Dr Simon P Taylor

Simon Taylor



Curriculum; Education; Learning Environment; Music; Physics; Science; Science Education; Teacher Education; Teacher Practice/Practicum; Teaching; Teaching and Learning

Qualifications: PhD, MSc, BSc, Dip Tchg

Personal Website:

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Taylor, Mr Simon 37 8745 simont WIND.V BLOCK Te Hononga Curriculum and Pedagogy

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension
    • For extensions starting with 8: dial +64 7 557 extension (TAURANGA exts only)
  • Calling between campuses add 37 to the front of the extension
  • Emailing
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Papers Taught

About Simon

Simon was born and went to school  in Gisborne in his early years. His passion for astronomy as a young boy was sparked when his Scottish grandmother came to stay. He remembers how they would  lie under the stars on summer nights chatting about moon exploration and space rockets. Years later he graduated with a  Bachelor of Science in physics at the University of Auckland, solely going there because there was astrophysics. He has taught science and physics in NZ secondary schools around the country, had the role of Secondary Science Adviser for the Central North Island for 13 years, a National Facilitator and curriculum specialist in Physics and researcher of students' perceptions of science learning, gaining a PhD in 2013. He is currently a lecturer with the Faculty of Education, at the Windermere Campus in Tauranga. Simon lectures in Education, Physics and Science, he co-ordinates the Secondary Teaching Graduate Diploma in Tauranga and is a superviser for Masters and PhD students.

Simon's research interest lies in the areas of student voice, student perspectives in secondary and tertiary environments, futurist learning, youth empowerment and education design. He is a keen advocate to encourage greater consultation with students in their learning, creating change in classroom culture, school culture and empowering both worlds of the learner and teacher. Simon has publicly lectured in astrophysics, nuclear fusion, cosmo-chemistry, the beauty of physics and music, the physics of surfing and learning futures.

Simon was awarded the Kudos Science Educator award in 2014 in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards encouraging an understanding and appreciation of science to youth and the wider community.

  • "Future Space Travel, Massive Black holes and Cosmic Dancing in the Universe" -Public lecture Cafe Scientifique, Tauranga,  May 2017
  • Keynote speaker Cafe Scientifique Tauranga. "The beauty of Physics and Music" 22nd February 2016
  • Invited speaker-Inspire Festival Nelson 13-15 April 2016 and Scicon 2016.
  • "Tricks, Tips and Toys" Science Symposium Nov 11 November 2016 St Peter's School, Cambridge

Research Interests

Simon currently supervises four Masters students and two PhD students. Research is with student voice and student perspectives in their learning, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Learner centric frameworks, socio-scientific inquiry issue based learning, networked learning, classroom climate, qualitative interviews, learning drawings and cognitive understanding are areas of interest. Please get in touch if you are interested in doing post-graduate research:

Taylor, S. (2016) The Sprout-Exploring a Culture of Co-operation and Co-construction in Year 9 Science. New Zealand Science Teacher. NZASE. Print version

Taylor, S. (2014) Close encounters with student learning in Year 9 and 10 science classrooms. New Zealand Science Teacher. NZASE.

Presentation, PhD thesis, ASERA conference- Wellington, Te Papa, July 2013.

Recent Publications

  • Taylor, S. P. G. (2017). BioDome Adventure. New Zealand Science Teacher, 136, 48-51.

  • Taylor, S. (2017). Exploring a culture of co-operation and co-construction in Year 9 Science: New opportunities for science teachers and students working in flexible learning spaces. In Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2017. Conference held at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

  • Taylor, S. (2017). Intergalactic pondering at Café Scientifique. In Presented at the Tauranga, Yacht & Power Boat Club, Tauranga, New Zealand.

  • Taylor, S. (2016). The beauty of physics and music. In SCICON. Conference held at the Hutt City, Wellington, New Zealand.

Find more research publications by Simon Taylor