STEM Cells

August 20

I have the same advanced qualifications to weigh in on American education as everybody else: I know nothing about it.

Everybody thinks they know what to do about education, though no one does, because we didn’t learn it in school, and if we did it was wrong, or at least in dispute or we forgot it before the test. Yet everybody is an expert! Everyone gets a trophy.

I’ll leave aside the Core Curriculum dispute for a second, which is all it will take for this too to become completely politicized, a process just completed in the one second I just left it aside. It was a nice idea, of teaching a shared set of knowledge, in a culture that recognizes no such thing. Who could’ve guessed it would run into opposition?

I want to talk about the STEM courses. We aren’t educating enough STEM-style graduates for the demands of the job market. Okay, let’s fix that. But say we double those and that’s enough for the job market. THEN where are we? How many kids is that? Not a big percentage. It isn’t going to work for the population as a whole. What does? Ah here’s where idle speculation comes on strong!

There are only two things to educate kids for. For jobs and for American culture. The robots are going to take the jobs, and as I’ve said before, let them. The STEM jobs are only going to expedite this transition. What’s left? Culture! The thoroughly debased and busted idea of American culture. You want to fix that?  If yes, bring back the liberal arts! How does a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 1 sound? That’s right! When the robots are doing all the work, we can all be part-time teachers. Teaching about the things we love and love to do.

And then we can hammer into fragments the soul-wasting ad-cosseting social-media technologies the STEM graduates have been busy building and destroying us with.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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Tom Toles · August 19