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Te Kura Tuarua o Waihora/ Lincoln High school - Bronwyn Hooper

2023 | ‘Ka mua, ka muri. Exploring the regeneration of significant local sites’


Name: Bronwyn Hooper

School:  Te Kura Tuarua o Waihora/ Lincoln High school

Programme: ‘Ka mua, ka muri. Exploring the regeneration of significant local sites’

Region:  Canterbury

Host:  University of Canterbury, School of Earth and Environment


The Science department at Lincoln High School is a collaborative, professional and highly functioning team with strong leadership and vision which fosters continual improvement. The Head of Department, Will Tolhoek completed the Science Teaching Leadership Programme last year and is currently leading phase two.  Will’s focus has been on extending his Science team’s understanding around the Nature of Science. In particular, how the science capabilities can be used to better engage students in authentic, local curriculum contexts that allows them to participate as scientifically literate citizens.  As the second person on the programme, Bronwyn has been delving into Mana ōrite mō te Mātauranga Māori.  Together they hope to deliver meaningful change and professional development to their colleagues. 

Bronwyn has been hosted by Dr Matiu Prebble (Kāti Irakehu, Ngāi Tahu Whānui) at the School of Earth and Environment at University of Canterbury where she has been exploring regeneration at local sites of significance.  “Ka mua, Ka muri” means "walking backwards into the future" - using the past to inform the future. Through Matiu, Bronwyn was able to reach out like a wheke (octopus) to make connections with numerous people both within the Science ecosystem and those working in the te Ao Māori space. Kōrero focused on their work, their dreams and the nature of Science.   

Bronwyn has participated in field and lab-based research looking at the use of treated effluent on native planting, the use of sawdust and silt from Gisborne to create functional soil, electrofishing in the Southern Alps, investigating the evidence from hangi/umu on Enderby Island and the impact of regeneration on biodiversity in Te Kaio.  She has been involved in Learning Education Ako Futures, a collaborative research group focused on sustainable futures and the need for personally, culturally and environmentally situated learning experiences. Bronwyn attended a 2-day Maramataka symposium which was focused on embedding indigenous knowledge in education and included local and international presenters.

Bronwyn deepened her understanding of Mātauranga Māori, alongside past and planned regeneration of significant local sites such as Kaitorete, Muriwai o whata, Ahuriri, Waikēkēwai, Wairewa roto and Te Kaio. Connections between her kura and rūnanga have strengthened and it is hoped that students will work alongside rūnanga in regeneration at some of these sites.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme allowed Bronwyn to “fill her cup” with knowledge, experiences and connections which will enrich and deepen the learning of the ākonga pūtaiao at her kura. She would like to thank The Royal Society, Dr Matiu Prebble, the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Canterbury and Lincoln High for this amazing opportunity.