The ideal of standards and the reality of schools: Needed research



Abstract: Research potentially can assist in the process of implementing the National Science Education Standards. Existing research shows that changes called for in the Standards are difficult to put into practice, create dilemmas for teachers, require significant changes in teachers' values and beliefs, are fostered when change is pursued within departments within schools, are influenced powerfully by teacher collaboration in the work context, are often resisted strongly by parents, and often demand new student roles and different student work. The results of research on reform do not give a definitive picture of the most productive roles for students, the nature of the desired student work, how teachers can best be engaged in reassessing values and beliefs and taking responsibility for acquiring new professional competencies, how to realize “science for all,” and the most effective ways of involving parents. Research is needed which will: (1) be approached from multiple perspectives, (2) be conducted in the “real world,” (3) focus on interventions into conventional school practice, (4) not assume change can be driven from the top down, (5) be interpretive in nature, (6) focus on student roles and student work, (7) give major attention to teacher learning, (8) attend to parents' concerns, and (9) be approached systemically. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 3–16, 2001