Whether you are a parent that wants to have more input on the school's science policy, or the head of a school system trying to explain the science policy, understanding how to communicate those issues is critical to achieving those goals. Here's how to report on science policy.
- Research the Topic. In order to speak to any audience on science policy, one has to have a clear understanding of what the current policies are both at a state and local level. If one feels the policies need improvement it can be helpful to research areas that have a more effective science and technology policy to determine what makes their curriculum more effective. When presenting information to people it is always more useful when one speaks with specific data that can be documented.
- Know the Audience. A report on science policy should be prepared based on the audience that will be listening. Consider the goals, interests and objectives of the audience that will hear the speech. A group of parents and taxpayers may have different concerns than a staff of teachers who will be implementing new science policy. Do not write the same presentation materials for both groups and expect them to be effective.
- Focus on Concerns and Solutions. Parents are concerned with how science and technology policy will affect their children. Reports on science policy should address those issues clearly. Discuss specific policies that will improve science literacy. Explain how science assessment will measure that success. Parents have been promised much in the way of innovation policy. They are looking for action, not additional promises.
Teachers have similar interests in improving science literacy and want to know what science assessment will be involved. However, their needs are practical. Teachers expect assistance in achieving those goals. They generally are expected to achieve more with fewer resources. If teachers are to be excited about new science policy, a way needs to be found to convince them that this is not merely another paper that will grow dust with disuse.
- Set Realistic and Achievable Goals. It is great to set challenges and to have high standards. Create goals with substance that allow students and teachers to achieve them. Goals should be realistic, and achievable with available resources and personnel. Training and support need to be part of new initiatives. Without that in place, many science and technology policies fail to improve science assessment data.
It is important when planning changes to a science policy to communicate clearly, respect the audience when presenting those changes and provide adequate support for those changes.