Globalisation and the Anthropocene: The Reconfiguration of Science Education for a Sustainable Future


  • Donald Gray University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Laura Colucci-Gray University of Aberdeen, Scotland



Sustainability Science, Equity, Democracy


In this article we discuss current impacts on the planet as a result of technoscientificdevelopments and neo-liberal policy. We argue that science educationhas an important role to play in supporting society to respond to newchallenges ahead. However there needs to be a change to the way in whichscience is introduced in schools to raise awareness of complex global interconnectednessand our embeddedness in the natural (and increasingly altered)planetary cycles. Such awareness changes how we view the practiceof science and the way in which science is presented in schools. Drawing onrecent literature, this paper will present an argument for the reconfigurationof science education for a sustainable future.


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Author Biographies

Donald Gray, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Donald Gray is currently Reader in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen. He joined the School following twelve years at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He started his career as a biology teacher and has a background in science education, curriculum development and educational research. He gained his first degree in zoology from Aberdeen University, Masters in Educational Research from Stirling University and his PhD in assessment in science education at the University of Strathclyde. He has worked for the Scottish Council for Research in Education, been involved in an international study of Civic Education based in Humboldt University Berlin and was Faculty Research Co-ordinator in Strathclyde University Faculty of Education. He has a particular interest in complexity, science and sustainability issues, environmental education and outdoor learning. He was Research Director for the Scottish teachers for a New Era initiative ( and is currently Director of Research and Interdisciplinarity, in the School of Education. As well as general research related to teacher education, he is particularly interested in science, society and sustainability issues and how these are addressed in educational contexts. In addition he has a long standing interest in outdoor learning and place-based education and the theoretical perspectives underpinning the value of outdoor, natural environmental experiential education with a particular reference to embodied cognition (http://www.

Laura Colucci-Gray, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Laura Colucci-Gray is a Senior Lecturer in Science Education in the Schoolof Education at the University of Aberdeen. She is currently the Director ofPostgraduate Research Degrees in the School. Prior to gaining her lectureshipin 2008 Laura worked at the University of Turin and Val d’Aosta, and thenshe was appointed as a research fellow on the Scottish Teachers for a New Eraproject at Aberdeen. Laura holds a first degree in Natural Sciences awardedwith 110/110 cum laude from the University of Turin (Italy) and a doctoratein Science Education awarded by the Open University (UK). Her research islocated at the intersection between teacher education, pedagogical innovationand the epistemological reflection on science, particularly with regardsto the field of science-technology-studies and sustainability debates. Laurais currently the President of the Scottish Educational Research Associationand she is an executive member of the Interdisciplinary Research Instituteon Sustainability (IRIS) based at the University of Turin. Laura is a regularspeaker at National and International conferences; she has been invited togive lectures at International workshops and she has been a panel discussantat several research conventions (