STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.
Interesting to note that this Teacher was a “Social Studies” educator. From their perspective, STEM has diminished the need for “non technical” education.
Looking at it from thier point of view, that is a true statement. Even though I completely support FIRST and the need for an increase in STEM, I also believe that we still need the non technical education, of world societies, world politics, and that they are NO LESS important than STEM.
I think what this educator is trying to point out, is the overloaded focus of STEM is causing a sacrifice in other non technical educational fronts.
To quote from a former engineer, now philosopher…
“Science couldn’t answer really the interesting questions, like man, the universe, “God”… So I turned to philosophy.”
So lets make sure we keep perspective that STEM isn’t the only thing that matters.
Honestly, this is why I am part of FIRST. While FIRST’s stated goals are STEM related, the method of accomplishing this (vs. other organizations) creates opportunities for students to excel in other fields.
I am going to become an engineer, and many of the students I mentor have already become interested prior to joining the robotics team in being engineers. I see my role as instilling in them the same values I have learned in my experience on being a better person.
STEM in my view is still important, and dependent on arguments I would be willing to concede it is more important than other fields, but that is a situational conclusion.
Ideally, everything that everyone wants to do should be equally important, but in reality, there are things that are more important some times.
I also agree with D. Allred, the teacher seems to be more frustrated with the numbers focus rather than giving a true education. It does seem he isn’t all that happy with the focus of STEM and I would disagree with the teacher about that. I don’t think his subject is of less importance when you are developing a young mind, but outside of development and learning (real world) STEM has more problems to solve.