STEM, where it came from, where is it NOT going

President Obama goes on to tell us (link to complete video) how many billions and billions are going to be burned spent in a guaranteed failure effort at solving the STEM “hole” we are told that  America is in.

Bless their hearts. Throwing money at a problem will solve it, right? Like it has worked so well before, right?

Nope.

Reality is reality, even when ideology “owns” science and tries to reinvent it. Truth is, education today is reaching more people than ever before in history, has more investment that ever, is the bestest ever. In Science, Math, everything. Yet, it is true that one-size-fits-all schooling is not good enough, or, should we stop short? it is no good. Cannot be.

And the STEM fields – and innovation in general – are in decay.

The intention of making an effort is good. However, investment in one-size-fits-all schooling cannot produce quality. Goes against the laws of nature. It might work for the majority (ahem, not even that…), but, those kids who could and should develop the STEM fields as they grow up are not “the majority”. They are the few. They are different.
They are needed. We need them – whole, fit, able, not shell-shocked for surviving a hostile school environment where innovation is not welcome.

The STEM-able are badly served by one-size-fits-all schooling. It kills them, or at least leaves them by the side.

It’s not just about kinesthetic

I mentioned kinesthetic learning in a previous blog post. Score one more for those shameful simplifications that we teachers make, simplifications which rightfully earn us the scorn of the population that notices. Making schooling into a kinesthetic-based one-size-fits-all model would barely improve STEM development.

Facts:

  • Each student is an individual
  • Each teacher is an individual
  • Learning often has very little to do with from what is being taught
  • Learning is an individual thing.

The best that a teacher can do is the agricultural approach:
provide a fertile ground, light, a good environment, support.
And watch them grow and flourish.

And how they amaze us all.

The worst s/he can do is “teach”, as in, “I have the truth and you are ignorant and when I am done with you you will be ignorant no mo’.” Or its alternative “everything goes, you are validated, whatever, whatever. Now be social!”

Is STEMginery the solution?

Good point you make, ATXinventor. Should we then adopt STEMginery, and have it fix everything?

Won’t work!
Are you listening? There is no one solution.

Proverbs 22:6
Proverbs 22:6

Every child has a path – a nature, giftings, talents – hidden or not, whatever you want to call it. Grownups are supposed to guide the child on that path. And stay out of the way, except when maybe helping clear the road ahead.

What STEMginery can do (and so far it seems it can do it very well) is to be one among other useful tools that fit that individual hunger for the particular kinds of stimuli where building stuff is an important element of the learning process of some children. It might even best many other attempts or tools so far. As with anything when we are aware of reality, it will be a total disaster for some and so-so for most, but for some, the best.thing.ever.

It all depends – on the child, parents, environment, but more than anything on the individual child (or maybe on the grownup using it – STEMginery has no age limit).

While I would like to make a decent living out of it, I am not really looking for the established schools to buy it.

My goal is to serve those that can benefit from it. Do you have one of those? follow my Kickstarter!

I am reasonably convinced that a great proportion of those children who will make a difference in Technology, Math, Science and Engineering do benefit from building the kind of strengths that STEMginery reinforces.

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