Research in Science Education

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 441–451 | Cite as

Teaching Evolution in New Zealand’s Schools—Reviewing Changes in the New Zealand Science Curriculum

  • Alison Campbell
  • Kathrin Otrel-CassEmail author


New Zealand has had a national school science curriculum for more than 80 years. In the past the evolution content of this document has varied, and has at times been strongly influenced by creationist lobby groups. The ‘new’ science curriculum, to be fully implemented in 2010, places much greater emphasis than before on understanding evolution, and also on teaching the nature of science. Interplay between the two can potentially improve student understanding of the culture and processes of science in general and evolutionary theory in particular. While the explicit use of the word ‘evolution’ highlights its significance, it is necessary to provide both resources and pedagogical guidelines to support teachers in dealing with this important topic.


Evolution New Zealand Curriculum Teaching Nature of science 



Our thanks to the late Peter Spratt for information provided through informal chats and e-mail discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Centre for Science & Technology Education ResearchUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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