My favorite statistic against focusing on science in middle school: Germany's science nobelists. In the first 60 years or so of the 20th century, Germany harvested one Nobel Prize after another in the natural sciences. And when you look at the laureate's biographies, you see that almost all of them came from a humanistisches Gymnasium. That was a branch of the middle- and high school system that focused on learning Greek first, learning Latin second, maybe learning English next, and maybe adding the natural sciences in ninth grade. Technical and scientific high schools existed, too, but somehow they weren't the ones churning out the Nobel-grade scientists.
After World War II, the humanistisches Gymnasium gradually fell out of fashion and the steady stream of Nobel Prizes faded into a trickle. I know, correlation isn't causation and all that, but statistics like these affirm me in my opinion that a broad education is the best starting point for an education in the natural sciences. And an important part of getting such an education is to have a life.
someone who believe humanities to be a waste of time and effort
Can you point me towards more information about this as I'd like to share it with someone who believe humanities to be a waste of time and effort.
Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?
The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.
The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.
Consider the qualities these high achievers say music has sharpened: collaboration, creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas. All are qualities notably absent from public life. Music may not make you a genius, or rich, or even a better person. But it helps train you to think differently, to process different points of view — and most important, to take pleasure in listening.
He says music “reinforces your confidence in the ability to create.”
“The notion is, let’s transform higher education into job training,” Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale, told me disapprovingly. That sort of sentiment, he said, was detectable in President Obama’s recent remark that it might be wise to shorten law school from three years to two.
Ackerman said that when you also factor in the proliferation of online courses for disadvantaged students, you begin to see what could easily become an overly tiered, wildly inconsistent college landscape of “a few superstars and then a lot of glorified teaching systems” that aren’t all that constructive.
We’re in a tricky, troubling spot. At a time when our nation’s ability to tackle complicated policy problems is seriously in doubt, we must pull off a delicate balancing act. We must make college practical but not excessively so, lower its price without lowering its standards and increase the number of diplomas attained without diminishing not only their currency in the job market but also the fitness of the country’s work force in a cutthroat world.
“Our economic advantage has been having high skill levels at the top, being big, being more flexible than the other economies, and being able to attract other countries’ most skilled labor,” Anthony P. Carnevale, the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, told The Times’s Richard Pérez-Peña in an article about the new skills survey last week. “But that advantage is slipping.”
Do people really need to know about these formulas if they aren't mathematicians?
We have to realize the power of mathematics. By now it's well-understood that the global economic crisis was caused, in part, by misuse of mathematical models. People who understood those models were actually sounding the alarm. It was the executives who had the power, who were the decision-makers, who did not understand how these formulas functioned. Their logic was: "Well, while these things work, we're making profits."
GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Eastern Wayne Middle School students were terrified when they were told there was an armed robber in the school with a mask and a handgun Friday. However, they quickly learned it was all part of a school lesson.
Nonetheless, some parents are not happy with the exercise and school officials admit it was a bad move.
In a letter that was sent home to parents, the school said it was part of enrichment exercise trying to teach kids to be aware of their surroundings. A school employee dressed up in a ski mask and carrying a fake gun pretended to be a robber.
The school system admits – in light of the school shootings making headlines around the country – they should have been more sensitive.
“It obviously did lack that sensitivity that was needed…all of our schools work very hard to promote a safe learning environment…in this situation, the exercise in its original intent was appropriate, but in how it was executed it obviously lacked judgment,” said Ken Derksen, Public Information Officer with the Wayne County Public Schools.