Associate Professor Michael Matthews

Honorary Associate Professor
BSc MA MEd DipEd Syd, PhD UNSW
School of Education


02 9418 3665
Goodsell Building
Kensington Campus


not applicable; please phone for appointment
Fields: Specialist Studies in Education

Michael Matthews is an honorary associate professor in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales.  He has degrees in Geology, Psychology, Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, and Education.  His PhD in philosophy of education is from UNSW.   

He has taught high school science, and lectured at Sydney Teachers’ College and the University of New South Wales.  He was the Foundation Professor of Science Education at The University of Auckland (1992-93).  

He has published in philosophy of education, history and philosophy of science, and science education journals, handbooks, encyclopaedias and anthologies.  He is Foundation and continuing editor of the journal Science & Education: Contributions from the History and Philosophy of Science.  

His books include The Marxist Theory of Schooling: A Study of Epistemology and Education (Humanities Press 1980); Science Teaching: The Role of History and Philosophy of Science (Routledge 1994); Challenging New Zealand Science Education (Dunmore Press 1995); and Time for Science Education: How Teaching the History and Philosophy of Pendulum Motion can Improve Science Literacy (Plenum Publishers 2000); Science Teaching: The Contribution of History and Philosophy of Science. 20th Anniversary enlarged edition (Routledge 1994);

His edited books include The Scientific Background to Modern Philosophy (Hackett 1989); History, Philosophy and Science Teaching: Selected Readings (Teachers College Press 1991); Constructivism in Science Education: A Philosophical Examination (Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998); Science Education and Culture (Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001, with F. Bevilacqua and E. Giannetto); The Pendulum: Scientific, Historical, Philosophical and Educational Perspectives (Springer 2005, with A. Stinner and C.F. Gauld); Science, Worldviews and Education (Springer 2009) and the Springer Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching (Springer 2014).

 In 2010 he was awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize of the History of Science Society (USA) in recognition of his contributions to the teaching of history of science.


A/Professor Michael Matthews is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. For further information please see Associate Professor Matthews' School profile.

Research Summary:
History and philosophy in science education; philosophy of education


Honours and prizes

2010 History of Science Society (USA) ‘James H. Hazen Education Prize’ for promotion of history of science teaching.

Professional contribution

Foundation editor (1990-2014) of Springer journal 'Science & Education: Contributions from the History and Philosophy of Science'.


President Interdisciplinary Teaching Commission of the Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and the Divisiion of the History of Science and Technology of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science.