The authors of this paper examine a common rhetorical claim that improved STEM education is critical to the economic future of the United States. The first part of the paper points out certain weaknesses in this argument. The second part considers how learning research might be directed to test connections between STEM education and the economy, including with respect to workforce pipeline issues and programs. This paper is addressed to researchers in the learning sciences, but its arguments may also be of interest to educators leading workforce development programs.
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