Marginalizing the fields of study (the arts, history, reading, English, foreign language, etc.) that promote the creativity, critical thinking, and out-of-the-box ingenuity that is required to make entrepreneurs and scientists successful is unwise. Americans are strong because we're not bound by convention, we're not restrained by rules and norms, we're individuals, at least we used to be. If we empower that kind of educational environment then we will continue to remain on top. We need to unleash the imagination of our people and allow them to be anything that they can IMAGINE!
Confining education to STEM is foolish and it will only tie us down to be like every one else, we're not like everyone else. There is a unique spirit in this country that you cannot teach, you cannot capture, you cannot put it in a textbook; you can only create an environment where the American spirit and creativity is unleashed allowing imagination to be our guide, truly showing us that there are no boundaries. Our students from primary schools all the way to PhD programs need to be empowered to think about things in new and creative ways and that happens by bringing the humanities together with STEM, that happens by teaching chemistry through theatre and history through biology. We need to REINVENT EDUCATION not simply regurgitate the past ideals and call it dinner. If our economy, our culture, our society, our nation is going to survive this crisis and survive it well we must turn to educators and innovators to create the world's most successful students by allowing them to be empowered to create a better future, and that will only happen through REAL and MEANINGFUL Education Reform, it won't happen by focusing all of our efforts purely on STEM.
We will not be successful in science without the ability to question what is accepted and find greater truth. We will not be successful in technology if we do not have a culture that empowers the dreamers to think up the ideas of the 21st and 22nd centuries and beyond. Engineering will be bound by what we know and the beauty of architecture, bridges, and even computers will be limited by the creative talents of virtual porridge. Mathematics is tied up by endless rules, laws, and theories; but the greatest breakthroughs were made by those that refused to be held down by those rules, those that made mathematics work in their favor and created phenomenal works by challenging the status quo. Our students get this sense of adventure, this healthy appetite for rebellion from the humanities. All things are linked together. Education tells a story of humanity and creates the authors of our future. We must begin to see that STEM is nothing without the ideas of Shakespeare and Robespierre, Pollack and Picasso, and so many other artists and writers, performers and activists. STEM education is needed and necessary, but we need to look at science from the perspective of a sculpture, we need to look at technology like a dancer, see engineering as a protagonist and antagonist in a great novel, we need to see mathematics in the way a revolutionary sees the spread of democracy.
Education, is not a formula that can simply be applied and then automatically pop out a perfect solution; it is a unique combination of ideas and circumstances, experiences and exposure to the world. An education system focusing purely on STEM, is like a plumber in a flooded house looking only at the kitchen sink to fix the leak.