Brenda Bushouse

Fellow, Learning Sciences Exchange

My research focuses on the most vulnerable in our society: children. I ask a simple question: Why do governments consistently under invest in the programs that benefit children? My 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) I explain 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) I chronicled its universal prekindergarten policy change process. In my current historical study of U.S. child policy since the 20 th century, I am 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 my work is how to create more policy successes that benefit children.