Science Education Reform in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Past for Educational Leaders

Anchala Sobrin, Fordham University


Concerns about the ability of schools in the United States to effectively prepare students for college and career readiness with the necessary skills to succeed in the 21st century has dominated discussions about education reform for decades. A variety of implemented reform efforts implemented have made little to no progress in addressing the proficiency gap elucidated by data from international comparisons such as PISA and TIMSS. By examining the evolution of perspectives and practices of the past, this study sought to ascertain what educational leaders can learn from past science education reform efforts to manage continually changing demands and environments in the 21st century and successfully implement significant science curriculum reform. Highlighting the salient details of science education reform as a historical process in conjunction with the evolution of learning theories serves to inform educational leaders as to how they can make sense of current reform movements, thereby ensuring that organizational responses to mandates incorporate best practices that are strategically implemented to maximize effectiveness and minimize resistance to change. The disconnect between vision and implementation, the disconnect between theory and practice, and issues of teacher preparation, including preservice and in-service education, emerged as three areas of concerns which educational leaders can address to affect change.

Subject Area

Science education|Educational leadership|Education history

Recommended Citation

Sobrin, Anchala, "Science Education Reform in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Past for Educational Leaders" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI22587756.