That’s part of the underlying assumption behind the pushback against Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s latest STEM initiative:
A crusade by humanities professors against Florida governor Rick Scott may be, contrary to their intentions, another sign of the suicide of American education. Scott has proposed lowering tuition rates for students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects in order to bolster Florida’s economy. A petition begun by University of Florida professors labels this effort a “threat to the humanities” that would sacrifice education’s nobler purposes for mere job training.
My response to the Gator professors: rubbish!
- STEM majors force people to think logically. With post-modern deconstructionism, the humanities often don’t.
- American academia is a poor transmitter of cultural norms and values. It more often than not presents a one-sided, left-wing, history and tradition hating, and dissent stifling view of the world. The recent fiasco at FAU (another tale from the land where the animals are tame and the people run wild) re the “Jesus stomping” incident only illustrates that point, and may have been in the back of Scott’s mind when he proposed his initiative. Liberals always attack their conservative (and especially their Christian) opponents for trying to impose dogma, but you can’t claim to help people think when you’re that dogmatic yourself.
- Graduates in the humanities frequently struggle to eat after they graduate, let alone pay their student loans off.
- STEM departments are consistently barraged with complaints about how much per student they cost. The students gripe about how much work it is. They’re also endlessly fending off assaults on their curricula by creeping expansion of GenEd. Scott’s initiative looks to be trying to address these problems.
It’s not an either/or situation: university students, in general, would be better off in a STEM major and obtaining their culture and values somewhere else. That’s the way it works in a great deal of the world, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be that way here.