Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
Educational Leadership and Policies
South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to 'Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory' (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.
Moore, G. D.(2012). Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy In South Carolina. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/989