How Interest in STEM Education Gets Crushed

Piggybacking off of Mr. Cleary’s and Dr. Clark’s posts, I had my own unique experience with a lackluster STEM education in grade school, but in reverse.

When I was younger I remember being asked what my favorite subject in school was, as people often do with elementary school children. And my answer back then was usually math or science because those classes were fun to me. But somewhere along the line that changed from science to English, because a.) I was better at it, and b.) science and math were no longer fun to me. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a pretty good student in grade school and usually made good grades in every subject, but only because I felt like I had to. Even though I didn’t like them, I still felt the need to work hard in science and math classes because I knew they were important subjects.

Money and Education

The wrath of poverty on education

As a college student who goes to school in Chester, PA (Widener University), I have seen poverty and the effects it has on people. Poverty consumes lives in every way imaginable, from living situation to clothing and even diet. As a result of living in an area stricken by poverty for over a year I began to wonder, why? Why this area, similar to countless other areas in this country subject to endless poverty and crime? Now, that is a can of worms I discovered I was not willing to explore after brief investigation. However, this brief research sparked my fascination with how a society functions when it is stricken with poverty. More specifically the effects poverty has on the education of those born into it, the kids.

typewriter

A New Way to Assess Test Results?

I came across an interesting read by a professor at Union College on how their tenure process is run. Basically it consisted of student reviews/interviews, assessments by fellow teachers, class sit-in assessments, and lots of paperwork from every class syllabus, lecture note, published work, teaching method statements, and so on. His point was that this intensive method of assessment, while thorough and effective, is too expensive to do regularly. Admittedly, I don’t know much about what it’s like to apply for tenure, or what the process entails at other levels, but this method seems to be on the right track with regards to how to make proper assessments in general.

Remembering Privilege: Using the Past to Motivate

I recently had the opportunity to visit historic places in Alabama that were tantamount to the civil rights movement: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma. I have extended family in Montgomery and Birmingham so I’ve been visiting there all my life, but now that I’m old enough and mature enough to fully understand what happened 50 years ago, those visits take on a whole new meaning.

It is important for everyone to know the history of the country’s biggest social revolution (especially since it is still relevant today), but as a black person it’s even more important to keep in mind the changes that needed to happen, and sacrifices that were made to get us to where we are today. (Whether that place is on equal footing as the rest of the country is debatable, but again, that’s another story.)