Last week I revealed that 92% of Trinitas alumni reported they were well prepared for college. Of the few that didn’t feel prepared, four Trinitas alumni stated they started out behind their college classmates in math; two of them were engineering majors, and the other two did not mention their majors in the response. This week, I will explain why they may have started out behind and also talk about where classical students stand in math compared to students in a modern, STEM-focused education model.
For about a decade now in the education world, stem has been the most frequently uttered word by politicians, bureaucrats, curriculum marketers, administrators, and teachers. Not “stem” as in the stem of a flower, but “STEM” as in the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Students are being pushed to pursue those fields for several reasons, not the least of which is that the job market is good in those broad categories. Even though the job outlook is good in those fields, US students are lagging dismally behind students from some other nations in math and science proficiency, a fact that translates directly into economic terms on a global scale, which is another reason educators are emphasizing STEM in recent years and targeting it as an area of focus in K-12 education. The bottom line, though, is that our national deficiency in math and science is more than that: it is a deficiency in education. Math and science are merely symptoms of that much larger problem, and they are front and center these days for the aforementioned reasons.