Found in Education: Arne Duncan, Outdoor Scrabble, and...

This week in Found in Education:

Secretary of education, Arne Duncan wrote an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times about the shortage of STEM (science, technology  engineering, and mathematics) teachers, particularly in California. As of last week the state was short 8,000 teachers for this school year and the future doesn't look promising. What worries me about the much touted S.T.E.M. world in education policy these days is not about S.T.E.M. itself. Problem solving and logical thinking are important skills to develop.  I live in Silicon Valley. I'm surrounded mostly by the engineers and technology of S.T.E.M., but also other scientist/researchers and mathematicians. 

What worries me though is:

1. The focus purely on S.T.E.M. because of world competition. Not everyone is suited for S.T.E.M. careers nor would they be happy in them.  (I love math, but would not like being an engineer.) 
2. The distinct loss of learning for learning sake that is overtaking education. If you support curiosity and learning, some kids are going to go into S.T.E.M. fields because it is the right place for them. Others will be artists and writers or chefs or...And that's better for all of education and society. 

Second this week,  on a completely different note, I found this cool do it yourself outdoor scrabble game on Pinterest. Already I'm thinking it would be great to play with in fall with vocabulary words. Or ,what if instead of letters, the tiles had numbers and mathematical symbols. Students could build equations. Really it could be used at any level of math. I'll have to think it out a bit more. How would you use it? 

And last, for the just for fun I found this crazy bookshelf, which my students would love!  If only I had the space for it.

Found in Education is a weekly blog post on interesting ideas, tips, products, and stories related to education that I find over the week.  See something I should know about? Please send your ideas.  Comment here or leave me a message on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or at the store.  



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