One of the goals I see most frequently in school strategic plans in the last half decade is an increased focus on STEM courses. The rationale is powerful: there is little debate that job opportunities in STEM fields will continue to far outpace that for students who have majored in the humanities. Recognizing, however, that creativity, perhaps the most agreed-upon “21st century” skill has a powerful foundation in the arts, we got to STEAM, though I suspect that this was really a coalition-building step, like congress-people adding riders to a bill to attract votes. Recently we have heard STEAMS as the social sciences try to get a letter into the alphabet soup of this kind of thinking.
Enough! What does it say about our thinking, as supposedly bright educators, when we try to solve a problem that is rooted in rigid, subject-based teaching and learning, by coming up with a subject-based solution? The world does not revolve around subjects. IMHO, schools keep the metaphorical moral/philosophical questions of dinosaur cloning out of biology class because we, the adults, don’t want to take the time to figure out how to merge them.
And while I am on this rant, it is going to take a COMBINATION of disciplines to figure out how this crow solved this puzzle!
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