Hard Work and STEM Subjects

Disheartening trend for a math and physics tutor

Disheartening STEM Trend

Last week, while tutoring at UVic, one of my physics students lamented the fact that her friends in business and the humanities were able to maintain good grades while spending much more time than her on recreation and socializing. I told her that her comments sounded exactly like those I had heard from many of my previous math and physics students. Not wanting to plant any defeatist ideas in her head, I refrained from mentioning how common it has been for me to see students eventually abandon science or engineering in favour of something like business, commerce, or history. Two days later I found this excellent New York Times article which both describes and explains the attrition. My favourite part is where the author says, “students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg, an emeritus engineering professor, calls ‘the math-science death march'” but the entire article is very worth ready by anyone who cares about STEM education.

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