STEM Deserves an F: The Role of Foundations of Education in the UTEACH Model of Teacher Preparation

Philip P Kelly


The relative position of the social foundational studies of education (SFE) within the overall curriculum of teacher preparation has been tenuous for decades.  Within the last several years, the confluence of three streams of pressure have undermined the inclusion of SFE courses within such curricula.  These include, the perceived lack of direct applicability to the tasks of teaching, the rapidly rising costs of higher education, and political disillusionment. This paper explores each of the streams of resistance to SFE courses within teacher preparation.  This exploration culminates in an examination of the latest incarnation of SFE-free teacher preparation programs, the UTeach model for preparing in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Only two of the 39 reviewed UTeach replication programs required the inclusion of SFE courses for prospective STEM teachers. The paper concludes with a discussion of importance of including SFE coursework in the preparation of STEM teachers.


Social Foundations; STEM; Democracy

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education