policy making

NGSS and the landscape of engineering in K-12 state science standards

Tamara J. Moore, Kristina M. Tank, Aran W. Glancy and Jennifer A. Kersten

Recent documents pertaining to K-12 education have fostered a connection between engineering and science education to help better prepare our students and future citizens to better meet the current and future challenges of our modern and technological society. With that connection, there has been a concerted effort to raise the visibility of engineering within K-12 science education, which is reflected in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the recently released Next Generation Science Standards. As states look towards the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, it is important to take a deeper look at the shift in K-12 science education that is being suggested by these documents and what that means in terms of the potential changes for states that have chosen to adopt these standards. The main research question that has guided the work for this paper is: What is the extent and quality of the engineering that is present in state science standards and the Next Generation Science Standards? This paper will present a detailed analysis of the landscape of engineering in K-12 policy before and after the release of the NGSS through a comparative case study of academic state science standards and Next Generation Science Standards. This comparison provides insight into what the widespread adoption of the NGSS would mean in terms of potential changes in the way we implement science education in the United States.

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Experimenting with distributed approaches – Case study: A ‘national-level’ distributed dialogue on bioenergy

Marta Entradas

An emerging thread in the public participation debate is the need for innovative and more experimental forms of dialogue to address weaknesses of previous structured deliberative methods. This research note discusses an experiment with a distributed approach to dialogue, which used bioenergy as a case study. We discuss the potential of the model to attract a variety of publics and views and to inform policy. This is done with a view to refining future dialogues and increasing the involvement of scientists and other practitioners at the science-policy interface.

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Social Representations of Brain Research: Exploring Public (Dis)engagement With Contemporary Neuroscience

Cliodhna O’Connor, Helene Joffe

Recent years have seen a major expansion of the position of neuroscience in the mass media, public policy, and legal dialogue. Drawing on interviews with 48 London residents, this article examines how people with no prior involvement with neuroscience make sense of the concept of “brain research.” Thematic analysis of the data furnished little evidence that neuroscience has meaningfully infiltrated lay thinking. Respondents consigned brain knowledge to the “other world” of science, which was seen as a decidedly separate social milieu. They envisioned that the only route by which they might become alert to brain information would be if they developed a neurological illness. This article considers the social and psychological dynamics that shape neuroscience’s dissipation into public consciousness.

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National Conversations About the Costs of U.S. Health Care – A Content Analysis of Media Coverage, 1993-2010

Caroline Foster, Andrea H. Tanner, Sei-Hill Kim, Soo Yun Kim

This study evaluated 531 newspaper articles and television transcripts to examine how the U.S. media presented the issue of rising health care costs from 1993 to 2010. The prominence of health care coverage, the expert sources, and the presentation of the causes of rising health care costs were assessed. Results suggest that the president influenced health care news coverage, while expert sources quoted in the reports influenced how the causes of rising health care cost were presented. Findings contribute to the growing body of academic literature on agenda building theory and provide insights for health care reform advocates interested in maximizing their media advocacy efforts.

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