On the Challenges and Promise of STEM Education

Exploring the Links between Education and Economic Growth: Limits of the Emerging Consensus

In this first talk of our series on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, our presenters take a critical look at the common belief that education is a vital component of economic growth.

Reports by international groups such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development routinely link levels of educational attainment or countries' performance on international mathematics, science, and reading assessments to GDP and productivity growth.

What are the consequences of the failure of the international assessments to measure non-cognitive aspects of schooling such as persistence, effort, and interpersonal relations? Is increased spending on education in industrialized nations the right prescription for improving international competitiveness and escaping the current economic downturn?

Alison Wolf
Henry M. Levin

Respondent: Jack Buckley