STEM 4.12 Social Work Values

Social Work Values

Refer to an importance placed on working with people and making a contribution to society.

People who want to work with others or to help others have strong social work values. One of the primary concerns about STEM career awareness is that people often don’t identify the social values within STEM!

Arrow Icon Earlier in this module, you learned about three key messages for STEM careers:

  1. STEM professionals make a world of difference and help shape our future;
  2. STEM careers are essential to our health, happiness, and safety; and
  3. STEM professionals are creative and collaborative problem-solvers.

These messages are proven to increase all student interest in STEM. However, it is particularly important that we use these messages with young women. Because research indicates that most women have strong social work values. This is evident in women’s career choices, because they are more likely to choose careers in the humanities and service professions.

We can change this. When we relate the value of STEM careers in a way that is attractive to students with social work values, we are able to challenge many old stereotypes. Help your students see the connection between STEM and social values by using the three key messages above.

  1. National Academy of Engineering, Committee on Public Understanding of Engineering Messages, 2008, Changing the Conversation: Improving Public Understanding of Engineering, Washington DC, National Academies Press.