NYT: Science is Hard!
Posted by michael on November 4, 2011
The Grey Lady published an education feature today about the exodus of STEM majors – science, technology, engineering, and math – as they discover that it’s actually, well, difficult to be a STEM major. Of course, the author quotes legendary Cornell president Hunter Rawlings, now head of the Association of American Universities:
In September, the Association of American Universities, which represents 61 of the largest research institutions, announced a five-year initiative to encourage faculty members in the STEM fields to use more interactive teaching techniques.“There is a long way to go,” says Hunter R. Rawlings, the association’s president, “and there is an urgent need to accelerate the process of reform.”
But why the need for reform? Well, a Cornell study quoted by NYT finds that it’s because science classes are hard and everything else is just so damn easy.
Ben Ost, a doctoral student at Cornell, found in a similar study that STEM students are both “pulled away” by high grades in their courses in other fields and “pushed out” by lower grades in their majors.
You can check out the whole piece here.