CCST and National Academies Policy Leadership Session at #NSTA17

How can STEM teachers become effective, impartial voices in public policy? This is the central theme of a CCST-organized session for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2017 National Conference, being hosted in Los Angeles from March 31st to April 2nd. 

Strengthening teacher voices and fostering leadership opportunities has been a focus for both CCST through CalTAC, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine through its Teacher Advisory Council (TAC). But strengthening teacher voices and cultivating future leaders requires helping teachers learn how to engage the policymaking process.

Policy understanding is a potentially powerful skillset. It increases a teacher’s understanding of how policies affecting the classroom are set or influenced. It can also help teachers learn to analyze proposed rules for implications and consequences, then effectively communicate their perspective as an advisor or as an advocate. It can also help educators become a more informed teaching professional and citizen.

For #NSTA17, CCST teamed with the National Academies to teach a primer on Federal and state-level policymaking, from process to players. A discussion will follow to hear the perspectives of STEM teachers on the need for policy education, and session participants will be asked to fill out and share a CCST/National Academies questionnaire — providing feedback to help both institutions weigh the future development of policy leadership programs for STEM teachers.


This session was made possible through a grant from the Gordon and Betty More Foundation.

“How Can STEM Teachers Become Effective, Impartial Voices in Public Policy?”
National Science Teachers Association 2017 National Conference | Session #14879
Saturday, April 1, 9:30-10:30 a.m. | JW Marriott, Diamond Salon 6

The session will give teachers a primer in understanding how policy is made and the pathways for engaging policymakers. This session is a continuation of the Enhancing Teachers’ Voices and Roles in Education Policy Making (Friday, March 31 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM). It will be a thoughtful discussion on how STEM teachers can be effective as impartial policy advisors, particularly at the state and federal government level. We will draw on advice from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and from the California Council on Science and Technology, which has experience in training scientists to communicate with state lawmakers, teaching them how to offer thoughtful analyses that have policy implications.

Organized by Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)

Moderated by Andy Kotko, Folsom Cordova Academy for Advanced Learning in Sacramento and Chair of the California Teachers Advisory Council (CalTAC)

Facilitators and Discussants:
Herbert Brunkhorst, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Science Education & Biology, CSU San Bernardino
Sarah Brady, PhD, Senior Program Associate, CCST, and former Legislative Director, Office of Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.
Members of the California Teachers Advisory Council and the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council

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