authentic, local curriculum contexts that allows them to participate as scientifically literate citizens in society.

The department is keen to learn more about Mana ōrite mō te Mātauranga Māori and Science. As such, this programme is an opportunity for both participants to explore how this is implemented in the Science community and to develop a leadership action plan upon their return to school.

Willem has had 17 years secondary school experience at Lincoln High School. During this time, he has had the opportunity to work with a variety of diverse learners across varying age groups. He has a real passion for the use of SOLO taxonomy as a comprehensive pedagogy in the classroom and enjoys teaching the practical and real-world nature of the science curriculum.

Willem will participate in the general research and activities conducted by the Department of Pest-management and Conservation in the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University. This will include opportunities to work with students and faculty staff in academia, attending undergraduate and post-graduate courses and participation in field and lab-based research.

This programme aims to give Willem a firm foundation of the knowledge and understanding within the Nature of Science and the conservation field as well as associated field and laboratory skills. A significant component of Willem’s participation in field-based research will be his opportunity to support work with satellite tracking of kea around Arthur’s Pass and monitoring of karoro / black-backed gull on braided rivers.

On completion of this placement, Willem aims to have comprehensive understanding of the Nature of Science including stronger links to Mātauranga Māori. This will also include an increased network of local scientists who will be keen to engage with more research opportunities for students at his school.