The Role of Public Policy in K-12 Science Education

Edited by:
George E. DeBoer, AAAS Project 2061

A volume in the series: Research in Science Education. Editor(s): Dennis W. Sunal, University of Alabama. Cynthia Szymanski Sunal, University of Alabama. Emmett L. Wright, Kansas State University.

Published 2011

The goal of this volume of Research in Science Education is to examine the relationship between science education policy and practice and the special role that science education researchers play in influencing policy. It has been suggested that the science education research community is isolated from the political process, pays little attention to policy matters, and has little influence on policy. But to influence policy, it is important to understand how policy is made and how it is implemented. This volume sheds light on the intersection between policy and practice through both theoretical discussions and practical examples.

This book was written primarily about science education policy development in the context of the highly decentralized educational system of the United States. But, because policy development is fundamentally a social activity involving knowledge, values, and personal and community interests, there are similarities in how education policy gets enacted and implemented around the world.

This volume is meant to be useful to science education researchers and to practitioners such as teachers and administrators because it provides information about which aspects of the science education enterprise are affected by state, local, and national policies. It also provides helpful information for researchers and practitioners who wonder how they might influence policy. In particular, it points out how the values of people who are affected by policy initiatives are critical to the implementation of those policies.

Preface to the Series. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction to the Policy Terrain in Science Education, George E. DeBoer. PART I: MULTIPLE INFLUENCES ON POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ENACTMENT. Science Education Policy and its Relationship with Research and Practice: Lessons from Europe and the United Kingdom, Jonathan Osborne. Science Teacher Education Research and Policy: Are They Connected?, Jane Butler Kahle & Sarah Beth Woodruff. How do Foundations Influence Science Education Policy? Dennis W. Cheek, and Margo Quiriconi. How do Funding Agencies at the Federal Level Inform the Science Education Policy Agenda? The Case of the National Science Foundation, Janice Earle. La main à la pâte: Implementing a Plan for Science education reform in France, Jean-Pierre Sarmant, Edith Saltiel, and Pierre Léna. The Role of State Education Departments in Science Education Policy Development, Dennis W. Cheek, and Margo Quiriconi. Science Education Policy and Student Assessment, Rodger W. Bybee. How can Science Educators Influence Legislation at the State and Federal Levels? The Case of the National Science Teachers Association, Jodi Peterson. PART II: IMPACT OF POLICY ON CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, AND THE EQUITABLE TREATMENT OF ALL STUDENTS. How State and Federal Policy Affects What is Taught in Science Classes, George E. DeBoer. Equity and U.S. Science Education Policy from the GI Bill to NCLB: From Opportunity Denied to Mandated Outcomes, Sharon J. Lynch. The Effect of Educational Policy on Curriculum Development: A Perspective from the Lawrence Hall of Science, Linda De Lucchi and Larry Malone. PART III: POLICY IMPLEMENTATION. School Leadership for Science Education, Richard Halverson, Noah R. Feinstein, and David Meshoulam. About the Authors.