The recent discussions about the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and whether or not Humanities and Arts subjects should be eliminated from the curriculum entirely is highly topical, but I would argue nonsensical. Why should we be choosing between the two? Why is it necessary that one must be more important than the other?
Gary Marx is president of the Center for Public Outreach in Vienna, Virginia, USA. He served for nearly 20 years as a senior executive for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). His latest book, Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century…Out of the Trenches and into the Future, is published by Education Week Press. Marx has done energizing presentations on six continents.
It’s the morning of the 25th, there is fresh snow lying on the ground outside, you can hear the echoing silence of the morning - that 8am silence of the holidays: nobody stirring, nobody is getting up for work and making coffee, everyone warm, cocooned in their beds. You rush down to your living room to find the heap of presents Santa has left under your Christmas tree, a carrot half-eaten by Ruldolph and a glass of milk and a mince pie demolished by the man himself.
Earlier this week, the Demos think-tank held a “Character Conference” in London on how policy can build character. It brought together experts and policy makers in education to discuss the use of character and values in the curriculum. The keynote speaker was Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and featured panels supported by Cambridge Assessment and Premier League. They touched on topics such as volunteering, sport, the role of parents and whether character can be taught.