In the field of science education, the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project (1949-1993) stands head and shoulders above any other curriculum development. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, teams of teachers, scientists and academics worked together, fettered only by their imaginations and their creativity. The results of their labours, the books, experimental guides, film-loops and other teaching material were at the cutting edge of science education. At its best, Nuffield Science was seen as challenging, inventive, thought provoking and up-to-date. I used the Nuffield A-level chemistry books when I was at school and taught Nuffield O- and A-level chemistry in London schools. There is no doubt that Nuffield Science and its proponents changed the face of science education in England and elsewhere in the world and inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of people to take up science as a career, and more importantly, to see science as being a critical, cultural activity relevant to the lives of everyone on the planet.
Justin Dillon is senior lecturer in science and environmental education and subject director, PGCE chemistry, Department of Education and Professional Studies King’s College London, secretary European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), editor International Journal of Science Education