Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MabryPsyD, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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  2. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Great article. I have a nephew who graduated NYU and then Yale with a Masters in Photography. My initial reaction to his endeavers was that he might as well majored in stage coach manufacturing. He got a non degree union state NYC bridge and highway job at 50 dollars an hour. He has a small brooklyn apartment and small photograghy studio. He loves his job, loves his money, loves his art and loves his life. He has it all.
     
  3. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    I always told my kids you didn't have to go to college, you didn't have to make a fortune, but you had to make enough money to live comfortably without struggling. You might as well do something you enjoy whether it was milking cows or building houses or cars.

    I personally think the whole STEM push is bs. This country needs to push skilled labor and trade school programs.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Indeed we do, but barring that (mostly because they do not accord with the modern American culture) we should push for more STEM. The arts have their place, but a vibrant economy on an increasingly hot, crowded planet needs far more engineers, thinkers, designers, and inventors than it needs photographers, bloggers, and cupcake shops.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Except when you realize that engineers, thinkers, designers and inventors are largely to blame for the increasing heat and crowding.
     
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  6. Ice64

    Ice64 Member

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    I tell my kids that if they decide to go to college, then they need to major in a degree that leads to a job. They are allowed to minor in whatever they want for fun. So they can minor in medieval art if they truly love it.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Well, we aren't going to English Lit or Interior Design our way out of it, that's for sure.
     
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  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'll agree that there should be more incentive for the STEM degrees, just not at the expense of all LA.

    It's obvious that as our world becomes more dependent on Technology (Whether that's a great thing is for another debate) we will need more young people entering the work force with background in STEM. I also believe we will need those LA degrees such as History, Poly Sci, English, Psychology, and a few others to round out the mix. I mean after all, someone has to write the manuals, research the markets, and communicate the new ideas.

    There will always be a place in society for the photographer, and the cupcake maker, technology and science photography is a great field, and someone has to feed all the tech workers.

    My feeling is there needs to be a balance and I admit that that balance is shifting toward STEM, but the balance still needs to be there. I agree that there will be a need for more STEM then the cupcake maker, but a new student that chooses a STEM major when they don't have the background to succeed does nobody any favors.

    Being older then dirt, I remember not long ago there was a huge glut of engineers, I had applications come into my office that had more experience then I did that were looking for entry level positions. The pendulum swings back and forth, ergo the need for a balance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    No no, lets dig it deeper. Have some genius engineer send us cane toads.

    "There are too many laws." Well, let's elect more lawyers.

    Eventually we'll just figure out life will find away. We'll reach a carrying capacity (because the natural laws that govern animals also govern humans). Maybe higher temps will be more enjoyable. Sure coastal folks won't appreciate it, sure come countries will run out of food..... people will move, people will die, and things will stabilize.... because that's how it works. We're so full of ourselves. We'll save the world. No, no we won't. We will live or die, and the world will turn.

    But no no, by all means... go ahead and try.
     
  10. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    As my boss says, "Oh for the days of natural selection". Those that can do will survive, those that can't, government subsidies.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    LITS hit the sauce early today.
     
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  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Haha, contradict it. You can't. We're on a j-shape curve…. eventually the ability to support that kind of growth runs out, and the population collapses.

    Blame the STEMs!!!

    Haha
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  13. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly. NY barely provides these opportunities IMHO. I reach my 7th graders to realize power of asking questions and communicating. Reading / writing essential.
     
  14. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    The person educated only in STEM will have a great understanding of the world and its physical resources how to use them, but won't understand the human condition to apply those talents to.

    The person educated in the Liberal Arts will understand the human condition, but will not be able to apply the resources around him/her to improve it.

    The Finance major will enslave both of them in debt...

    The Lawyer will get them to sign it all away...

    No offense intended to members employed in the later two professions, but I'd rather see our society focus their talents on using the resources around them to improve the lives of their fellow man rather than fighting over ownership and value of the results.
     
  15. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    I know you were joking, but it's virtually impossible to graduate with a BS in STEM now without taking a core of liberal arts classes. And those pesky cultural events.

    The opposite is not true, you can graduate from a non STEM degrees without ever taking anything but basic math and virtually no sciences.

    As to LITS's poke... If engineers and scientists are responsible for the world's problems it's because they were satisfying a demand from broader population. And only because the others could not build that item if they wanted to!

    BTW, cane toads was a business decision from the Ag direction. Even back then scientists were well aware of the impact of invasive species. Add to that list kudzu, etc. But most invasive species came via recreation/hobbies. (Pet trade, gardeners, etc)

    Then again, we used to run out and play in the fog when the mosquito spray truck came by. DDT? Saving lives daily. (60's quote)
     
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  16. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Back in the days of the dinosaur, I was invited to have lunch in the faculty dining room while working on a project at my campus. This was 4 years following getting my engineering degree. They asked me now that I was "out in industry" what changes would I make to the curriculum? It took me only seconds to say "Half the math and twice the English. I haven't seen an integral in 4 years but wrote 500 pages of reports last year." They all nodded in agreement ... and changed nothing.
     
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  17. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    It is a bullet, but an incomplete or wrong caliber. Some of us older folks and hopefully younger folks will agree that hard work is also required to become successful in life. Of course, luck trumps hardwork but can't rely on luck.
     
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  18. billyb

    billyb Member

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    The problem with STEM these days is the quality of teacher in middle / high school teaching math and science. A bad experience in middle school and early high school really seems to turn off those that don't have a natural gift for it. Give a $40k/ year bonus to the math and science teachers so they make a nice wage and that it is appealing to some that want to teach but don't want to sacrifice their standard of living. I think you would see a much larger # of kids go into STEM tracks.
     
  19. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    This debate reminds me one that was constantly discussed back in the day.....does one need to be familiar with the job in order to manage it well? Shouldn't one be a programmer before managing programmers? Shouldn't one have worked on the product before managing the production? Shouldn't one be familiar with the technology first? Should management really be a major? Should it be a Masters program only?
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    This is surprisingly related to the military and the division between officers and enlisted. You could ask the same question, how can LITS manage boatswain mates, operations specialist, electronics technicials etc. if he hasn't been one himself.

    It's not always about being an expert in all the things your people do.... but you do need to understand what it is they do, and how you're a part of that.
     
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