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Old 07-08-2013, 03:51 PM
 
563 posts, read 806,839 times
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So I wish to all of you this question: Are the STEM fields the only thing that matters in education today, to the point we should neglect the other fields?
~never-more
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:54 PM
 
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Of course not. The most important thing is reading, followed by the ability to communicate/write and math. Then STEM.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,052 posts, read 84,419,094 times
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STEM won't help anyone if you don't have the basics down pat first.

Reading is the most fundamental. You can't do much if you are reading at a 3-4th grade level.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,594 posts, read 1,409,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Of course not. The most important thing is reading, followed by the ability to communicate/write and math. Then STEM.
The M in STEM is Math but reading ability is presumed long before STEM.

The trouble is so many tech people memorize instead of understand. That is how it is taught.

Any kid interested in STEM stuff should like this:

A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke.

A future that never came: Arthur C. Clarke

Are you talking about teaching ii or a kid learning it?

psik
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:42 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,713,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
The M in STEM is Math but reading ability is presumed long before STEM.
Technically true but as a STEM teacher I can tell you it is generally assumed to be higher math. When I said reading and math, I meant solid basics i.e. ability to do addition, subtraction, so on, quickly, accurately and without a calculator if need be.

Quote:
The trouble is so many tech people memorize instead of understand. That is how it is taught.

Any kid interested in STEM stuff should like this:

A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke.

A future that never came: Arthur C. Clarke

Are you talking about teaching ii or a kid learning it?

psik
I have no idea why you are assuming that scientists and engineers. inherently have to like science fiction.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Volunteer State
1,243 posts, read 1,145,763 times
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I teach AP chemistry an AP physics. Yet, I tell my students that the most important classes they will take are the english classes - hopefully ones that focus on reading comprehension. If a student can't read for comprehension or write in a sufficiently coherent manner as to be understood, then no other "true" learning can occur in other subjects. Memorization of facts, yes. Learning, not so much.

Now if you're referring to students seeking STEM degrees/jobs, well... I would never tell a student to pick this path simply - only - because it offers better job opportunities - which it might. A person has to be happy with their job, since they will be waking up each morning for 30+ years to go to it. So, if they are not STEM inclined or are wishy-washy about it, I tell them that they could take some STEM classes in college as electives to determine if they like it, but to also focus on both what they are good at and what they enjoy doing.

Now if you are referring to what a new teacher should possibly get certified for, STEM and SPED are the 2 of the most needed certifications in most areas. But again, do you enjoy it enough to do it for 30+ years?
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:56 PM
 
2,349 posts, read 5,431,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never-more View Post
So I wish to all of you this question: Are the STEM fields the only thing that matters in education today, to the point we should neglect the other fields?
~never-more

If not STEM, then what else?

Sales
Law
Sales
Business Owner (plumber, electrician, some type of home service like installing tankless water heaters, etc)
Sales
Non Technical Professional (HR for example)
Sales
Skilled machinist or equipment operator
Sales
Military Professional
Sales
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:58 PM
VJP
 
Location: Decatur, GA
721 posts, read 1,727,224 times
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I'm an EE grad, I worked in telecom engineering and now I sell systems (And sometimes support them).

Reading was my first skill mastered, especially reading comprehension. Writing cohesively and speaking properly are also way way up there, and above the M in STEM.


*also I do not care for any science fiction :-P
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:45 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,930 posts, read 11,712,722 times
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That's far too broad. The range of entry level salaries in STEM is enormous. The two most important things you have to learn in any field is to be able to communicate in writing and to think like a member of the profession. Both are vital.

I am a researcher, consultant and teacher in the field of applied economics. So many of my colleagues can only communicate in symbols and analytical models. They can write monographs, but when asked to discuss or write about the policy implications of their work, they are often at a loss.

Economics is not a STEM field, but can be somewhat, even very, heavy in mathematics. Consequently, PH.D programs attract many STEM-educated BS and MS, many of whom can do the math in spades, but have little or no basic understanding of how economies function in theory or fact.

I was a history major in college and have an MA in that field, as well as an MS and Ph.D in applied economics. I tell stories when I write.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,511,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
STEM won't help anyone if you don't have the basics down pat first.

Reading is the most fundamental. You can't do much if you are reading at a 3-4th grade level.
There is little I can do to teach a student chemistry or physics if they don't come to me with the prerequisite math and science backgrounds and they can't read the book.

We can chant "STEM, STEM, STEM" all we want but until we prepare more kids for STEM, nothing changes. I find initiatives like "Chemistry for all" to be a joke. All that is happening is we are lowering the bar to get the lower kids through. I'm spending my summer trying to figure out where to cut material from my curriculum because my principal thinks one of my problems is I teach too much (I teach less chemistry than I learned in high school as it is)....translation...I don't give enough A's and my class isn't an easy pass (actually it is the way I grade but I put the responsibility to pass on the student and he doesn't like that).

Reading for comprehension and writing to communicate are critical no matter what field you're in. What passes for a persuasive essay from my students is scary. One thing I do that other teachers don't do (at least not a high percentage of them), is I make my students write a formal introduction and conclusion to each lab. This is something they have complained about as being worthless to the management so I may adopt the practice of many of the chem teachers around me and just hand out packets with questions to be answered. I don't think this is worthless. I think it's one of the most valuable things I do but my students complain that my class isn't an English class so they shouldn't be graded on their writing. I disagree. As an engineer, if I couldn't write well enough to get my meaning across I'd be in trouble.

IMO, reading and writing are #1 and 2 and they go hand in hand. Then would come basic math skills and basic science skills. It's hard to teach chemistry to someone who can't do algebra and having to stop and reteach metric conversions every time one comes up takes time away from what I need to teach (I swear, every time my students have to convert someone asks "Do I multiply or divide?". They come to me unable to even figure out whether they have to multiply or divide to convert from kilograms to grams . I don't get it. I teach dimensional analysis but they are too lazy to write the units and use them. They just want someone to tell them exactly what to do.....but I digress...)
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