By Jason Gots
"Nationwide, as a result of America’s dismal performance on global measures of math and science education, there’s a billion-dollar push for STEM education: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. As with all educational reform movements, this one is set to throw the baby out with the bathwater, steamrolling over those curricular areas that don’t fit the acronym and aren’t so easily quantified – i.e. the arts and humanities. Uninformed by the human empathy and awareness that are the raison d’etre of these disciplines, technology is ethically neutral at best, anti-human at worst. But with the liberal arts as its animating spirit, technology’s potential benefits are limitless.
"But then, I’m the choir. It’s refreshing therefore – even revolutionary – to hear the same sentiment expressed by programmers themselves. For example, John Maeda – who started out in life as a programmer – is spearheading an national initiative called “STEM to STEAM” (the ‘A’ stands for ‘Arts’). And John Seely Brown, a visionary technologist and innovation expert, argues that foregrounding the Humanities is our only hope of sustaining innovation in the United States. As physicist Michio Kaku has pointed out, the only jobs left to humans in the not-so-distant future will be those that computers can’t do – the kind that demand intuition and creative thinking."