The Importance of STEM Education to Responsible Citizenship within a Democracy

Springer Nature
Publication Type:
The Contribution of Mathematics to School STEM Education: Current Understandings, 2024
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The world currently faces challenging problems, such as climate change, food and water insecurity, and mass displacement of people. All such challenges are influenced by ethical, moral, cultural, and political factors. To engage with these challenges as both individuals and members of society, it is important that we are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make sense of them and to make decisions related to them. In today’s digital world, it can be difficult to wade through ever-increasing volumes of information and data and to be able to do this in a critical and informed way, and yet, as citizens in a democratic society, this is essential if we are to evaluate policies and hold our elected representatives to account. The important roles played by schools and STEM educators in developing future citizens with the capabilities needed to engage in these ways cannot be overstated. In this chapter, we focus on the importance of STEM education and the centrality of mathematics education within STEM to develop and strengthen our capacities to participate in democratic society. We consider the challenges and opportunities for STEM educators and describe how mathematics might be foregrounded with STEM education.
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