Tuesday, September 30, 2014

STEM vs. The Arts

We have an annual pass to our local science center. The kids love it, it's much cheaper than a theme park, and it's something to do on days that are too hot to be outside (of which Florida has far too many). They especially love the travelling exhibits. Curious George just left and my two-year-old was very upset and wanted to know where he went. She figured it out though--he went into the TV.

The Orange County Science Center sent me a survey asking about how often we visit, how often we go to other museums, etc. Their last batch of questions was about how important STEM is versus the Arts and Humanities. (STEM, for those who draw a blank as my mind often does lately, stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. We hear a lot about pregnancy brain, but I think breastfeeding brain is a thing. Or maybe it's just mom with a baby brain.)

I hear more and more about STEM. Those fields of study are not my strong suit. Okay, I hated most of them. But I enjoyed Geology in college. I know that they are terribly important in today's world. Can you even get a job anymore without a good STEM foundation? But I fear that they could crowd out the Arts and Humanities, which are important for another reason entirely.

This all comes from a former English major who took Art History and Political Science classes for fun. But I believe that the Arts and Humanities teach us, well, how to be human. How to communicate, how to interact, how to reconcile our place in the world. They teach about beauty and tragedy and empathy. What use is a good job if you don't know how to be a decent human being?

Why does it have to be either or? (I just read an article about how there is less time for PE in school but physical activity helps you think better which would help you in school...) Well, balance is always the question. And that balancing act was on my mind.

Sorry for two philosophical posts in a row. I promise my next one will be about something trivial, like the fact that my laundry yesterday included pooped on clothes from all three of my children. (And today's included chunks of puke. The joys of sharing a stomach bug.)

No comments:

Post a Comment