STEM ???

Aug. 18, 2017

STEM – A MISCONCEPTION GONE WILD

Oh! Oh! There goes “Grumpy” again flying into the face of the accepted paradigm.

Today, our education establishment and even the business sector have been lured into a false paradigm designed to “save American productivity and jobs”.  It seems that foreign workers have been being hired for our engineering and science based jobs because we don’t have a sufficient number of students adequately trained in the quantitative arts. The solution has been determined to be to spend a ridiculous amount of money and effort to ensure EVERY student or at least as many as possible are exposed to STEM oriented training. That way we will excel and become dominant in the world in the areas STEM addresses.

 

The problem with this approach is that it is self satisfying, logical on the surface, AND totally misdirected. While we are focusing on producing millions and millions of moderately well trained students in these arts other countries are producing BETTER trained students. When an American  company wants an engineer, scientist, or cyber specialist they don’t look for the most they search for the BEST. Instead of developing well educated students in all disciplines we are settling for mediocre or at least sub-excellent students who are poorly prepared for their chosen discipline.

 

Instead of stressing STEM we should be making the completion of these courses as well as those in Management, Marketing, Finance, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, etc. as difficult as possible. Making failure a real possibility so that those who meet the rigors of the discipline are truly competitive on the international stage.

 

We are “channeling” our students toward STEM when a good 85% will never seek a career in these fields and many who do will accept a lower level position working for a foreign national who was properly prepared. At the same time they won’t be prepared to be exceptional in any other field they may decide is their ambition.

 

I could go on but would just like to ask you to consider this point of view.

 

GRUMPY.