Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, is arguing that STEM education ought to start with design.
In new piece for the Huffington Post, Fisher contends that the fields of science, technology, engineering and math ought to better incorporate social, economic and environmental values.
Designers and architects, with their eye toward "the triple-bottom-line of bringing social and environmental benefits as well as economic ones," should be added to the STEM mix, he says.
Here's an excerpt:
We need to ask, though, what kind of STEM we want to grow. If we germinate it from the same soil that gave rise to post-World-War-II American industry, we will simply grow more of what we already cannot sustain.
We do not need more scientists creating more high-fat processed foods or more technologists devising more efficient ways of killing people. Nor do we need more engineers figuring out how to enlarge our already enormous ecological footprint or more mathematicians inventing increasingly esoteric forms of financial arbitrage. The STEM fields do indeed contribute to our technology-based economy, but whether they do so for good or ill depends upon how we grow these new educational shoots and to what end.
His post also touches on the practicality of the "millennial" generation and the importance of the perfect metaphor.