Humanities in STEM Majors

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Re: Humanities in STEM Majors

Postby Angua » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:37 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:
jmorgan3 wrote:
achan1058 wrote:If you don't want to enroll non-humanities courses, don't go to a university, and go to a technical institute of some sort instead that doesn't require this. University education does mean well rounded education.

University education is also specialized education. For a constant time-to-graduate, there is a trade-off between specialized and general education. Most STEM people in this thread aren't saying that there should be no required non-major classes; they're saying that the correct balance lies somewhere closer to 'specialized' than the current US status quo. The UK system, for example, apparently leans much more toward specialized education, and that seems to work well.
There's a few that are saying that you should not have non-major courses at all, and it is to them that I am addressing.

Well, a lot of the arguements for having other requirements seem to be in the name of wellroundedness, which a lot of people arguing for seem to think is the only way to get well functioning graduates in the workplace. I am trying to point out that there is an entire country made up of people who have graduated from fairly specialised courses (some more specialised than others, but I don't think the humanities ever have to take STEM courses if they don't want to, or vice versa), and so the fact is that having a wellrounded university education isn't entirely necessary. Now, it may be that in the UK and other countries where we specialise immediately that we have other mechanisms for trying to get people well rounded earlier on (eg a maths, english, and IT course were all required at my 6th form [17-18] if you hadn't got above a certain grade in your GCSEs [taken at age 16] in order to make sure that you are proficient enough to get by in life in those subjects, but once you get into uni it's taken as a given that you have to have done that in your highschool years).

I've already said above that I think the best way would be a mix between the two systems, where you could choose how much specialisation you want to do as some people just don't know yet, and it is those people that are more harmed in my opinion in the UK system. However, there are those people who just want to focus on what they are interested in, and I think that should be allowed in a university, rather than forcing people to take subjects that they don't want to do.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

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