Friday, February 29, 2008

Response to Bill Gates's Question

Bill Gates posted the following question on yesterday, over 1000 people responded within 8 hours:

"How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?"

The following was my response (#25):

“This is an issue that has come up recently in our region (Ohio) and a number of initiatives have arisen in response - the state just approved a new STEM high school (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) school at a local university (Wright State). However, I've been discussing this with the folks pushing those initiatives and I believe that while the intentions are good the implementations are not living up to their potential. Most STEM programs are viewing science & technology curriculum the same way it was viewed back in the 1960's.

Those approaches are more or less cookie cutter frameworks that are designed for mass production of certain nominal capabilities - what we need to teach is the art of thinking, and the way we need to reach young people is through motivation. The best way to achieve both of these goals is through the use of problem/contextual based curriculum and (virtual) dialectic - together these represent dynamic ways to both learn and assimilate knowledge and do it using technology and concepts that today's young people already know and enjoy...”

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