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Culture

One-Sidedness is Rarely a Good Thing.

One-Sidedness is Rarely a Good Thing.

For those who know me, of course I would share this article, a topic near and dear to my heart:  "Liberal Arts in the Data Age" by Harvard Business Review. Below is an excerpt.

"...this STEM-only mindset is all wrong. The main problem is that it encourages students to approach their education vocationally—to think just in terms of the jobs they’re preparing for....If we want to prepare students to solve large-scale human problems ... we must push them to widen, not narrow, their education and interests..." 

To be clear, I am not anti-STEM. Quite the opposite. Currently we are indeed gender lopsided in the STEM fields and this has to change. However, I believe that one-sidedness in anything does not enable us to think and develop the most creative and innovative solutions. I fear we are pushing our kids too far in the STEM direction as the de facto narrow endpoint for career success. Guess what, you don’t have to code to be in technology. You don’t have to be an engineer to work on building the next spacecraft. We need anthropologists and sociologists and economists and artists to name but a few, and we need these skills in STEM! We are hungry for gender diversity in these fields but we also need diversity of background and thought. Yes, I want my kids to understand coding language and be encouraged to test hypotheses in science, and I want them to believe that they can do/be anything they want. But, these so-called "soft subjects" should not be forgotten. Liberal arts encourages studies in all subjects. It requires courses in the math and sciences even if you are an English major. It requires courses in the arts, even if you are pre-med. It produces students who think out-of-box, who know how to write and communicate, and encourages openness and creativity that are invaluable in the workplace, most especially in tech.

#CulturalLiteracyCounts

More Alike Than Different.

More Alike Than Different.

While traveling in Japan this summer, my daughters and I were approached by some junior high girls who were learning about other cultures and hoping to practice their English skills.  Below is what we were handed by these students.  I just loved this. Yes, people from all over the world CAN be friends. The girls and I were asked to write a message about our idea of peace, love and friendship. 

Here is what we said: "If people lead a life of compassion and acceptance and keep an open mind when learning about people and cultures other than their own, nothing will stand in the way of peace and understanding. We have so much to learn from one another. There is no one “right” way of doing things, there is only the way of accepting our differences and similarities, and taking the time to learn “the why”. When we take the time to understand … to become culturally literate … we find that more often than not, we are far more alike than different.

#CulturalLiteracyCounts