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Does the rise of STEM education mean the demise of sustainability education?


Smith, C and Watson, J, Does the rise of STEM education mean the demise of sustainability education?, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 29, (1) pp. 1-11. ISSN 0814-0626 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1017/aee.2018.51


In this article, we outline the key principles of education for sustainability (EfS) that enable us to question the enthusiastic and uncritical promotion of STEM (science, mathematics, engineering and technology) and its offshoot, STEM education, as key contributors to an environmentally sustainable future. We examine the framing of STEM and STEM education as situated in an unproblematised, neoliberal growthist paradigm, in contrast to the more critical ecological paradigm of EfS. We conclude that STEM, and hence STEM education, need to include critical reflection and futures perspectives if they are to align themselves with a flourishing economic, social and environmental future. We provide examples for the classroom that illustrate our contention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:STEM, sustainability, education
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Smith, C (Dr Caroline Smith)
UTAS Author:Watson, J (Professor Jane Watson)
ID Code:130461
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Education
Deposited On:2019-01-26
Last Modified:2020-12-21
Downloads:108 View Download Statistics

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