Revising the Economic Imperative for US Stem Education
- Over the last decade macroeconomic studies have established a clear link between student achievement on science and math tests and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth, supporting the widely held belief that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education are important factors in the production of economic prosperity. We critique studies that use science and math tests to predict GDP growth, arguing that estimates of the future economic value of STEM education involve substantial speculation because they ignore the impacts of economic growth on biodiversity and ecosystem functionality, which, in the long-term, limit the potential for future economic growth. Furthermore, we argue that such ecological impacts can be enabled by STEM education. Therefore, we contend that the real economic imperative for the STEM pipeline is not just raising standardized test scores, but also empowering students to assess, preserve, and restore ecosystems in order to reduce ecological degradation and increase economic welfare.
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- Preferred Citation
- Donovan BM, Moreno Mateos D, Osborne JF, Bisaccio DJ (2014) Revising the Economic Imperative for US STEM Education. PLoS Biol 12(1): e1001760. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001760
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