Plenary Speaker Profile (2005)
Jane Butler Kahle
Condit Professor of Science Education
Miami University
Educational Reform: Where Have We Been/ Where Are We Going?

In discussing where we have been, this presentation focuses on large-scale reforms or systemic reforms; e.g., reforms that address multiple parts of the education system and that lasted over a period of time. It presents an historical overview of large-scale reform efforts in science and mathematics education from the end of World War II to the present. Across the sixty years discussed, three waves of reform occurred in math and science education, each with specific themes or foci that guided them. From 1945 to the 1980s reform focused on Texts and Teaching; from 1983 until 1990, it emphasized Courses and Competencies; during the last wave, from 1990 to about 2002, it addressed Excellence and Equity.

Across the years, the reforms are analyzed in terms of the educational and political contexts of the day. Further, research and evaluation studies that provide evidence of success (or lack of it) are discussed. The presentation concludes with a consideration of what lessons have been learned and a provocative discussion of where we may be going.

Jane Butler Kahle is the Condit Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teacher Education at Miami University, as well as an affiliate professor in the Departments of Botany and Educational Leadership and in the Women's Studies Program. Prof. Kahle was Director of the Division for Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education at the National Science Foundation from 1999-2002. Formerly, Prof. Kahle was associate dean of the Graduate School and professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Education at Purdue University. She has been a Fellow at the National Institute for Science Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; at the Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia; and at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Prof. Kahle's research focuses on gender equity and on assessing the progress of systemic reform in science and mathematics education. She has published over 150 articles and has contributed chapters to 34 monographs and books. She has directed 53 externally‐funded projects, supported by the Carnegie Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Norman Foundation, the Squibb Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the National Institute of Education, the Women's Educational Equity Act, the National Science Foundation, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Board of Regents, among others.

Prof. Kahle received the Distinguished Scholar Award from Miami University in 2004, the Willystine‐Goodsell Award in recognition of scholarship, activism, and community building on behalf of women from the American Educational Research Association in April, 2002, and the Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award from the National Association of Research in Science Teaching in April, 2000. Prof. Kahle has been president of the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, and the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers. She has served as chairperson of the Committee on Science Education (K–12), National Research Council; of the Board of Directors, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study; of Section Q (Science Education), American Association for the Advancement of Science; of the Board of Directors, Gender and Science and Technology Association; and of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation.