Thanks for the April 24 book review “An argument against emphasis on STEM classes” of Andrew Hacker’s “The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions.” It is gratifying for educators in the humanities to encounter validation of our efforts.
Particularly alarming is Hacker’s observation that our current emphasis on STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) is eroding “the humane spirit that has made America exciting and unique.”
It is lamentable that young scholars who feel compelled to enter STEM fields, as important as they are, often are not exposed to the mind-opening and exhilarating world of the arts and humanities. Courses in philosophy, literature, comparative religion, music and art appreciation can broaden visions and add a humane grounding and a depth of understanding to scientific pursuits.
In light of today’s political landscape, it is interesting that the review noted that UNC System President Margaret Spellings contributed to the STEM mania by spearheading a report that ultimately resulted in the adoption by most states of the Common Core Standards. Ironically, these standards are now being loudly protested by the conservative operatives who supported naming Spellings to her current position.
ESL lecturer, N.C. State University