Science, technology, engineering and math have garnered increasingly more attention as a focal point for k-12 learning. There has been a large push from educators and the public at large to encourage students, especially females, to pursue these careers. And that makes perfect sense. The executive director of the STEM Education Coalition, James Brown, stated: “The future of the economy is STEM. That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be.”
This certainly appears to be true. As technology permeates all areas of modern life, the need for intelligent and well-educated people to troubleshoot and manage technology systems will rise. However, it is important that, as educators, parents, and students, we don’t lose sight of the fundamentals — namely reading, writing, and math.
There’s a reason kids learn their ABCs and start reading at a young age. Primarily because most of modern society revolves around the written word. Technology has not replaced the need for grammar, spelling, or the ability to read. Even computer code is a language that can be learned. However, there is concern among educators that we may focus too heavily on STEM; perhaps we’re favoring these up-and-coming areas over stalwarts like reading and writing.
As with almost anything, balance is key. Students should be encouraged to and taught how to read both non-fiction and fiction to understand the use of persuasive language. Narrative fiction also teaches students how to logically prepare a story – or project – with a beginning, middle and end. Additionally, by exercising critical thinking and close reading of the text, students will learn how to read more complex texts on topics like science and engineering.
We don’t necessarily teach students proper grammar and spelling in order to learn these specific skills. Instead, these skills form the building blocks for future pursuits, regardless of the field. STEM disciplines rely just as heavily on reading comprehension and cohesive arguments as do English and Composition. At Renton Prep, we believe in a holistic approach to education that values multiple disciplines. Our teachers and staff work closely with students and their parents to emphasize the importance of a well-rounded, technology-focused education.
For more information on Renton Prep and our programs, please contact us today.