STEM and Education
Type into Google, “define education,” and the computer will bring two responses: “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university,” and “an enlightening experience.” Ironically, the latter of these definitions don’t prove themselves to be the case in today’s society. Education contributes to a one’s identity and personality, yet a diminishing attention to education systems and policies is disregarded, which renders overall detriment and unfairness to growing generations. Through education systems, societies have indirently imposed certain standards on what it means to be successful, whether or not the means is enlightening.
There is a critique on Taiwan’s education system for overemphasizing exam scores, academic subjects, and rote memorization. Students struggle to find a balance between performing well academically and developing their interests outside the classroom. With the pressure of high competition in exams, there is a loss of time for students, suppressing them from exploring their values, creativities and aspirations. Consequently, many students don’t realize their true interests until college, which by then it may be already too late in certain respects.
How is it, though, that the Western education of America, in contrast to Taiwan’s Eastern education, encourages the freedom of thought, yet assigns more focus on those who will work in STEM fields? A large demographic of high-tier workers in the states are from overseas, who are either striving for a better living due to the high salary. Many programs in the United States have attracted foreign talents in STEM by allowing for them longer stays and visa deadlines. Issues arise where there is a growing pressure to shoot for these careers for financial success, and where other roles in society are neglected or deemed lowly.
The difficulty of the matter that can be derived from both of these observations is that STEM fields are what people believe to be the driving force in human advancement in technology. So how does the perspective on technology play out in the argument of the improvements entailed by the textbook-to-ebook movement in classrooms? Perhaps resources will be more accessible, but only to those who are socioeconomically able. In that regards, education greater intensifies its position as a privilege.
There are many trade-offs that may contradict whether or not the grass is truly greener on the other side. The STEM and Education Roundtable for TASC 2018 has all the reason to discuss these elaborate advantages or disadvantages.
Roundtable Leaders: Yi-Su Wong and Tiffany Lu