Linda De Lucchi and Larry Malone, co-directors of the FOSS Project, have co-written a chapter entitled “The Effect of Educational Policy on Curriculum Development: A Perspective from the Lawrence Hall of Science” as part of this publication. 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.