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
  • Using the campus map to locate their room

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 supervisor 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.

  • Creative Sparks presentation Sunday June 3 2018, celebrating an object from the Tauranga Museum collection, 3.30pm onwards at Baycourt.
  • "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 in 2018. 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:

PhD supervision for Jared Carpendale (current), Collaborative Core Design and Implementation for Electricity And Magnetism: Enhancing Practising Science Teachers’ PCK

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. (2018). Old Tauranga hot water cylinder reveals electric past. In Radio New Zealand.

  • Taylor, S. (2018). Future science learning: Ethical dilemmas, making judgements, science classrooms as knowledge-building communities. In 2018 Biennial SCICON. Conference held at Christ's College, Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Taylor, S. (2018). Could knowledge building pedagogy be used to support science learning at Years’ 9 and 10?. In NZARE 2018. Conference held at AUT South Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Taylor, S. (2018). Tale telling-creative sparks. In Escape Festival, X Space, Baycourt, Tauranga, New Zealand. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Simon Taylor