Mr Glibbly seems to have been very busy recently. First there was the statement he made about Music Education, in which he revealed how little he actually knew and understood about the subject. Then there were his remarks on the need to ban mobile phones in school, in which he revealed how little he actually knew and understood about the subject. And this week he spoke forth his words of wisdom about getting more girls to study STEM subjects, which, not really surprisingly, revealed how little he actually knew and understood about STEM.
So after last week’s wasted attempt to sit Mr Glibbly down with a nice cup of tea and explain the facts of life as about mobile phones to him, this week All Change Please! thought it would challenge him to a session of Mastermind. Here’s what happened…
Your name is:
Your occupation is:
Secretary in a State about Education
And your chosen specialist subject this week is:
Time starts now…
1. What is STEM?
Glibbly: That’s easy – it’s the knowedge-rich study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects.
Incorrect. STEM is the practical study of the inter-relationship between Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects. There’s not really any such thing as a STEM subject, just subjects that make a contribution to STEM.
2. What is STEAM?
Err. The stuff that comes out of kettles when the water gets hot?
No. The correct answer is the practical study of the inter-relationship between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics subjects.
3. Has it ever occurred to you that including the Arts in STEM would help make it more attractive to many girls and provide a more balanced approach to future innovations in which human needs would be better matched to our technological capabilties?
Good Lord, No…
Yes, correct! It obviously hasn’t ever occurred to you.
4. What exactly are the ‘STEM skills’ to which you refer?
Learning more and more easily assessable knowledge and facts about Physics, Maths and Coding of course.
No. STEM skills are about things such as planning and organising, creative problem solving, working collaboratively in an inter-disciplinary way, and communicating information effectively.
5. Recent research published by the Df-ingE apparently shows that:
“15-year-old boys are more likely than girls to see STEM subjects as being useful when it comes to getting a job and that girls are less likely to consider a STEM subject as their favourite.”
Is it now government policy that in future boys should only be encouraged to choose useful subjects that will lead to a job, while girls should be free to choose whichever subjects they like doing best?
Well, err, no of course not.
Incorrect. Because that’s exactly what you just suggested it was.
6. You also said you were:
“funding programmes to increase the take up of maths, computing and physics”.
What are you going to do about Engineering, Technology and the other Sciences? In particular why is Design and Technology, which in many respects embodies the underlying inter-disciplinary nature of STEM, being completely ignored?
Err. Let me see. Wait, I know the answer to this one. Oh yes, that’s it: ‘We have reformed the school curriculum to make sure it meets the needs of employers.’
Are you having a laugh?
7. How do you justify calling on “teachers, parents and society in general to challenge and dispel misconceptions some girls have about Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects”, when you don’t even understand what it is yourself?
Well, as I said a moment ago – ‘We have reformed the school curriculum to make sure it meets the needs of employers.’ And what’s more I’ve started, so I’m going to finish…
No. The correct answer is that you obviously are not able to justify doing so.
8. How well do you think you have done as Secretary in a State?
Incorrect. You scored just one mark, and therefore you’ve not passed, you’ve failed.
If you’d like to be a candidate on a future edition of Mastermind… don’t become a politician.
PS. Mr Glibbly – perhaps some of these downloadable STEM Role Model Posters that celebrate Women Innovators as illustrated by Women Artists might help?