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Re: Science education



> What?
> American interest in science is very
> strong.


American interest in science FICTION is very strong.


> If you're running into personal experiences that slant you
> to an opinion, that's just a small-percentage coincidence.


Compared to "Eastern" culture (actually eastern cultures are
diverse, so that is actually a stereotype, sorry), American culture
worships glamor, sex, fame and money.  Other cultures around the
world view education as a pathway out of poverty.
Its a subtle difference, yet an important one.

"John and Kate Plus Eight" is not a fluke, in which shallow
American non-famous people become famous because they
did....uh.....essentially nothing to make them famous.
It's not a fluke, because that attitude is entrenched in American
culture.  "Find a shortcut to fame and wealth".



> I think many college students that have a technical aptitude
> often go into engineering due to the higher financial rewards.

1) the financial rewards are quite low for scientists in the U.S.,
even for those in the "nuts and bolts", practical, project-driven engineering
professions.  


2) foreign students often comprise 1/3 to 1/2 of some university
science departments in the U.S.


> The current crash of the economy for the past
> several years may have made it near-impossible for
> some people to undertake a vocation in the sciences - please
> take that into consideration.


> I would also think the problems of getting good teachers
> and retaining them may also keep alot of children from
> otherwise developing an interest at the grade-school
> level that they deserve - again, that's an economic issue.


When American businesses start paying scientists at the same
level as they do MBA graduates, THEN you will see a sudden
interest in science as a career in the U.S.  That has never been a
priority in the U.S.


> My experience with kids and young adults
> shows a keen interest in the sciences - especially
> towards zoology, recently.

American children show enormous interest in dinosaurs up until
they reach puberty.  After that point, it is actually cooler to be
dinosaur-illiterate.

American girls usually do better than American boys on
standardized math tests.  Then they reach puberty and many
of these same girls lose interest.

Do some Googling on where the U.S. ranks compared with
other nations regarding science education.  You'll get lots
of hits and some depressing news.  This isn't a recent
phenomenon.  It appears to be part of our culture.

<pb>
--




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