Neoliberalism and STEM Education

Lyn Carter


This paper summarise some of the more salient points of neoliberalism as the ideological space driving much of contemporaneity including that of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and STEM education. It describes the neoliberal underpinnings of STEM silencing other perspectives of science education, effectively narrowing its possibilities. This paper also reviews the Australian discourse on STEM and STEM education as expressed by the selected sections of the Australian Government and the Australian Chief Scientist. Like the GERM (global education reform movement) contagion that it is, STEM only really officially reached the shores of Australia when in 2012 our Chief Scientist began a series of utterances (speeches, media interviews, reports, position papers and the like) that purposefully included this acronym. The paper also describes the appointment of Australia’s most recent Chief Scientist whose biography sees him well suited to the enterprise society.

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