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  • The nature of science is the overarching and unifying strand in the New Zealand science curriculum document. Our nature of science articles on the Science Learning Hub unpack this strand and highlights places within the Hub that address this key component of scientific literacy.

    To answer the question what is the nature of science? We must first answer what is science? One common answer is that science consists of three domains:

    • A body of knowledge.
    • A wide range of methods or processes to develop this knowledge.
    • A way of thinking.

    The nature of science constitutes this third domain and is the most abstract and least familiar of the three.

    The nature of science as a way of thinking refers to ‘thinking with a particular lens’ – just as the nature of history would be thinking through a historical lens. This particular way of thinking is underpinned by certain values and characteristics (such as in science, creativity, curiosity, attempts to reduce bias and empiricism).

    Our nature of science articles points you to many different places within the Hub where you can find the nature of science – throughout the articles, research, videos, animations and teaching and learning activities on the Science Learning Hub. Engage your students in science by wrapping your science programme around the nature of science.

    Explore these nature of science resources



    Reasons for teaching the nature of science

    What might we miss?

    Describing the nature of science

    Mystery boxes

    Tenets of the nature of science

    The extra piece

    The nature of science as questions

    Scrambled sentence

    Myths of the nature of science

    Communicating in science

    The nature of science in the curriculum

    Alternative conceptions about the nature of science

    The ‘Understanding about science’ strand

    The ‘Investigating in science’ strand


    The ‘Communicating in science’ strand

    Kiwifruit and Psa – a timeline

    The ‘Participating and contributing’ strand

    Ways of investigating in science

    Pinterest board

    See our Nature of science Pinterest board with links to a range of resources, related materials and activities to aid the teaching of the Nature of science.

    Useful link

    Understanding Science is an educational website for teaching and learning about the nature and process of science. It has an interactive flowchart that represents the process of scientific inquiry, with links to relevant teaching and learning resources.

      Published 22 October 2015 Referencing Hub articles
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