Science education futures: "Great potential. Could do better. Needs to try harder"

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Abstract

Reviews of science education consistently suggest that there is (another) crisis. They express concern with the status quo and suggest directions that science education might take. In this context, science educators need to consider the current state of play, the needs of generations in a world to come and the characteristics of future science education. The research reported in this paper uses a futures methodology informed by the Delphi technique and scenario thinking. Four science education futures scenarios were constructed over an extended period of consultation. These were particularly influenced by discussion arising from an Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA) forum on science education futures. They were presented to a panel of ASERA professors to stimulate consideration of and commentary on the future of science education. The focus in interviews was on identifying and discussing elements of the scenarios that were desirable and likely. Analysis of data indicates divergence on some features of the future and compromise on others. This paper presents the scenarios and findings from interviews with the panel. We highlight key prospects for science education and propose areas for development if we are to produce a future that is designed rather than merely a compromise that arises by default.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in Science Education
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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