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ERIC Number: EJ1075915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Going beyond Fun in STEM
Pittinsky, Todd L.; Diamante, Nicole
Phi Delta Kappan, v97 n2 p47-51 Oct 2015
The United States education system must improve its ability to produce scientists, engineers, and programmers. Despite numerous national, state, and local efforts to make the study of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects more fun in K-12, initial interest in those subjects drops off precipitously in middle and later high school and college. The author presents some explanations for this decline and argues that the emphasis on fun is misplaced, as is, more generally, the emphasis on intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivators to study STEM. STEM subjects inevitably become difficult, which requires grit and is not compatible with an expectation of continual enjoyment. Extrinsic motivators such as success, respect, and social utility are valid and powerful. In addition, the national-level motivations for promoting more STEM in the first place are extrinsic, so that the current K-12 over-emphasis on fun at the individual level is inconsistent as well as insufficient.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A