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Old 12-19-2023, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,917 posts, read 24,424,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
The dearth of people going into STEM is the topic of this thread. We do train. The question is, how far back do we go with the training? And what do we train them? We can't go back and teach fundamentals that should have been learned years before. Or how do we train "think like an engineer" mindset and habits needed to success? How do we break the "fill in the blank; mark the bubble; teach to the test" mindset that's been programmed into them for the 17 years they've been in the education system (K-12 + 4 college)? These kids aren't dumb; they're smart. But what we're asking them to do when they enter the engineering world is almost the opposite of every behavior, they've been taught their whole lives.
The bolded is a very important -- and potentially dangerous -- concept.

I still want kids to be kids. They'll have 50-60-70 years to be adults. And when you start "training" children to be what you want them to be, it gets very much like what I see in some authoritarian countries. Middle and at least through the 10th grade (if not beyond) should be two things (in my view) -- receiving a cultural education that helps them understand who they are and the nation and world that they are a part of AND learning a broad set of learning skills and behaviors that can prepare them to make wise choices FOR THEMSELVES (not for mommy and daddy).
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Old 12-19-2023, 03:14 PM
 
14,416 posts, read 14,341,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
The dearth of people going into STEM is the topic of this thread. We do train. The question is, how far back do we go with the training? And what do we train them? We can't go back and teach fundamentals that should have been learned years before. Or how do we train "think like an engineer" mindset and habits needed to success? How do we break the "fill in the blank; mark the bubble; teach to the test" mindset that's been programmed into them for the 17 years they've been in the education system (K-12 + 4 college)? These kids aren't dumb; they're smart. But what we're asking them to do when they enter the engineering world is almost the opposite of every behavior, they've been taught their whole lives.
1. Do you think its the job of schools to teach students to "think like an engineer"? (I don't)

2. The university seemed to believe when my son entered in his freshman year that he should have progressed so far through math that he had taken the equivalent of two semesters of calculus before college. I find that a bit much when he had taken College Algebra and Trigonometry both before graduating high school. Is that your idea of being "taught fundamentals that he should have learned years before"? Suffice it to say, he ditched engineering as a major and now has a successful career in the accounting field.

3. Are you upset that on standardized achievement tests that American kids test 34 out of 40 countries? Teachers are trying to "teach to the test" precisely to improve that standing. As long as ranking on standardized tests is so critical much teaching will be "to the test".

4. Ideally, kids would be given more of an opportunity to experiment both at home and at school. However, I think this is part of the problem. Where years ago, kids built a tree house or took the vacuum cleaner apart and put it back together today they play with electronic toys or watch television. One reason I proposed lengthening the school day and/or year is it would create more time to do things like labs and experiment more.

I don't see many calling for a longer school day or school year. Nor, do I see many extra-curricular activities other than the standard football, baseball, and basketball.
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Old 12-19-2023, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
13,078 posts, read 7,548,256 times
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^In each tech recession (typically coincides to general US recessions) a bunch of technicals and engineers gets wiped out. In my generation, chip designers and associated trades gets wiped out and the next wave of incoming employee is trained in the parameters of the next generation of chips. Miss one tech generation, and you're are done in that field.
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Old 12-19-2023, 03:48 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,629 posts, read 28,732,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
So what?
That question sounds disingenuous.
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Old 12-19-2023, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,917 posts, read 24,424,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
That question sounds disingenuous.
It's not, and here's why.

I always hear this 'thing' about Asian students. Well, my school had a somewhat large number of Asian students.

The largest group were the Korean-American students. And I came to know many of the families quite well. And if I asked them why the parents worked so hard to come to America, the answer was typically something along the lines of, "To get an American education". With rare exceptions, they could have stayed in South Korea, but chose to have their kids get "an American education".

The next largest group of Asians in my school were probably the Vietnamese. As students, I would describe them as "quite good", but not setting the world on fire. Why did they come to America. Well, many were in families that came here after the fall of Saigon. By the 1990s and early 2000s, they could have chosen to return to Vietnam, but none did. And their oft stated reason was that their kids needed an American education.

We had a smaller, but not insignificant, number of Indian students. And their parents were quite blunt about wanting their sons and daughters to get an American education...often in medicine. And speaking of that, the cardiology practice I go to has 7 Indian and/or Pakistani cardiologists. Four of the seven started their educations in India, but then came to America to get their specialty degrees in American universities. Two of them received their whole college education in America. And one got their whole college education in Great Britain and then America.

Did our Burmese students excel in our school. No...just kind of in the middle. Same for Thai and Malaysian (both embassy related). When I lived in Thailand, every doctor I ever saw got part of their education in America. Surprisingly, same for Japanese (also embassy related). But all of them put American education as being high in value.

But let's turn it around. Do we have many American students who work hard to go to universities in Korea? Vietnam? India? Pakistan? Japan?

If all these people want their kids to get an American education...how can American education be so bad? And, more to the point of the post...lauding "Asians" as superior students...depends on which Asian culture to a large degree.

If
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Old 12-19-2023, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Moving?!
1,257 posts, read 831,719 times
Reputation: 2514
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
The problem I'm seeing is that we already have a dearth of people going into engineering.
I disagree.

https://ira.asee.org/wp-content/uplo...mbers-2021.pdf
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Old 12-19-2023, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,075 posts, read 7,258,724 times
Reputation: 17146
No.

The fastest growing college majors over the last 10 years are in the sciences.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michael...h=2a9008df350f

All of you that hate the humanities - those ARE dying. See the article. The biggest losers over the past 10 years, in raw #s of degrees conferred per year:

Education - 16,230
English Language/Literature- 15,193
Social Sciences and History - 11,618
Foreign Languages - 5.202
Liberal Arts/Humanities - 4,060
Theology - 1,864
Architecture - 1,006
Area/Ethnic/Cultural/Gender Studies - 853
Philosophy/Religious Studies - 614

The biggest winners:

Health Professions + 127,659
Computer/Information Sciences + 57,454
Engineering + 55,675
Biology/Biomedical Sciences + 40,199
Business + 29,732
Psychology + 22,753
Parks/Recreation/Leisure + 20,417
Agriculture/Natural Resources + 15,505
Homeland Security/Law Enforcement + 13,431
Math and Statistics + 11,187
Communications/Journalism + 10,472

The only thing that surprises me there is the growth in Communications/journalism.

We are going to see the death of humanities education in this country except at the elites. This is sad. West Virginia University is leading the way. https://dailymontanan.com/2023/12/18...-rural-states/

Last edited by redguard57; 12-19-2023 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 12-19-2023, 09:45 PM
 
12,869 posts, read 9,093,207 times
Reputation: 35000
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
If business wants engineers badly enough they are probably going to have to take people who aren't up to this level and find some way to give them on the job training. Its either that or simply do without.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
The dearth of people going into STEM is the topic of this thread. We do train. The question is, how far back do we go with the training? And what do we train them? We can't go back and teach fundamentals that should have been learned years before. Or how do we train "think like an engineer" mindset and habits needed to success? How do we break the "fill in the blank; mark the bubble; teach to the test" mindset that's been programmed into them for the 17 years they've been in the education system (K-12 + 4 college)? These kids aren't dumb; they're smart. But what we're asking them to do when they enter the engineering world is almost the opposite of every behavior, they've been taught their whole lives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
The bolded is a very important -- and potentially dangerous -- concept.

I still want kids to be kids. They'll have 50-60-70 years to be adults. And when you start "training" children to be what you want them to be, it gets very much like what I see in some authoritarian countries. Middle and at least through the 10th grade (if not beyond) should be two things (in my view) -- receiving a cultural education that helps them understand who they are and the nation and world that they are a part of AND learning a broad set of learning skills and behaviors that can prepare them to make wise choices FOR THEMSELVES (not for mommy and daddy).
In his post markg says that business should provide OJT. My response is that we do. But how far do we go back? Do we need to train them to do the job, which is what OJT is for or do we need go teach basic principles? Do we need to teach engineering fundamentals? Calc? Shouldn't they have been taught that in college? We're not talking about children here, but college graduates who haven't been prepared.
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Old 12-19-2023, 10:04 PM
 
12,869 posts, read 9,093,207 times
Reputation: 35000
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
1. Do you think its the job of schools to teach students to "think like an engineer"? (I don't)
.
Yes, as a matter of fact teaching students to think critically; to analyze, explore, experiment; understand; draw conclusions; propose alternatives; test options is what school should be doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
2. The university seemed to believe when my son entered in his freshman year that he should have progressed so far through math that he had taken the equivalent of two semesters of calculus before college. I find that a bit much when he had taken College Algebra and Trigonometry both before graduating high school. Is that your idea of being "taught fundamentals that he should have learned years before"? Suffice it to say, he ditched engineering as a major and now has a successful career in the accounting field.
Yes, in today's world they need to have basic calc in high school or they'll have to work their tails off in freshman year to catch up like I did."
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
3. Are you upset that on standardized achievement tests that American kids test 34 out of 40 countries? Teachers are trying to "teach to the test" precisely to improve that standing. As long as ranking on standardized tests is so critical much teaching will be "to the test".
Teaching the test is just trying to game the system to improve the score but does nothing to improve the learning outcomes for the students. Ultimately, it's an admission of failure because who does gaming the score actually help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
4. Ideally, kids would be given more of an opportunity to experiment both at home and at school. However, I think this is part of the problem. Where years ago, kids built a tree house or took the vacuum cleaner apart and put it back together today they play with electronic toys or watch television. One reason I proposed lengthening the school day and/or year is it would create more time to do things like labs and experiment more.
Kids' brains need time to absorb and process new information. Dragging out the school day longer or spending more time in the year doesn't change that process. If something isn't working, I wouldn't expect doing more of it to fix its basic problems.
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Old 12-19-2023, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,917 posts, read 24,424,171 times
Reputation: 33006
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
In his post markg says that business should provide OJT. My response is that we do. But how far do we go back? Do we need to train them to do the job, which is what OJT is for or do we need go teach basic principles? Do we need to teach engineering fundamentals? Calc? Shouldn't they have been taught that in college? We're not talking about children here, but college graduates who haven't been prepared.
And then you brought in K-12. So thinking you might mean going back into secondary school was not unreasonable. Sorry, it wasn't clear.

Last edited by phetaroi; 12-19-2023 at 11:33 PM..
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