ERIC Number: EJ1047516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
STEM Sense and Nonsense
Charette, Robert N.
Educational Leadership, v72 n4 p79-83 Dec 2014-Jan 2015
If you can believe the daily flood of mass media stories, journal articles, and white papers, the United States is facing a STEM worker crisis. Business leaders and politicians warn that the nation is falling hopelessly behind in the global economic race because our students are unprepared for and uninterested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. But according to Robert Charette, the claims of a STEM worker shortage do not stand up under close scrutiny. He points out that the United States has gone through five alarm-boom-bust cycles since the end of World War II, each sparked by fear that the nation was falling behind some military or economic competitor and lacked the skilled citizenry to compete successfully. And each time, the crisis turned out to be overstated. The research suggests that the workforce does not have a shortage of STEM workers, writes Charette--in fact, college graduates majoring in STEM fields may have trouble finding a job in their chose field of study. "We would be much better served," he says, "by less hyperventilating about STEM work shortages and more focus on improving overall STEM literacy"--the basic mastery of STEM subjects, blended with the arts and humanities, that would enable our students to function well in an increasingly complex, interconnected, technological world.
Descriptors: STEM Education, Knowledge Economy, Relevance (Education), Academic Achievement, School Restructuring, Educational Change, Science Activities, Scientific Literacy, Competition, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Test Score Decline, Educational Practices, Educational Administration
ASCD. 1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714. Tel: 800-933-2723; Tel: 703-578-9600; Fax: 703-575-5400; Web site: http://www.ascd.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A