Faculty Publications

Title

Disruptive innovation, labor markets, and Big Valley STEM School: network analysis in STEM education

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Cultural studies, Innovation, School reform, STEM crisis, STEM education

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cultural Studies of Science Education

Volume

13

Issue

1

First Page

267

Last Page

298

Abstract

A defining characteristic of contemporary trends in global education policy is the promotion of STEM learning in the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of education as a means to generate innovation and prosperity in the economy. Intertwined with common sensical assumptions about future labor markets and the transformative potential of technology in education, STEM has become a hegemonic discourse informing policy formation and educational practice. In Gramscian terms, the struggle over STEM as a discursive practice, between proponents of instrumental learning of marketable economic skills and those of education towards humanistic goals, reveals insights about the ideological characteristics of the push for STEM learning. This article explores the power dynamics behind the push for STEM learning as an ideological discourse propagated by global networks of elite policy actors and enacted by non-elite policy actors at the school level. The findings point toward a disjuncture between the discourse of elite policy actors in the US, the realities of STEM labor markets, and the actualization of this policy discourse into classroom practice. The implications of this study indicate that analyses of vertical power relations in network governance in STEM education should attend to the semiotics, materiality, and mutability of networked spaces.

Original Publication Date

3-1-2018

DOI of published version

10.1007/s11422-016-9786-9

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

Share

COinS