More than ever, our time is characterised by rapid changes in the organisation and the production of knowledge. This movement is deeply rooted in the evolution of the scientific endeavour, as well as in the transformation of the political, economic and cultural organisation of society. In other words, the production of scientific knowledge is changing both with regard to the internal development of science and technology, and with regard to the function and role science and technology fulfill in society. This general social context in which universities and knowledge production are placed has been given different names: the informational society, the knowledge society, the learning society, the post-industrial society, the risk society, or even the post-modern society. A common feature of different characterisations of this historic time is the fact that it is a period in construction. Parts of the world, not only of the First World but also chunks of the Developing World, are involved in these transformations. There is a movement from former social, political and cultural forms of organisation which impact knowledge production into new forms. These forms drive us into forms of organisation that are unknown and that, for their very same complexity, do not show a clear ending stage. Somehow the utopias that guided the ideas of development and progress in the past are not present anymore, and therefore the transitions in the knowledge society generate a new uncertain world. We find ourselves and our universities to be in a transitional period in time.
In this context, it is difficult to avoid considering seriously the challenges that such a complex and uncertain social configuration poses to scientific knowledge, to universities and especially to education in mathematics and science. It is clear that the transformation of knowledge outside universities has implied a change in the routes that research in mathematics, scien
Provides the first indication of what it could mean to move beyond the Modernist framework in university science and mathematics education
Includes examples of experimental and innovative practices
Considers the emergence of the new sciences and the educational relevance of this transition
Considers innovations in the classroom contexts from the broader perspectives of changes in the academic culture, structural changes, as well as changes within the overall scientific outlook