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Large-scale interventions in science education: The road to utopia?



This article provides commentary on the five articles in this issue on large-scale interventions in science education for diverse student groups in varied educational settings. Using these articles as a point of departure, I discuss three challenges to science education research and practice. The first concerns the changed meaning of science education reform over the past two decades. The science education research and development community must be aware of the shifting policy and public awareness context of their work and react accordingly if it wishes for its work to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students. The second addresses the importance of teacher professional development and the role that well-designed and internally valid research plays in developing knowledge in this area. The third discusses the chaotic and contradictory nature of educational policy in this country and argues that our field needs to align our research work with the ways in which real and impactful decisions are made about education in general and science education in particular. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 49: 420–427, 2012