Math and Science Can Leak Brainpower

Leaders watch US education falling behind globally, and mistakenly call for far much more math and science. On first glance, hard science focus may make sense, expect for dangerous imbalance to human brains and achievement. How so? 

Learners, equipped with a full range of  multiple intelligences, use their unique mix of capabilities to create, process,  invent, and apply new systems or improve old results. Einstein, for instance, showed why advances cannot be accomplished by more math or science alone. He added imagination at the peaks!

Without a wider range of intellectual pursuits, we can easily leave out ethics that prevents science from bombing babies or math from maiming kids. Learners who lack tone tools cannot expand insights into collaborative enterprises, or avoid bullying in the workplace. Learners who lose intelligence in other areas through lack of use and development, will no longer benefit from math or science alone. How so?

People will miss out on inspiration for scientific change through lack of literature. Rather than more math and science, let’s add to brainpower by transforming lectures into dynamic learning opportunities with visible outcomes. Without wider development of mental skills,  leaders who languish will give up rather than build on mistakes with stronger introspective capabilities. People will fail to learn how to create calm under pressure, or to value music that builds mental acumen.

Rather than more science and math, let’s instead  stoke brainpower for using all intelligences. Only then can we expect neuron pathways to dynamic solutions. It can be done, and at the same time we can reconfigure broken learning systems which were crafted for another era.

More math and science – yes! Less arts and humanities – no! A different way of doing both – absolutely! What do you think?

8 Comments

  1. Wally Bock says:

    I think we call for “more math and science” for two reasons. One is historical. When Sputnik flew, the US launched a massive educational initiative in math and science. It was tied to the great national goal of “putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth,” one of the great and iconic American achievements. To date, no other country has equaled it. But we’ve never gone back either.

    That’s a reason why we call for more math and science, but it’s not the most powerful one. Math and science are easy to test and score across cultures. We can tell how Achmed compares with Yushio and Jack and Lars. You can’t do that with music or literature or even ethics, which is embedded in culture.

    What we’ve done is use math and science as surrogates for education, not because they are good exemplars, but because they’re easy to measure.

    Wally Bocks last blog post..Planning for an Uncertain Future

  2. Ellen Weber says:

    Your twists and turns and probes and insights make us think, inspire growth and carry wisdom that makes it fun to find fresh ideas tucked away, Wally. What an amazing piece of conversation here. I’d love to see a book with this as the opening statement and your prose to carry minds into new avenues of discovery. When I read your thoughts I find deep hope for the future. Nuff said! It will take all of us to pull together to make it happen!

    Ellen Webers last blog post..Math and Science Can Leak Brainpower

  3. Wally Bock says:

    Tara Parker Pope’s column in today’s NY Times addresses an aspect of these issues. The title is: “The 3 Rs? A Fourth is Crucial, Too: Recess.” Here’s the link

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/24well.html

    Wally Bocks last blog post..Helping your people grow during the downturn

  4. Ideas and critical thinking is one of our natural instinct as a human, we tend to break rules to achieve what we want and that makes us the best.

  5. eweber says:

    Interesting point Dave, and I am wondering how you define critical thinking here.

  6. […] 27. Math and Science can Leak Brainpower […]

  7. […] Poor scores nationally are being raised to meet nationally peaks because of those who reconfigure broken learning systems. […]

  8. […] 27. Math and Science can Leak Brainpower […]

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