A proposed change in science and mathematics education will evoke a range of reactions among relevant stakeholders, such as curiosity, enthusiasm, disinterest, and resistance. Examples of changes in science and mathematics education (also denoted as innovation projects) are, among others, new teaching approach (such as integrated science, context-based science curricula or realistic mathematics education) or new ways to address socio scientific issues (such as sustainability or genetic modification). In the past decades, however, many curricular or extracurricular innovation projects have failed, either immediately or after a while, or have quite different effects from those intended. What, in retrospect, could be reasons for these failures or unexpected results, and what can we learn from these projects for future changes in science and mathematics education?
In this course we will study some conducted national and international science and mathematics curricular and extracurricular innovation projects and their spreading (also denoted as dissemination) out in schools and teachers. We will discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of a variety of innovation and dissemination strategies taking into account how the different actors, from the policy level down to school management and individual teachers, play their roles in such strategies.