Does Anybody Here Think This is Really a Good Idea?

From a community college catalog:

STEM for Infants and Toddlers.  In this course we will discuss what STEM means and the importance of STEM exposure in the early years of a child’s development.  We will explore developmentally appropriate strategies and activities to build a foundation in STEM learning for infants and toddlers.

12 thoughts on “Does Anybody Here Think This is Really a Good Idea?”

  1. you can never radicalize them too young when you are a hard leftist-and you do it under the cloak of something that seems reasonable. BTW, did you see the Obama Institute for Radicalization that is being built in Chicago on 20 acres of public park land? No library there (wait, a Chicago Public Library) So, no research. Just a place to radicalize the youth for another run at Freedom and Liberty.

  2. Well its not for every kid but there are some…. one of my sons had as his first word “broken”, and got a sledgehammer for his third birthday. He was building battlebots in grade school and ended up an engineer designing robotic assembly equipment. He’s kind of a Mutant, but there are a few out there…….

  3. TW…question is, would an attempt to proactively teach him STEM have made any positive difference, a negative difference, or no difference at all, in his STEM interests and accomplishments? Sounds like he’s done just fine without such…

  4. The only problem here is that little boys who orient towards trucks- learning laws of motion etc. – will be discouraged from doing so because it is so sexist for a little boy to like trucks.
    They want to encourage STEM stuff for girls but discourage them for boys,I suspect.

  5. We did some of this with our young children, as fanatic educators. The Montessori method includes lots of STEM-friendly stuff. Math Manipulables, I recall. I don’t know that it much matters. Put building, math, computer, and science stuff out there, but I wouldn’t force it too hard.

  6. My guess is this is aimed at day care workers, who need to acquire education credits to both start and continue working. Teachers and childcare workers are incredibly credentialed nowadays, though they don’t appear to be any more educated or effective than 100 years ago. The primary beneficiaries are of course education institutions that collect tuition for all of these classes.

    Also, the fact is that parents love this stuff. If you can’t tell them why their 6 month old will be in a STEM-friendly environment, you may as well not even bother.

  7. This strikes me as a bad idea. Kids in that age range need to be engaging in free play, not be subjected to the direction of a parent or day-care worker who is trying to apply some theory they learned in a classroom.

  8. Almost anything that comes from an education theorist is a bad idea.

    My three daughters were Montessori trained, too – they all went into languages, social sciences, etc. My sister’s son during those years was different. She told me that the teacher was worried when he pounded his hand with a hammer meant to hammer pegs (I don’t know if it was Montessori or not). She told the teacher that was because he wanted to prove for himself what happened – his father was an engineer. Her son is a gifted (and quite social) engineer, now in grad school and with grants under his belt (in one project when he was a freshman he was the only one with a full security clearance – since no one else was a citizen – we might think what that means about our future and American engineering). Surely the differences between our children has something to do with their genders and something to do with the husbands we chose (I chose one from Engl grad school; my sister chose one from the Ag engineers whose prose she smoothed to make for public consumption; she and I were Engl majors, our father an engineer.)

    But surely encouraging interests in math and science in even those not likely to like them is not a bad idea – my grandson takes delight in what numbers do, finding “backwards multiplication” as interesting as the tables he enjoys so much he is teaching his friends that joy. But, like I said, never think that education theorists have the best of intentions nor the most productive of methods. (Okay, that may be prejudice but I’m pretty old and its experience as well.)

  9. David
    A belated answer. No, I think a combination of hard wiring and what the kids had on hand to play with set them well into their eventual paths. I suppose intervention could have done something, be it good or ill. For instance, my wife insisted that our three boys have one baby doll in the house. To be modern and sensitive and all. “Baby Mike” ended up being used as a hammer when they were little, and as a crash test dummy for parachute experiments a few years later. I suppose I could have put the kibosh on that sort of thing had I been sufficiently de-educated in the new ways….
    T. Wolter

  10. My daughter loved her block and hammer toy but was frustrated by it. I was a roofer at the time and so I started 20 odd nails into firewood beside the stove and gave her a small hammer. She loved this, demanded more, and is a serious artist today.


  11. Daddy was a mathematician. Although we all did well in math in school, none of us girls went that way. And we all ended up being more musical than average. And my daughter ends up being a professional musician, and my grandsons are STEM-inclined. One just never knows how these influences are going to pop out.

    Daughter’s adoptive parents, God bless them forever, encouraged her to try what she wanted to try, and she ended up in music.

Comments are closed.