The Future Curriculum for School Science: What Can Be Learnt from the Past?

Peter J. Fensham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    In the 1960s, major reforms of the curriculum for school science education occurred that set a future for school science education that has been astonishingly robust at seeing off alternatives. This is not to say that there are not a number of good reasons for such alternative futures. The sciences, their relation to the socio-scientific context, knowledge of alternatives, and the needs of students, are now all very different from the corresponding conditions and contexts in the 1960s. To explore what alternative futures may succeed, the scenarios of prediction, precedent, possibility, preference, and promise are used to review past successes and failures at changing the direction of science education. From these scenarios, some assertions are made about what may, and may not, develop as new directions, and what institutions and groups of persons could be the initiating sources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-185
    Number of pages21
    JournalResearch in Science Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


    • Future science curriculum
    • Innovative approaches
    • New directions

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