Login

My Jelly Bean

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,627

    Rick Scott to Liberal Arts Majors: Drop Dead

    Florida's unpopular tea party governor, Rick Scott, wants more of the state's youths to pick up college degrees... but only if the degrees are useful to corporations and don't teach students to question social norms. "You know what? They need to get education in areas where they can get jobs," Scott told a right-wing radio host Monday morning. He continued:

    "You know, we don't need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It's a great degree if people want to get it, but we don't need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That's what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job."

    It's no idle sound bite. The governor, an ex-corporate CEO with a checkered business past, is pushing a plan that would all but kill liberal arts and social sciences at the Sunshine State's public universities—and he's got support from the Legislature's psychology-hatin' GOP majority. He explained the strategy Monday in a separate interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

    Scott said Monday that he hopes to shift more funding to science, technology, engineering and math departments, the so-called "STEM" disciplines. The big losers: Programs like psychology and anthropology and potentially schools like New College in Sarasota that emphasize a liberal arts curriculum.

    "If I'm going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs," Scott said. "So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state."

    "Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don't think so."
    Full article here, which includes a nice rebuttal. Debate away.
    monicaacinom: I'm distraught that you aren't a nihilistic Hi-C drinker.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,027
    Blog Entries
    1
    I hear this all of the time from my classmates and friends. Not every person is passionate about math and science. Sure, you should channel your major towards a career, but you should also somewhat e interested in what you are studying. And for him to say we should cut things like psychology is bs...I would hate if I couldn't seek a psychologist to talk to about my issues. It's like he's saying you are worthless if you aren't going to be an engineer or a doctor.
    RIP Dad. I miss you. <3

  3. #3
    One problem is that most liberal arts degrees don't actually prepare you for anything, because college degrees represent academia's concerns and not the real world's. Anthropology is interesting, but the only people who should study it are those who are aiming for academia, or those that are interested in intellectual pursuits enough that they'd want to postpone "the real world" for a few more years to do something tangential. The guy isn't saying people are worthless for not being interested in math or science. He's saying that learning other things in nearly all instances doesn't make you "useful." I think learning about things you are passionate about is great, but academic preparation is unnecessary for the vast majority of jobs, and we ought not to have it as a necessary step for a job.

    I do think government research grants ought to exist for the liberal arts, but honestly, how expensive are English departments? Labs are far more expensive than any degree in the humanities. So I do think STEM departments ought to get more funding (but that's almost certainly already the case).

    I also have very recently come to realize the full extent of how badly math is taught in high school. I mean, I always knew that was the case on some level, but I thought my high school gave me a decent idea of what mathematics was, and that's not true at all. This year I've taken "real math" classes and wow, it's like they spend all of secondary school teaching you the alphabet, and if your school is really good you might get to attempt to read Goodnight Moon, but of course you're not going to like literature if that's all you've seen. I honestly think everyone would love learning science and mathematics if it were taught better. I hate the idea that people can consider themselves "not a math person" or "not a science person." I think that's akin to thinking "Yeah, I don't like logic and reality very much," and most people don't mean that - they just have been taught it horribly. Basically I think we need to revamp our secondary school education system to incentivise smart people to teach high school. Up teacher's salaries and reward good teaching with higher pay and reduce the power of teachers' unions and whatnot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3,337
    ideally we would let the market take care of it. the government is already so heavily involved as it is that that would be hard to do. a good start would be to discontinue government involvement in student loans. i dont think shuffling around funds is gona help anything. our "needs" employment-wise are always changing. not everyone can or should go into engineering. an efficient and productive economy would make the best use of everyone's different talents and abilities

    anyway, a hard-working (academically) and intelligent liberal arts major is going to find productive job opportunities. the problem is that with the college loan bubble, many students who are neither studious nor intelligent go to college.
    the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,095
    Blog Entries
    7
    I see it all as very subjective. There are the liberal arts majors who have the major so they can have something to declare. Then there are the others who have a plan for it and are using the major to make themselves a well rounded person, which is personally what I see a liberal arts major is all about. That may be because I'm an education major and I know how the Liberal Arts education major for elementary education works here at my school. I'm also one of those people who is just bored by math and science. I'm very good at physics which combines the two. I'm good at algebra as well. I just don't get out of them what I get from studying literature, which was part of my decision in choosing English Education as my major.

    But in general people ever only see liberal arts and English majors all as the first type, lazy, thus the "do you want fries with that" major mindset. I'm guilty of it a little bit as well. I meet someone on campus who is just going for English I judge them a little, which is entirely hypocritical because the only thing separating me from them is the fact that I've added Education/Special Education classes to it.
    <3~11.21.2010~<3

    Proud to be a MASS-HOLE.

    \m/(>.<)\m/
    ROCK ON!

  6. #6
    starlitmornings Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by monicaacinom View Post
    One problem is that most liberal arts degrees don't actually prepare you for anything, because college degrees represent academia's concerns and not the real world's. Anthropology is interesting, but the only people who should study it are those who are aiming for academia, or those that are interested in intellectual pursuits enough that they'd want to postpone "the real world" for a few more years to do something tangential. The guy isn't saying people are worthless for not being interested in math or science. He's saying that learning other things in nearly all instances doesn't make you "useful." I think learning about things you are passionate about is great, but academic preparation is unnecessary for the vast majority of jobs, and we ought not to have it as a necessary step for a job.

    I do think government research grants ought to exist for the liberal arts, but honestly, how expensive are English departments? Labs are far more expensive than any degree in the humanities. So I do think STEM departments ought to get more funding (but that's almost certainly already the case).

    I also have very recently come to realize the full extent of how badly math is taught in high school. I mean, I always knew that was the case on some level, but I thought my high school gave me a decent idea of what mathematics was, and that's not true at all. This year I've taken "real math" classes and wow, it's like they spend all of secondary school teaching you the alphabet, and if your school is really good you might get to attempt to read Goodnight Moon, but of course you're not going to like literature if that's all you've seen. I honestly think everyone would love learning science and mathematics if it were taught better. I hate the idea that people can consider themselves "not a math person" or "not a science person." I think that's akin to thinking "Yeah, I don't like logic and reality very much," and most people don't mean that - they just have been taught it horribly. Basically I think we need to revamp our secondary school education system to incentivise smart people to teach high school. Up teacher's salaries and reward good teaching with higher pay and reduce the power of teachers' unions and whatnot.
    I don't think this is necessarily true. Don't get me wrong, I completely support better methods for teaching math and science in primary and secondary school, and I think admitting to never understanding math should be just as alarming as admitting to never learning how to read. I hated math before I got to college, though I did do fairly well, because it was basically, "Here, memorize these formulas. No, we're not going to discuss how they work or why we're using them." In fact, the only high school math class I actually liked was geometry because most of what we did was proofs, very basic proofs but proofs nonetheless. Anyway, I ended up switching my major from physics to math when I realized how boring and tedious I found my physics classes and how much I loved my multivariable calculus and linear algebra classes, and I later added on philosophy. I might not count because of my interest in math, but I can't say I like studying science, even after taking several college level classes. I only entered as a physics major because I'd been told that the only valuable majors were science related. I guess all of those classes could have been taught poorly, but I think I'm just not that interested in biology, chemistry, or physics or at least not interested enough to suffer through the dull introduction courses. My point is that no matter how well subjects are taught, people will be drawn to different areas of study. On the topic of the article, though, college (as well as every level of education) should be about learning and thinking, and it's unfortunate that it has become necessary only as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of a career.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by starlitmornings View Post
    I don't think this is necessarily true. Don't get me wrong, I completely support better methods for teaching math and science in primary and secondary school, and I think admitting to never understanding math should be just as alarming as admitting to never learning how to read. I hated math before I got to college, though I did do fairly well, because it was basically, "Here, memorize these formulas. No, we're not going to discuss how they work or why we're using them." In fact, the only high school math class I actually liked was geometry because most of what we did was proofs, very basic proofs but proofs nonetheless. Anyway, I ended up switching my major from physics to math when I realized how boring and tedious I found my physics classes and how much I loved my multivariable calculus and linear algebra classes, and I later added on philosophy. I might not count because of my interest in math, but I can't say I like studying science, even after taking several college level classes. I only entered as a physics major because I'd been told that the only valuable majors were science related. I guess all of those classes could have been taught poorly, but I think I'm just not that interested in biology, chemistry, or physics or at least not interested enough to suffer through the dull introduction courses. My point is that no matter how well subjects are taught, people will be drawn to different areas of study. On the topic of the article, though, college (as well as every level of education) should be about learning and thinking, and it's unfortunate that it has become necessary only as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of a career.
    Well, I meant some field in "science and mathematics," not that everyone would love all of it. It still depends on how it's taught though - I also entered as a physics major, but the classes I'm in now are entirely multivariable calculus and linear algebra. If that's what you enjoy then I'm sure you would really like the physics classes at an intermediate undergraduate level (and it gets really beautiful and is completely different from the standard Newtonian mechanics of the intro class - it's worth it to get to intermediate mechanics and quantum). Perhaps not though. I don't know that I could be a biology major because it seems like a bunch of memorization, and even though I know chemistry gets mathy pretty fast, I don't want to sit through intro chem with all the premeds enough to be a chem major. I've started liking math a lot more since I began taking analysis, and I get the idea that analysis/algebra are important for higher level physics too, but I just don't know if I want to take that many physics classes to get to that level because at this point math seems way more fun to me too.

    But specializing isn't a big deal - you said you adored your math classes, and it's not a big deal that you prefer them to bio/chem/physics (and anyway, math is way cooler than them; analysis is literally the most fun thing I've ever done in my life haha). I'm really only worried about the fact that people shun all of that, especially when they don't understand any of it. I'm fine with liberal arts majors who prefer what they're doing to STEM fields when they've had sufficient experience, but I just think it's sad most people making that decision have in essence never taken a math or science class and have no idea what math or science really is.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:34 AM.