About the project

About the project

This project examined two important disciplines, history and physics, in the markedly changed environment for schools and universities in the 21st century, and in the context of ongoing debates about knowledge and the purposes of education today.

It used interviews with a large number of teachers and academics across different kinds of schools and universities to examine changing practices and pressures across the education trajectory, and to develop a perspective on and new questions about what is being set in train in education today.

The project was funded as an Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2011-2015 (DP DP110102466).

Research questions and aims

  1. What kinds of knowledge and priorities are now being developed within the teaching of history and physics in secondary schooling, undergraduate, and postgraduate research-oriented education?
  2. How are cross-disciplinary, outcomes, competencies and productivity agendas impacting on institutional thinking in each stage?
  3. Is the Australian policy emphasis on learning outcomes and on auditing and managing education achievements in schooling and higher education distorting and undermining knowledge building?
  4. What are the specific forms of knowledge associated with physics and history and how might these be best facilitated in the organization and ordering of curriculum across the education trajectory?

For more detailed account of the background, rationale, design and international and national theoretical context of the project, see knowledge building in schooling and higher education: policy strategies and effects (PDF, 65 KB).