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[CNN] Why would-be engineers end up as English majors - Page 26

post #251 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Source
University tenure systems often reward professors who conduct research and publish their work, but not those who teach well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0gr0ck View Post
Pretty much my personal experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedvender View Post
Crappy tenured professors are to blame.

My school is full of them.
Wholeheartedly agree with the quote from the source, and the sentiments above. Tenure, though there really isn't another way for academia to compete with the appeal of industry jobs, is a huge detriment to the quality of education.

Quote:
Originally Posted by error10 View Post
Why's everyone complaining? This is the best news I've read all day. It means colleges have finally stopped dumbing down their courses and are beginning to weed out people who never should have been there in the first place. Only about 10 years too late....
Agreed. I wouldn't want college education courses to be dumbed down, but rather high school graduates be more prepared to take them on. Some reform is necessary for university education, but the root of the problem is more toward high school education (at least in the US).

I surely wouldn't want to dumb down courses that lay the foundation for mechanical engineers to learn the fundamentals for what constitutes a safe building, for example. Dumbing down courses is not the answer--reinforcing high school classes and education is where to begin, but I think that would require a complete re-build of the set of American core values with the current generations (who seem to think instant gratification and airs of entitlement are the way to get things).
    
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post #252 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by ____ View Post
Well, those are way harder than freaking English, Art, and Music.
Debatable

For me, math and science is finite and thus has a true set of rules which one can apply to achieve success in each class. To some this is harder, but to others it comes much more naturally. In regards to english, art, or music, there are no perfect rules or any one correct aspect. The whole picture is comprised of various shades whereas science and math derive the mona lisa in gray scale.

Just different ways the brain works, not to say Engineering is easy. To some it is, to others it requires cognitive conditioning. I will say this though: Engineers tend to think they are way smarter than other students, which is bunk to say the least.
Engineers focus on a few subjects/topics which are all intertwined and follow similar patterns. Thus they become familiar with something others disregard, which results in the feeling of being more intelligent. While this is absolutely understandable, it has absolutely nothing to do with actual intelligence. The whole picture of human intelligence extends far beyond the realms of physics or chemistry. Despite the idea that Universal Rules supersede all that is human, our existence is only human. Social, economic, political, or personal winds weather our lives equally as much as concepts such as gravity. Business, for example, is a highly competitive field, one in which current "movers and shakers" are required to perform on much more arbitrary terms than an Engineer and thus must compensate for the lack of Universal rules with new ideas or an ability to find tactical strengths or weaknesses.

Basically, coming from an ex-engineering student, I can't stand engineers or their mindset so I switched to a major more indicative of personal victories.
    
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post #253 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlyblunting View Post
Debatable

For me, math and science is finite and thus has a true set of rules which one can apply to achieve success in each class. To some this is harder, but to others it comes much more naturally. In regards to english, art, or music, there are no perfect rules or any one correct aspect. The whole picture is comprised of various shades whereas science and math derive the mona lisa in gray scale.

Just different ways the brain works, not to say Engineering is easy. To some it is, to others it requires cognitive conditioning. I will say this though: Engineers tend to think they are way smarter than other students, which is bunk to say the least.
Engineers focus on a few subjects/topics which are all intertwined and follow similar patterns. Thus they become familiar with something others disregard, which results in the feeling of being more intelligent. While this is absolutely understandable, it has absolutely nothing to do with actual intelligence. The whole picture of human intelligence extends far beyond the realms of physics or chemistry. Despite the idea that Universal Rules supersede all that is human, our existence is only human. Social, economic, political, or personal winds weather our lives equally as much as concepts such as gravity. Business, for example, is a highly competitive field, one in which current "movers and shakers" are required to perform on much more arbitrary terms than an Engineer and thus must compensate for the lack of Universal rules with new ideas or an ability to find tactical strengths or weaknesses.

Basically, coming from an ex-engineering student, I can't stand engineers or their mindset so I switched to a major more indicative of personal victories.
I'm not disagreeing with you, per se, but while math and science might be finite, the way they apply to life and problems is virtually infinite, and the ingenuity and...creativity...in which they manifest is just as abstract as art or music. I would say that ingenuity and creativity are what separate engineers from good engineers (or substitute engineer with any other science field--or any other field at all, for that matter).

I would argue that something like engineering is way more technical than art or music. Or rather, there are more technical classes that an engineer must take to become an "engineer" vs. technical classes that a music student must take to become a "musician" (not that either requires a degree to become that profession necessarily). That's also not to say that there aren't specific technical aspects of music/being a musician, or that either a musician or an engineer are necessarily easy or impossible to any extent.

I think it all stems back to early education--are we honestly properly educated in high school for everyone to be able to become engineers in college? Are aspects of our abilities reinforced that early on? Hardly, and that's usually why "engineering" is considered to be a difficult degree--because (as was stated above) people must learn a super-specific area that is rarely taken on unless one is within that specific subset of education, and it just so happens to require a lot of other background knowledge and information that you don't normally get, and also that is unlike most of what you learned early on (so you're less likely to "naturally" adapt/learn it). Not because only a few people actually have the ability to do it--I would say that everyone has the ability to do it, it's just that it's rare that people's abilities are sharpened early on, so it's not as easy to do it later on, so fewer people end up doing it.

That all being said, when it comes to me, musical talent is a gift (one that I do not have). Not saying that I could NEVER have learned it, but for now, I have yet to be able to pick it up despite lots of attempts and practice.
    
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post #254 of 341
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
i think it all stems back to early education--are we honestly properly educated in high school for everyone to be able to become engineers in college? Are aspects of our abilities reinforced that early on? Hardly, and that's usually why "engineering" is considered to be a difficult degree--because (as was stated above) people must learn a super-specific area that is rarely taken on unless one is within that specific subset of education, and it just so happens to require a lot of other background knowledge and information that you don't normally get, and also that is unlike most of what you learned early on (so you're less likely to "naturally" adapt/learn it). Not because only a few people actually have the ability to do it--i would say that everyone has the ability to do it, it's just that it's rare that people's abilities are sharpened early on, so it's not as easy to do it later on, so fewer people end up doing it.
+1

The root of the problem should be in schools i guess.
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post #255 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post
80% failure rate? Trigonometry was probably the easiest math class I'd taken since pre-algebra freshmen year of high school, and it was easier than College Algebra in my opinion. Your classmates are in for a ride when they hit Calc 2 and 3.

But yea, I've had a couple professors/teachers that shouldn't be teaching. Most college students aren't lazy from what I've seen, because they're paying thousands of dollars to be there, they're usually just stretched too thin. A good teacher will get their attention and keep them interested and understanding the material.

Personally I blame most of the education problems on a pathetic public school system, very poor funding, and the increasing costs of higher education. My tuition went up 30% in 4 years I was in College, it was ridiculous. I remember the financial counselors didn't know how much money we'd be spending in the time we were there because costs were rising too fast.
Not just public school though: private school too. Both my junior and high school was and still is littered with ineffecient teachers. My highschool had a Latin teacher that forgot he even had the class sometimes, my Calc teacher would teach us either incorrect or incredibly difficult stuff because he made mistakes (also too old), our trig/algebra teacher ended up getting sick midway through the year, and lastly - our chem teacher was so incompetent the entite year it was nothing but reading out of a workbook not even a textbook, it was terrible. They dont want to get rid of the chem teacher "cause they cant find anyone else".
I heard the AP bio teacher is bad too,
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post #256 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardv View Post
+1

The root of the problem should be in schools i guess.
If it was only that simple..... culture, parenting, society, economics, etc all play a role as well.
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post #257 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
That all being said, when it comes to me, musical talent is a gift (one that I do not have). Not saying that I could NEVER have learned it, but for now, I have yet to be able to pick it up despite lots of attempts and practice.
I was tone deaf until I started playing guitar. I was amazing at how much easier it was to tell notes apart with a string instrument. Though I wish I had done this at a younger age, learning to match my voice to a series of pitches is hard. =( Not to mention I don't have a nice octave range, probably due to practice. I bet you could have musical talent, just takes a crap ton of time (took me 6+ years).

I personally think anyone can be an artist, as there are many tricks to re-train your brain how to see "reality". One of the biggest known artist tricks is to learn to draw things upside down for a while, it helps you detach from concepts.

I did like your point on learning at an early age, that's what I was trying to get at earlier. It's really hard to prove that learning certain things at an early age changes how you learn later. The best example that I currently know of is my original example of being bi-lingual from birth. I personally think people overlook that, but anyways I've got to go smoke. lol
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post #258 of 341
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
If it was only that simple..... culture, parenting, society, economics, etc all play a role as well.
Well,we can look at this from the following perspective:

It is true that alot of variables play in this problem,but that doesn't mean it can't be solved.

It is possible to give simple solutions to complex problems,if kids from the beginning play with more abstract puzzle games.If they are better prepeared at solving problems ,mathematically and not mathematically. Maths will be much easier to understand and learn for them,and thus,have better base fundamentals to enter University.

Here at Universidad de los Andes,i have access to several investigations that that conclude that the most important part of education in life ,is at school, and i don't mean like highr school grades,i mean when kids are about 3 to 6 years old.

Goverment and society should emphazise more in that part of education in life,it's like saying that breakfast is the most important food of the day.

if the problem is engaged from there,we can see vast improvments in the quality of professionals ,it is not a solution of 1 or 2 years,it is a solution that can take decades.
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post #259 of 341
Pre college, all students learn is language, math, art, and very basic science, and people are surprised when that's what most people major in? Science was the red headed stepchild of classes at my highschool. I dropped out and homeschooled myself after we were told we would not have a science teacher at all that year, and to sleep in class (I'm not even kidding).

Tenure and poor professor salaries are a problem too, but IMHO, the root issue is a lack of interest in STEM fields by the general population.
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post #260 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
If it was only that simple..... culture, parenting, society, economics, etc all play a role as well.
This. My parents gave me some tenets to live by on education.

"We're not paying for it. We can't. You are going to need a scholarship to go to school"

"You're not doing well in school unless you know more than the teacher."

"School is for refinement, learning starts here at home."

I got this hammered into my head starting at about age 4. This resulted me in knowing all 50 states and capitals, reading at a 3rd grade level, and knowing most of the US presidents by the time I was in kindergarten. My parents aren't geniuses either. My mother works in plastic injection molding and my dad is an inside wireman. They gave me a goal, they gave me old school books, and they gave me a dream. That's where motivation comes from. That's where the drive to overcome sloppy excuses like "bad teachers" and "lack of resources" comes from. That's where good students come from.

I can tell you, when I took my advanced classes in high school, I was the poorest kid in class. Without a doubt. I was not hindered by my resources, but rather enhanced. I always had the mentality of being "The Greatest Prole". I lived it, I breathed it, I loved it. I would intentionally show up unshaven and informally dressed to the award gatherings. I had to something to prove. I, son of the 'Working Joe', not only bested your tutored and heavily invested child of wealth, but also spat upon your way of life. That feels good.
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