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Further reading on "STEM"

UNESCO-UNEVOC has compiled a short selection of academic or professional articles that might help to clarify the signification and the use of the term "STEM". It goes thus beyond the definitions stored in TVETipedia while not pretending to offer an exhaustive bibliography on the topic.

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STEM Education: A Primer By Heather B. Gonzalez Jeffrey J. Kuenzi (2012) and STEM: Country comparisons By the Australian Council of Learned Academies (2013)

To define STEM, those two publications first consider "STEM occupation". Both does so in rather different contexts. The first publication –commissioned by the American Congress - establishes a diagnosis of STEM in the USA. The second –led by an Australian public-funded consortium – is already looking for a cure to “STEM skills gaps” previously spotted. The first is based on national issues. The second develops from international comparisons.

The selected quotes highlights that no matter the scale (international, national or institutional), it seems nearly impossible to clearly define a "STEM occupation".


The Hidden STEM Economy By Jonathan Rothwel (2013)

This academic article tries to figure out the ambiguity of “STEM” by first defining STEM knowledge (and not STEM occupation like the previous articles). By doing so, it finds that a big part of the “STEM jobs” are technical (“blue-collar”) and not 'academic', contrary to popular believes.

In the selected quotes, the author develops his vision of the “STEM economy”, divided between conceptual and implementation level. He then shows the growing importance of the latest, generally underestimated by the stakeholders with clear impact on the founding of TVET in the US.


STEM, STEM Education, STEMmania By Mark Sanders (2009)

This peer-reviewed article focuses on the term “STEM education”. More precisely, it makes the case for “integrative” STEM education (meaning here “teaching among any two or more of the STEM subject areas, or between a STEM subject and another one) against “STEM education”.

In the selected quotes, the author makes a short historic of the term “STEM” before attacking its ambiguity and its artificial consistency when attached to education.


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This article is an element of the TVETipedia Glossary.


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page date 2015-05-13






page date 2014-07-24

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