Learning Sciences Exchange Fellow

Brenda Bushouse


Her research focuses on the most vulnerable in our society: children. She asks a simple question: Why do governments consistently under invest in the programs that benefit children? Her focus is on the actors, funding, and framing that lead to policy change success for children. In Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts (awarded the Virginia Hodgkinson Research Prize) she explains why state governments (U.S.) invested in pre-kindergarten education, a rare victory for children. In a similar study of New Zealand (funded by the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy) she chronicled its universal prekindergarten policy change process. In her current historical study of U.S. child policy since the 20 th century, she is exploring success and failure across time and policy domains with notable early success in child labor and more recently for health insurance for children but also notable missed opportunities in other policy areas. The ongoing focus of her work is how to create more policy successes that benefit children.