Nothing says Sunday afternoon (for an education geek) like trolling through the Journal of Science Teacher Education for open-access articles to read. While I'm happy that this one is open, it's frustrating to read that the researchers note that a challenge leaders experience in improving STEM education is accessing formal science education research data. I'm assuming that the access issues are related to cost -- at $30 or so per article, this is no surprise. How great would it be (for educators, perhaps not for publishing companies) if research that was funded with public money had to be published openly on the web?
There are lots of good ideas in this article - it's worth a full read, but here are a few quips if you don't have time at the moment:
Potential collaboration opportunities include Web sites or blogs that promote information sharing between schools and policy makers, rotating positions for principals as state and federal policy consultants, short-term “internships” for policy makers in schools and principals in federal and state legislative offices, and professional development workshops involving policy makers at different levels in evidence-based debates regarding what is required to effectively teach science.
Policy makers in school, and school leaders making policy? That sounds so ... logical!
With access to more information than federal and state policy makers or principals in isolation in terms of pedagogical approaches and incentives for high quality instruction, principals can work together to generate effective policy strategies to improve science teaching in their unique school environments.
Sounds like a nice grant opportunity. In the mean-time, I'm using Twitter to build my own network of principals and teachers - as are many others.
Principal communities, and the use of technology to create communication channels among principals, policy makers, and science education researchers are promising mechanisms for generating effective policy at the federal, state, and school level.
The pieces and players are here -- step 2 = open access & knock down barriers. Go!