Paradigm Shift Idea

The Transition to STEM; The Loss of Substance

My paradigm shift idea kind is something like: how changes in society have led public education systems away from non-technical education and more towards STEM fields.

But I want to highlight the importance of non-technical education and how it contributes to retaining the true essence of humanity.

I’m honestly not entirely sure how I’m going to fit everything together, so this outline is just the rough, beginning phase of my idea.

And of course, as this is just a general outline, the future drafts of my topic will contain more concrete ideas that are supported by thorough research.

Individuals to analyze that are most affected include:

  • Children – the ones actually learning about the subjects, really have no say in what information they’re being taught simply because of youthful ignorance
  • Parents – have the ability to teach/promote different subjects at home to help a child develop an interest in a subject, influence behavior and certain opinions about topics
  • Instructors – actually have to carry out the curriculum and are the ones who give students the information about a topic, don’t necessarily have to agree with what they teach but are educated themselves (based on different standards because of differences in education standards and priorities in the past)
  • Employers – expect employees to be educated on specific topics relative to the job, depending on what it is
  • Lawmakers/public servants – actually set the education standards and the ones who prioritize what kind of information is most important for the youth to receive
  • Society itself – the kind of education children receive contributes to their views on life and how they will act as members of society

Characterize the ideology or worldview before:

  • The public school education system placed a relatively equal emphasis on all school subjects, whether technical or non-technical, in order to provide for and develop the most well-rounded young adults possible.

Characterize the ideology after:

  • With more emphasis placed on STEM fields, more children will be likely to enter into fields that promote scientific research, discovery, and development, thus contributing to the U.S.’s world standing as one of the most technologically advanced countries. (Meanwhile, non-technical fields such as history, literature, art, etc. are pushed to the back burner and labeled as unimportant, or at least, significantly less important to the betterment of society as a whole.)

What markers can you point to as evidence of the shift?

  • There is an overwhelming increase of STEM courses available to young students, greater opportunity in the job market, and some, if not all, of the highest paying jobs are in STEM fields.

What resistance is evident? 

  • Those who find great interest in non-technical occupations such as history, teaching, writing, cooking, etc. And even those who, though they may be successful in STEM fields, choose to create hobbies that promote those areas.

What is the shift a response to? 

  • The gradual shift has occurred in order to promote a new generation of individuals who can compete with some of the most gifted scientific minds globally, particularly in regions of the world in which the study of STEM fields is already being pushed to its maximum ability.

Who or what was key in moving the shift forward?

  • The creation of new technology, new jobs, higher paying jobs, global competition, scientific discovery, national security, loss of interest in the non-technical, etc.

What conditions didn’t exist that came to exist that made the shift possible?

  • International competition between nations for different kinds of resources, weapons, technology, knowledge, etc.; The technologic capabilities that contributed to the possibility of studying STEM fields at the level which they are being studied, the general “irrelevance” of history, the “novelty” of innovation, communication – being able to spread knowledge quickly and conveniently, government funding, etc.

Beyond their simple existence, which of these played a more direct role in advancing the paradigm?

  • Funding – public schools cannot operate with a workable amount of money to run certain programs, and when there is not enough, the programs that often get cut first are not STEM courses
  • Competition – every individual who takes in a STEM field is able to produce something that can “contribute” to a nation’s overall well-being or available resources that can be used against other nations whether as something to attract allies in times of necessary cooperation or as a method of protection in times of war. Either way, it’s better for one nation to have something innovative that another country does not have, in order to be “one step ahead” of the rest of the world. STEM fields provide the foundations for that kind of thinking, whereas non-technical fields apparently do not. (I will try to research oppositions to this view.)
  • Technological capability – never before has technology been at such a level of capability that entire subjects and subcategories of subjects are able to be thoroughly studied and innovated. Current technology permits further study and allows an emphasis to be placed on the idea of constant study and gaining understanding.

One thought on “Paradigm Shift Idea

  1. There has definitely been a major paradigm shift in education and the workforce to the STEM fields. You provide very solid resoning for this on all accounts. As for the degree of shift, I would go so far as to say that the general way of thinking was at one point the opposite of what it is now. Especially during Renaissance-type eras, the focus on non-scientific thinking was incredibly important. Even in the early United States, I believe that the focus on “being educated” involved more of knowing classical languages, literatures, and arts than on scientific knowledge. This definitely came about because of an increase in our technological/scientific knowledge, but it does not have to be this way (which I think is also an important point to be made). Competition certainly does function on a national level, but it also functions on a personal one. Because our society now tends toward consumerism, the emphasis in the workforce moves towards the end goal of salary, rather than a satisfaction or love of one’s work. Because people want to make more money, they know that the way to do this is work in STEM. The education system on a national level may lean this way because what we want for our children has changed… we want them to make money and be “successful” at a career that will help them live a comfortable life. Liking the career choice is simply a bonus. Overall, I think this will make a great paradigm shift paper and you definitely have lots of different subtopics to write about

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