STEM: Efforts to inspire more children could be entrenching educational inequalities

phys | August 23, 2019

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is a priority for governments around the world. For example, the UK's current commitment to increasing investment in research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 means that we need to train 260,000 more researchers to carry out this work. There has long been a perceived shortage in such skills and knowledge. And this drives policy measures in education, skills and immigration to address the situation. In their STEM strategies, governments are increasingly focused on addressing the large disparities in participation between different social groups. For example, in the UK only 15% of scientists come from working-class households, just 7% of patents are filed by women, and among start-up founders men outnumber women four to one. The problem is often discussed in terms of a "leaky pipeline," the idea that potential STEM professionals are lost at particular points along defined pathways.

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The Education 4.0 learning taxonomy presents a comprehensive set of skills, attitudes, and values to prepare young learners for well-being in the economies of the future. This white paper outlines the philosophy behind Education 4.0, as well as the specific taxonomy structure of skills, attitudes and values, and their respective definitions, synthesizing and building on contemporary research and established education taxonomies.

Spotlight

The Education 4.0 learning taxonomy presents a comprehensive set of skills, attitudes, and values to prepare young learners for well-being in the economies of the future. This white paper outlines the philosophy behind Education 4.0, as well as the specific taxonomy structure of skills, attitudes and values, and their respective definitions, synthesizing and building on contemporary research and established education taxonomies.

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