The Politics of STEM Education (#STEMPoliticsUW)

In recent years, there has been an increase in attention to what has come to be known as STEM (or STEAM) education in education circles and in the public sphere. Although this focus on STEM may seem recent, it is part of a long history of interest in the STEM disciplines. In this interdisciplinary course, we will consider STEM (and STEAM) education from a political perspective. We will examine the history of STEM education and connect the interest in STEM to ideas of international competitiveness and national security. Additionally, we will consider public discourses about STEM and the ways in which those discourse influence issues such as school choice, educational opportunity, and career opportunities. Readings for the course will draw from the history of education, STEM education (including research from each of the indicated disciplines), foundations of education, sociology, economics, popular press, and federal policy.