The Vision project aims to set out a vision for how the UK can develop an inspiring and high performing science and mathematics education system over the next 15—20 years.
The Committee is examining, specifically for science and mathematics:
- The teaching profession: How to recruit, train, and retain a high-quality teaching workforce.
- Curriculum and assessment: The principles of a science and mathematics curriculum of the future, how this might be taught and how successful learning can be measured.
- Accountability: How best to make it easier for parents and the public to hold schools and colleges to account, without hindering the ability of leaders and teachers to inspire and innovate.
- Educational institutions: How schools and colleges should operate – and their relationships with employers and the virtual, global community.
- Advances in science and technology in education: How new digital technologies and research from neuroscience and psychology may shape future learning.
We have commissioned research which will provide evidence for the project in the areas of digital technology, neuroscience and psychology, curriculum, inter-disciplinarity and links of science and mathematics with other subjects, science and maths skills and society, students attitudes, engagement and participation and the science and maths teaching workforce.
The Committee believes that three elements are at the heart of an inspirational education system:
- An excellent teaching profession is at the heart of an inspirational education system: The UK needs a high-status teaching profession in which schools and colleges have specialist science and mathematics teachers, qualified in their specialist subject. Their professional development should be both a right and a pathway to clearly defined satisfaction and progression in their careers.
- Learning and active involvement with science and mathematics supports the development of informed and engaged citizens: Students of all abilities should study science and mathematics, including experimental science, as part of a broad range of subjects, including arts and humanities until they are 18. That curriculum should draw on the expertise of subject communities, employers and higher education. All students deserve the right to experience education in science and mathematics in informal settings, for example inside and outside school and in museums and field study centres. Careers advice should have a more prominent profile with relevant and timely advice embedded into school and college life.
- Assessment and accountability systems must recognise the whole child – the learners’ all-round development: Assessment should reward understanding and application in addition to recall of content, and encourage exploration, curiosity and practical scientific investigation. Moreover, assessment and accountability systems must recognise learners’ all-round development, not just their ability to pass examinations.
The world in 2030 is likely to be very different from that of today. Major changes are likely to take place over the next decades in terms of human population numbers and lifespan, the environment and new technologies. Individuals with relevant skills and knowledge will be better equipped to adapt to this uncertain future.
The Vision Committee believes that being informed about science and mathematics is part of our culture. The democratic process should enable citizens to participate fully in a society which is increasingly influenced by scientific understanding and the creation and use of technology.
Evidence-based and taking into account a broad range of stakeholders’ views, the vision will set out the essential features of a future world-class, high-performing education system, particularly with respect to science and mathematics.