ERIC Number: EJ1045838
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 55
Myths and Motives behind STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education and the STEM-Worker Shortage Narrartive
Stevenson, Heidi J.
Issues in Teacher Education, v23 n1 p133-146 Spr 2014
The Business Roundtable (2013) website presents a common narrative in regard to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, "American students are falling behind in math and science. Fewer and fewer students are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and American students are performing at levels far below students in competitor nations on international standardized tests in these subjects." (para.3) This message is echoed in numerous federal reports (e.g., NAP, 2005; 2010; PCAST, 2010:2012) and statements concerning STEM education from the United States' (U.S.) President Barack Obama. The narrative posed by the Business Roundtable of a failing U.S. education system and STEM-worker shortage seems to be confirmed by businesses, nonprofits and the Obama administration, as they show their monetary and organizational support to remedy this purported STEM crisis. In this article, the author first puts the STEM-worker shortage narrative into context by exploring its development. Next, she critically analyzes the answers to the following questions: (1) What if instead of a U.S. STEM-worker shortage, there is a STEM-worker surplus? (2) What are the advantages of stating there is a STEM-worker shortage if there is none? and (3) Who benefits from perpetuating a manufactured STEM-worker shortage?
Descriptors: STEM Education, Misconceptions, Supply and Demand, Career Choice, Labor Market, Labor Supply, Educational History, United States History, Salaries, Higher Education, Elementary Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A