The link between policy and practice in science education : the role of research

Fensham, Peter J. (2009) The link between policy and practice in science education : the role of research. Science Education, 93(6), pp. 1076-1095.

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Policy has been a much neglected area for research in science education. In their neglect of policy studies, researchers have maintained an ongoing naivete about the politics of science education. In doing so, they often overestimate the implications of their research findings about practice and ignore the interplay between the stakeholders beyond and in-school who determine the nature of the curriculum for science education and its enacted character. Policies for education (and science education in particular) always involve authority and values, both of which raise sets of fascinating questions for research. The location of authority for science education differs across educational systems in ways that affect the role teachers are expected to play. Policies very often value some groups in society over others, as the long history of attempts to provide science for all students testifies. As research on teaching/learning science identifies pedagogies that have widespread effectiveness, the policy issue of mandating these becomes important. Illustrations of successful policy to practice suggest that establishing conditions that will facilitate the intended implementation is critically important. The responsibility of researchers for critiquing and establishing policy for improving the practice of science education is discussed, together with the role research associations could play if they are to claim their place as key stakeholders in science education.

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23 citations in Scopus
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18 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 28130
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Policy and practice in science education, Researchers in science education, Key stakeholders in science education, Research associations
DOI: 10.1002/sce.20349
ISSN: 0036-8326
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2009 01:13
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2013 16:11

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