Showing posts with label science education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science education. Show all posts

Thursday, January 7, 2016

STEM vs General Education in College.

STEM as well as most other specialized training at the undergraduate university level is probably not a useful choice even for those that intend a career in STEM.  The student should supplement deficiencies from high school in one's chosen field, but take advantage of the smorgasboard of interesting and thought provoking offerings that are available at most modern universities.  If some odd topic is of enough interest to be the designated major with a minor in the desired STEM the results for the student will be exceptional, especially if the major is obscure enough that a high GPA in the major is relatively easy to achieve.  The student can be sure that competition for top grades in the STEM minor will be viscious, but the aim should be adequate grades, and understanding rather than excellence.  The technology will be obsolete on graduation in any event, and the ability to rapidly learn the current technology, that is flexible thinking and a good general knowledge will be more important either in the student's chosen graduate study, or work experience to help choose a field for graduate education, or even the need for it.

It is not unusual for STEM graduates to end up in careers far from the STEM field of choice.  Two of the more uncommon graduate degrees for STEM majors are MBAs and JDs.  If one includes Medicine as a non-STEM career it is clear that success for undergraduate STEM majors is as dependent on their general education background as their STEM skills.  This is not to say that STEM training is unimportant, indeed the intellectual challenge of mastering STEM skills at any level is a great background for mastering almost any skill.  

Some of the most successful people even in STEM applications were not STEM majors at the University, but did learn how to apply general intelligence and a strong knowledge background to anything they chose to do.  One of my favorite Q&A's "What the hell does one do with a Classics Major?"  "Anything hesh wants to do."  Manage a medical practice?  No problem.  Install an EMR system in a small office? No problem.  Evaluate and install a IDC-10 computer coding system? No problem.  Be a Rock Star? No Problem.  Support a Career mom in raising exceptional and talented children?  No problem.  Be a political change agent in herm community. A work in progress but seems to be no problem. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Religion, Misogyny, and Fecundity.

Perspectivism II - Beliefnet

In general, religions particularly Abrahamic religions and their bastard offspring are fundamentally based on the persecution of women. All of their indoctrination of girls is designed to make them believe this subjugation is the right thing to do. Famously quoting Corinthians 14:33-35 at every opportunity as if it were the word of God not that of the misogynist Paul.

The problem won't be solved politically, as the political reality is that free speech does not include criticism of religion, any religion, Christian, LDS, or Islam. However, as the Catholics and the liberal Protestants have shown us, when the propagation of the man's precious seed is a matter of negotiation and not rape, the power balance changes considerably. The issue is not decided yet but Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin seems to be clearly on the wall of misogyny. When Chinese and Indian women are saying one, maybe two if you ask nicely, I doubt that Muslims or Christians can fight the trend.

It will be ugly, I think we are seeing the suicide of the Christian Right. I suspect that the left will allow gridlock continue and the states that wish to will starve their schools, medicine and welfare for the less fortunate, until they find that the less fortunate are not powerless and the streets once again will become the political forum. They will try to arrest the moms who send their kids to the unstarved schools, but separate and unequal didn't fly then and it won't now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Scientific Illiteracy in America

Scientific Illiteracy in America - Beliefnet :

"The good science journalists, are no longer found on the general news channels. They are on the blogs sponsored by the real science popular journals that are written at the GED level or higher. The US is headed for a self selected third world underclass of science and general education illiterates coexisting with an educated small segment of the society that does the science, technology, and economics that matters.

Whether or not this educated minority will be able to support the third world underclass is mostly a political issue but I suspect that the third world economists will insure that meaningful adequate 'stimulus' support to pay for the subsistence retail jobs will be shouted down by the couch potato media and their 'conservative' that is super rich supporters. I hope the fundamentalist churches are up to providing the beds for the believers that will need them."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Global warming: not a fraud

Global warming: not a fraud
The most disturbing thing to me about the recent climate change and evolution debates is how ignorance has been elevated to knowledge, and how scientists have been assaulted for holding generally accepted theories.

These issues have been demagogued to death, and the credulous or stupid people who believe the rhetoric have, in some places, turned into the majority. Science is inherently undemocratic - you don't get to vote on whether two plus two equals four, but some politicians, school boards and political parties have adopted the "wishing makes it so" protocols, and we as a nation are poorer for it.
Jon Carroll

This introduces a "petition" by 250 scientists that should be required reading for all Americans.

Jon ends his column with
Let's do nothing, and watch the coastal areas get drowned. We'll all learn how to swim!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scientific Illiteracy in America

Scientific Illiteracy in America - Science & Religion - Beliefnet Community:
science writers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum argue that America's future is deeply endangered by the scientific illiteracy of its citizens

"The scientific illiteracy of American citizens is a self correcting problem. Scientific illiterates will not be able to compete in a modern technological society and will follow in the fossil footsteps of other non-competitive species. This is known as bad luck."

Thanks to RAH for the bad luck quote. The complete quote is relevant here
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck"
From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long,1973.

This small minority, is much bigger now. It is still opposed by the majority, but there are enough of them now, and they gravitate to positions of importance in the society due to their skills, and the opposition, being stupid if organized, cannot effectively oppose them any longer. The majority will stand on street corners waving signs and honking horns full of noise and fury signifying nothing. The minority will be on the internet, the phones and making life better for all that care to participate. Unfortunately participation takes brains and the ability and willingness to use them. It will be interesting to see how long those with neither the willingness nor ability can hang on on in their service and manual labor jobs that are rapidly disappearing. The economy is improving but unemployment is approaching double digits. Are the resulting couch potatoes going to get off the couch even to breed?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Christian™ Schooling."

In a comment here it was requested that we hold McCain's feet to the fire on ID in the schools. While this is an important symbolic issue if anything ID in the schools will drive Christians™ out of public schools due to ridicule in the science classes.

The far bigger issue is the inadequate schooling in science and technology provided by Christian™ schooling whether in Christian™ schools or home schooling. There is no way in a free country to do anything about this but I suspect that the next generation of Christians™ will be so far behind in science and technology as to be unemployable. It will be interesting to see if the kids rebel and insist on public schooling.

Traditionally Catholic schools have done well in general education including science and technology, I wonder about their current curriculum. Anybody know?