Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group
Re-imagining futures in STEME
STAVCON – Keynote Presentation “Science Education – Fit for the Future?”
STAVCON – Science Teachers Association of Victoria
Conference – keynote is on Friday 17th November
Science Education: Fit for the Future?
By Russell Tytler and Peta White
The major crises associated with the Anthropocene – climate change, mass extinctions, AI and the fourth industrial revolution – pose challenges for education generally, and science education in particular, given the pivotal role science plays in these challenges. This presentation asks the question: how can school science prepare students for a future increasingly impacted by such challenges? We will use our experience on the Science Expert Group for PISA 2025 to examine current global perspectives on the role of science education for the future, drawing on a global survey of science teachers and unpacking the processes by which new directions were negotiated and represented. In particular, we describe the support document for the Science Framework – ‘Agency in the Anthropocene’ – to highlight a shift in thinking about how to frame science education in ways that acknowledge these uncertain futures. We then draw on examples from a current ARC project focused on ‘Enacting Climate Change Education Through Representing Scientists’ Practice’ to investigate how these directions might be operationalised. This design-based research involves working with scientists and teachers to translate contemporary research focused on climate-related socio-ecological challenges into classroom practices that emphasise scientific epistemic practices, socio-scientific thinking, and student agency. We describe the scope of the project which involves three countries (Australia, Taiwan, Finland), the different approaches to representing scientific practices, the underpinning pedagogy, the research methods used to generate, then analyse teacher professional learning and student learning outcomes. We conclude by describing ways forward to achieve science education that is fit for the future.
Posted Oct 11, 2023