Are mostly to do with allowing people to choose what they are going to study in high-school.
In my opinion, people should be taught as much hard-science as possible, even in Uni.
Instead, they are let off easy with useless crap such as quasi-courses on psychology,
sociology, gender studies, religious studies, political sciences, etc....
I understand not everyone is cut out for hard science but the ones that are not, rule the
i think you should reconsider your attitude toward the liberal arts and the arts in general. have you tried talking to the people who're at the top of their profession in the liberal arts fields? they're SMART. as smart and just as geeky as the majority of "g33kz" on slashdot or kuro5hin.
i hadn't been signing into my kuro5hin account, but this was an annoying post.
if you judge fields by the morons who populate the lower ranks you will, of course, be sadly disappointed. tried talking to a very average computer science major from a small university lately? most of them are without drive, without talent, and without much of a clue. just like the people majoring in education, psychology, english, sociology, history, political science, or anything else. the *dregs* of the department are always a nightmare to deal with. Those students don't tend to survive upper-division courses, though. It becomes a struggle. Few of them move on to do graduate work. Only the few who make it that far end up doing research and publishing their work.
As I get older i find that more and more of the work i do as a person involved with the liberal arts involves interaction with technology. Not everyone is engaged with writing or history because they're an idiot. Some of us actually enjoy this stuff. (i've been a linux propellerhead since November of 1992. my first distro was SLS on 5.25" floppies. I did five years of solo Netware and Solaris admin work. My degree is in english, for christ's sakes. heaven forbid that someone actually notice that i'm not a computer science major or an engineer... i used to be, but i figured out quickly that the puzzles in linguistics and religious literature are more interesting... genuinely very difficult and complex.)
Most things about technology are genuinely good. Getting new tools, and developing new tools to use to teach people, is important to *everyone*. not just the science classroom teacher- discussion and interaction are important to us as social animals.
anyway. my rant for the day is that educating people to a narrow standard produces a group of people who are very poor thinkers. people who can't reason, can't write, and can't create at will. when i say create, i'm referring to the ability to come up with something that needs to be done, assess the tools required to do it efficiently, and then follow-through on the implementation. Most of the "hard science people" i'm acquainted with who're capable of that can generally keep up with me in a good argument or problem-solving contest.
I teach freshman "composition and rhetoric" at a fairly decent-sized university. High schools are not adequately preparing their students to write a four-page essay about "pick a theme in american beauty and discuss how it relates to your own experience", much less a term paper or a thesis or any sort of complex product that they've thought through. I find this depressing. Is it because students are pushed to learn "hard science"? No. I think that's a very silly claim. I think we don't push students to think hard enough, or for long enough, and that we don't have the infrastructure that it takes to make sure that it happens.
I'd love to see schools implement a large-scale mentoring program where people from the community can come into the schools and have students sign up to work with them and come to understand a whole bunch of things about the world that most don't get. I wish people understood *why* designing a car is important, not just know how to do it. If students learned to see the magic in things (and in ideas, and in creativity, and in expanding their views of different cultures/people/philosophies) we'd have a lot more happy students and eventually a happier society.
Things like Columbine happen because "people" (as i make a sweeping generalization) are depressed. They don't have things that they can love, care about, and enjoy. TV and playing "doom" have little to do with it- they're symptomatic of something much worse. A lack of engagement with the world. If people are involved, interested, and excited about the things they see around them, they become HAPPY. funny how that works. Its something to work toward.
sorry if i sounded didactic or preachy at the beginning of this post- i was kind of annoyed to have the "science versus the arts" debacle thrust in my face one more time :) i'm genuinely interested in helping people (that being something i find is wired into some of us on the personality level) and i find that balancing interests in the sciences and humanities is a good way for me to keep my head screwed on straight WRT what's important in the world.
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