Back to the Future? Aims and Ends for Future-Oriented Science Education Policy – The New Zealand Context
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Science and science education are a focus of high-level government policy settings in many countries. Greater public interest in and knowledge of science is seen as being an important prerequisite for economic growth and social development in the Knowledge Age. In this article, I argue that current policy approaches are misguided and potentially harmful – for science, for education, and for future social development. Using specific examples from the New Zealand context, I argue that, because these policies are based on widely held but limited views of first, education, and second, science, they effectively colonise, rather than expand, the possibilities for our future. Drawing on ideas from educational thinkers of the past, such as John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead, and ideas from contemporary futures thinkers, I put forward for consideration three very different scenarios for science education’s future aims and ends.