Is It Time to Stem the ‘STEM Education’ Tide?

By Erik W. Robelen — October 05, 2010 1 min read
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OK, I’m the first to admit it. I’ve imbibed the Kool-Aid when it comes to using the phrase “STEM education” in blogs and stories. (For those not in the know, STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.)

An item in yesterday’s New York Times challenges the widespread use of the phrase in education/science policy circles, calling it “odious and increasingly pervasive.” The article goes on to say that STEM education is “opaque and confusing.” Oh, and it sounds “didactic and jargony,” which apparently has led former astronaut Sally Ride to consciously avoid it in her travels around the country promoting science education.

The NYT story notes that, based on one recent survey, most people don’t even know what STEM education is.

So, what say you, Gentle Reader? Is it time to retire STEM from the vocabulary of education and science wonks? Well, all I’ll say on the matter is that I have noticed that my blog posts tend to get more retweets when the phrase is in the headline.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.