Whenever there are discussions about the state of public education in America these days, the focus inevitably shifts toward the scores that American children get in math and science, and how there is a risk of them lagging behind other developed nations. We are constantly hearing about new ways that companies, schools and organizations expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, and how some politicians have begun to discourage people from getting degrees in liberal arts or have even underfunded liberal arts majors.
A recent editorial column in The Washington Post examined the phenomenon of America’s “obsession with STEM education.” One of the key examples that the author of the column, Fareed Zakaria, mentions is that of Apple, a company known for a combination of technology and innovation.
Where would Apple be today were it not for its ability to constantly re-imagine how humans and technology interact, and what sorts of new innovations could help make our lives easier? Apple has become more than a technology company, especially over the past decade and a half. It’s become a thought leader. Today, companies look to Apple for examples of how to be leaders in innovation in their market spaces, and a big part of that is the company’s ability to effectively combine outstanding STEM training with critical thought.
The emphasis on STEM is a rather recent trend, too. For most of the history of the United States, we’ve had an educational system that was extremely well-rounded. Technologists argue that the world today isn’t changing as quickly as in past decades and that technology plays a bigger role in our lives than ever before.
But nobody argues the importance of technology in today’s world. What is concerning is not that there is such a focus on STEM training in today’s society, but that that focus comes at the expense of other important academic areas that teach people how to be creative, how to think critically and how to be leaders in thought and business.
Any successful entrepreneur will be able to tell you that their success came from a combination of technical excellence and innovation. STEM is absolutely, incredibly important in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean that other schools of thought and learning should be left by the wayside. Just having one or the other isn’t good enough. But that seems to be lost on many people today.
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC
by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, Infusionsoft Certified Consultant and a Mobit Certified Partner. We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.