“STEM without flowers is just a bare stem…”


© Radhoose | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
© Radhoose | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

…which sometimes can have some BIG thorns…

We need more engineers and scientists. That has become the mantra of promoters of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in education. There is nothing wrong with such a rallying cry, except that investment in STEM education usually comes at the expense of HAS (humanities, arts, and social sciences).

There is no arguing that inadequate science and mathematics education threatens the economic competitiveness of the United States.

It is no less true, however, that the neglect and systematic defunding of education in fields such as history, sociology and art history can have even more damaging repercussions. Damages include the creation of an uninformed citizenry and a concomitant erosion of democracy, and of a workforce unable to understand, communicate, and collaborate with people of different cultures in an increasingly diverse America and globalized world…

Continue reading @ ARTSblog » Blog Archive » STEM Promotes Science Instruction at the Expense of Humanities.

2 comments

  1. Keith,

    Thanks for pointing to this!

    I mostly agree with Mr. Martinez-Fernandez’s analysis of the situation, except where he says “There is nothing wrong with such a rallying cry… that inadequate science and mathematics education threatens the economic competitiveness of the United States.” I think there is something wrong with the rallying cry: it concedes to the terms of the debate set by those advocating a corporatist model of what it means to be an educated citizen, and generally to have an educated citizen in a democratic republic. Those terms ignorantly couch the problem as STEM vs. HASS, whereas the real issue is between a society of mere laborers vs. a society of critically-engaged (historically, what was meant by ‘enlightened’) citizens.

    See my comment to his post: http://blog.artsusa.org/2012/11/30/stem-promotes-science-instruction-at-the-expense-of-humanities/.

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