A very thought-provoking opinion piece in the Washington Post by columnist Fareed Zakaria warns of the dangers of over-emphasizing STEM learning above other developmental needs of our youth. Here are some pointed excerpts from the article.
"This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts ‚ÄĒ and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future. The United States has led the world in economic dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to exactly the kind of teaching we are now told to defenestrate. A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity."
"...technical chops are just one ingredient needed for innovation and economic success. America overcomes its disadvantage ‚ÄĒ a less-technically-trained workforce ‚ÄĒ with other advantages such as creativity, critical thinking and an optimistic outlook. A country like Japan, by contrast, can‚Äôt do as much with its well-trained workers because it lacks many of the factors that produce continuous innovation."
"You can make a sneaker equally well in many parts of the world, but you can‚Äôt sell it for $300 unless you‚Äôve built a story around it. The same is true for cars, clothes and coffee. The value added is in the brand ‚ÄĒ how it is imagined, presented, sold and sustained. Or consider America‚Äôs vast entertainment industry, built around stories, songs, design and creativity. All of this requires skills far beyond the offerings of a narrow STEM curriculum."
"Critical thinking is, in the end, the only way to protect American jobs."