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STEM policy and science education: scientistic curriculum and sociopolitical silences

Abstract

This essay responds to the contribution of Volny Fages and Virginia Albe, in this volume, to the field of research in science education, and places it in the context of the plethora of government and industry policy documents calling for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in schools and universities and the tension between these and students’ declining interest in studying STEM subjects. It also draws attention to the parallels between the silences around sociopolitical issues in government policies and curriculum related to STEM, including nanoscience, and those found with respect to environmental education two decades ago, and relates these to the resurgence of a scientific rationalist approach to curriculum.

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Author information

Correspondence to Annette Gough.

Additional information

This review essay addresses issues raised in Volny Fages and Virginia Albe’s paper entitled: Social issues in nanoscience and nanotechnology Master’s degrees: the socio-political stakes of curricular choices.

Lead editor: L. Carter.

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Cite this article

Gough, A. STEM policy and science education: scientistic curriculum and sociopolitical silences. Cult Stud of Sci Educ 10, 445–458 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-014-9590-3

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Keywords

  • STEM policies
  • Science education
  • Sociopolitical issues
  • Environmental education
  • Scientistic curriculum