chapter  11
4 Pages

Policy, Research, and Practice in Science Education Reform

The Elena scenario and other situations presented throughout this volume ask us to imagine how schools might be changed if the obligation for the education of each child in America was given to each responsible adult. Yet, schools cannot be changed in a haphazard way and should not be altered so that the needs of a few children prevail over all. The equity schema introduced in chapter 1 and refined in chapter 6 provides a framework to examine the equity of science education within a school or school district by looking first at outcomes (achievement). If outcomes are unsatisfactory, especially for groups of diverse learners, then an examination of inputs (resources, very broadly defined) is logical. This volume argued that for many low SES students, students of color, English language learners, students with disabilities, and girls, the conditions for learning science are so unequal, that gaps in science achievement are hardly surprising. Furthermore, systematically examining opportunity to learn factors is the obvious and rational approach for improvement.