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We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training

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Word. As a former historian, I have to say it's a lot easier to figure out Unix than the causes of WWII :)

Unix has source code. WWII does not.

I agree. I fear our current obsession with STEM, as well-meaning as it is, will only lead to too many lopsided engineers who will be unemployable 25 years from now. :-(

From STEM to SHADE: Rethinking Technical Education

From STEM to SHADE: Rethinking Technical Education

Is seems like we learn creativity, character, ethics, and perspective from liberal arts.

Having those qualities seem like they would lead to better products. 

If the liberal arts produced that reliably, we'd have better human beings. :-) The problem is that techies react to the negatives of a liberal arts education while ignoring the benefits (and liberal arts professors do the opposite).

We need something like "design thinking for human self-expression"...

We do. Is the problem the name "liberal arts"? Or peoples' attitude toward them?

I think it is an institutional problem.  We have liberal arts colleges that are basically defined by their NOT being technical or professional colleges.  And thus self-selecting professors who tend to snobbishly see liberal arts as the only true end in themselves, rather than a piece of the puzzle.

I'm overgeneralizing -- there are many excellent individuals and schools that buck that trend -- but the overall culture contributes to the stereotype of the liberal arts graduate: "would you like fries with that?"

We need a more humanistic approach to technical education, but I fear that it won't come from traditional liberal arts colleges.  We'll probably have to invent our own...

I like the sound of that. It's important in the age of robots that kids learn the humanistic approach.

The need for closer interactions between liberal and STEM focused curricula was pointed out By John Agresto in a recent Opinion published in the WSJ. As his title suggests ("THE SUICIDE OF THE LIBERAL ARTS"), he harshly condemns the current administrators of liberal arts curricula and points out that, "The job of teachers is to liberate minds, not to capture them". One component of the "brave work" Mr. Agresto (and I) believe needs to be done is to more systematically integrate STEM and liberal arts studies. I'm curious if any programs are actually doing that. Source; (


ronald hayes

Seems like most undergraduate curricula require courses in both liberal arts AND science.

But I'm not sure many are integrating those studies with interdisciplinary work.