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Old 12-16-2023, 11:34 AM
509
 
6,321 posts, read 7,035,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post

............................This is one of the issues with STEM education in schools. I think the item below speaks to it:
One of the many problems that STEM education faces is the fact that students are not taught to think like a scientist from a young age.
Many college professors mention that their students were not taught how to think, and the students memorized all through high school.
The fact that students can memorize the textbooks and then get good enough grades to get into STEM programs in college suggests that the curriculum is lacking in keeping up with the way students should think.
--https://stemeducationguide.com/whats-wrong-with-stem-education/
......................
STEM education has lots of problems on its own as mentioned.

BUT your point is the critical one. To be successful in a STEM field you really do need to learn how to think and problem solve.

Our dismal K-12 education system is focused on memorization and "easy" learning. In Washington state, back in the 1990's there was educational reform to focus on "thinking skills" and problem solving at the K-12 level.

The teachers unions got rid of the program after a few years. It was difficult for them to teach kids how to problem solve. Much easier giving out multiple-choice tests to see if a student remembered the material, that he could easily look up in real life!!!

I barely graduated from high school, but was interested in astronomy. Parents were poor, if I wanted a telescope I had to make it on my own.

So I did from grinding, polishing the mirror, and building the mount by myself. It changed my life, I felt like I could do anything after that. Kids that use to work on auto's developed the same life skills.

We just had a school board election and one of the conservative folks running had an idea. EVERY student should have at least ONE class every day where they MADE something. Unfortunately, he lost by 14 votes.

I think a shop class where high school students BUILD a SMALL HOUSE over the school year would do wonders not only for STEM majors but other students as well.
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Old 12-16-2023, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
13,057 posts, read 7,491,199 times
Reputation: 9787
+@509
bring back the basic manual trade skills
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Old 12-16-2023, 11:48 AM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,385 posts, read 10,647,904 times
Reputation: 12699
Quote:
Originally Posted by leastprime View Post
+@509
bring back the basic manual trade skills
I subbed for a high school science class yesterday. The majority of the class was leaving to go to the local Career and Technology Center. I asked a few of the boys what they were taking and all were in the masonry program.
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Old 12-16-2023, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,758 posts, read 24,253,304 times
Reputation: 32902
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
STEM education has lots of problems on its own as mentioned.

BUT your point is the critical one. To be successful in a STEM field you really do need to learn how to think and problem solve.

Our dismal K-12 education system is focused on memorization and "easy" learning. In Washington state, back in the 1990's there was educational reform to focus on "thinking skills" and problem solving at the K-12 level.

The teachers unions got rid of the program after a few years. It was difficult for them to teach kids how to problem solve. Much easier giving out multiple-choice tests to see if a student remembered the material, that he could easily look up in real life!!!

I barely graduated from high school, but was interested in astronomy. Parents were poor, if I wanted a telescope I had to make it on my own.

So I did from grinding, polishing the mirror, and building the mount by myself. It changed my life, I felt like I could do anything after that. Kids that use to work on auto's developed the same life skills.

We just had a school board election and one of the conservative folks running had an idea. EVERY student should have at least ONE class every day where they MADE something. Unfortunately, he lost by 14 votes.

I think a shop class where high school students BUILD a SMALL HOUSE over the school year would do wonders not only for STEM majors but other students as well.
First of all, brandishing the entire K-12 education system in every state and every district as "dismal" is unreasonable.

But you do make some good points. Here's part of the problem. I was the principal of the middle school with the biggest GT program in my state...an award winning one, and the middle school that almost always sent the most students to a regional school for science and technology. The more teachers taught critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, the more complaints we got from -- guess who -- parents. Very vocal. And you see the same mindset by many here in this forum who want to go back to the glorious past in education when they were kids...and that wasn't a time of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:03 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,541 posts, read 28,625,446 times
Reputation: 25110
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
First of all, brandishing the entire K-12 education system in every state and every district as "dismal" is unreasonable.

But you do make some good points. Here's part of the problem. I was the principal of the middle school with the biggest GT program in my state...an award winning one, and the middle school that almost always sent the most students to a regional school for science and technology. The more teachers taught critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, the more complaints we got from -- guess who -- parents. Very vocal. And you see the same mindset by many here in this forum who want to go back to the glorious past in education when they were kids...and that wasn't a time of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Different kids have different IQs, work ethics and socioeconomic backgrounds.

That is why there cannot be a one-size-fits-all in education in a country as large and diverse as ours.

Some kids are always going to be way ahead of others. There is always going to be inequality in education.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:11 PM
509
 
6,321 posts, read 7,035,579 times
Reputation: 9444
I agree with bringing back the trade skills to high school.

BUT all students including STEM and English majors need one complete year of "shop" where they build a tiny house. Forget building little shelves for putting up knick-knacks.

Starting from how to pour concrete, frame a structure, trusses, electrical, plumbing, and roofing. In most jurisdictions a 10x20 structure can be built without a permit. The tiny homes, can be converted into homeless housing at the end of the school year.

The smartest Civil Engineer I knew could design a road. But more importantly, he knew how to run CAT dozer and could actually build that road by himself!!

Those are the type of STEM graduates we need.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,758 posts, read 24,253,304 times
Reputation: 32902
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Different kids have different IQs, work ethics and socioeconomic backgrounds.

That is why there cannot be a one-size-fits-all in education in a country as large and diverse as ours.

Some kids are always going to be way ahead of others. There is always going to be inequality in education.
Are you suggesting I don't agree with that?
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,758 posts, read 24,253,304 times
Reputation: 32902
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
I agree with bringing back the trade skills to high school.

BUT all students including STEM and English majors need one complete year of "shop" where they build a tiny house. Forget building little shelves for putting up knick-knacks.

Starting from how to pour concrete, frame a structure, trusses, electrical, plumbing, and roofing. In most jurisdictions a 10x20 structure can be built without a permit. The tiny homes, can be converted into homeless housing at the end of the school year.

The smartest Civil Engineer I knew could design a road. But more importantly, he knew how to run CAT dozer and could actually build that road by himself!!

Those are the type of STEM graduates we need.
I wonder what percentage of parents would agree with you.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:21 PM
509
 
6,321 posts, read 7,035,579 times
Reputation: 9444
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
First of all, brandishing the entire K-12 education system in every state and every district as "dismal" is unreasonable.

But you do make some good points. Here's part of the problem. I was the principal of the middle school with the biggest GT program in my state...an award winning one, and the middle school that almost always sent the most students to a regional school for science and technology. The more teachers taught critical thinking skills and problem solving skills, the more complaints we got from -- guess who -- parents. Very vocal. And you see the same mindset by many here in this forum who want to go back to the glorious past in education when they were kids...and that wasn't a time of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
I have moved around the country quite a bit. Have yet to run into one that wasn't dismal.

As a immigrant to this country, my parents were focused on given me a good education. Totally lacking one themselves, that was difficult except for the willingness to accept financial hardship for themselves to help the kids.

We need to give kids the opportunity to shine, no matter their parents ideas. But I bet you there would be little parental kickback to high quality "trades" programs in the public schools.

I did have high hopes of living in Montana, when my daughter was born. Maybe Montana, the Dakota's or southern Idaho would have been different.

Yes, parents are a problem. As a forester, the public was always a "problem".

BUT as a public servant, I always told them when they were wrong!!!

One thing that has happened is that public employees are now afraid of leading. That will need to change in the future.

Need elected officials with the courage to make that happen.
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:23 PM
509
 
6,321 posts, read 7,035,579 times
Reputation: 9444
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I wonder what percentage of parents would agree with you.
Almost all of them, after the first year.

When the kid fixes the plumbing on their own, the parents will come along.
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