I’ll be at the West Metro Critical Thinking Club on Saturday morning to talk STEM. Come on down and tell me what you think — I’m aiming to set up the issue and then try to get opinions from the audience, so the more the feistier.
TOPIC: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the Liberal Arts: How do we teach science?
There is a constant push to change education from an experience that broadens the mind to one that focuses students on a vocation. We’ve got universities hiring business people with no educational experience to make them more profitable, and people seriously questioning the value of disciplines like philosophy, psychology, sociology, or anything that others disparagingly call “soft” subjects. At the same time, there are advocates of reform who think algebra is useless, and that we waste too much time teaching mathematics that, they think, no one will ever use.
P Z will be presenting an interdisciplinary, liberal arts perspective on science education — we need all facets of human knowledge if we are to adequately comprehend our own narrower fields of interest. I’ll be interested in getting a discussion going about what attendees expect from a college education.