Now do not panic. I know that math and science are important. I just got off a phone call with an amazing computer guy. Somehow, he helped me on the phone from across the globe. Science is the key to improvements in our daily life, including medicine, alternatives to fossil fuels, and continued advances in proper management of plants, animals, and the land. I do not understand advanced mathematics but I realize it is used in economics, data analysis, engineering, and physics.
With the major push for the sciences, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) I have thought, what about the humanities?
Now, many young people do not demonstrate a grasp of history when asked basic questions. Geography and maps are long forgotten areas of interest. But how can you understand issues if you do not know where they occur? I hear poor speaking skills on the radio and television among "experts" in their fields. I wonder to myself, could these phenomena relate to less emphasis in schools on speaking, history, foreign languages, as examples?
Speech is my field, since I practiced as a speech/language therapist for many years. Public speaking skills are abysmal among all speakers but especially the young. Attention to clarity, volume, proper rate, and eye contact is absent among speakers at events. I have witnesses individuals stand up in front of a group, ignore the microphone, and speak at a conversational level. Poor speech is especially evident among younger people, approximately under 45. Men and women try to lower their pitch, engaging in what is termed "vocal fry," which damages their vocal cords.
Children are overindulged and overprotected simultaneously, resulting in stimulated, worldly, and insecure individuals. Will they be prepared to handle the complex situations arising in the world today, for example quality of life issues, increased polarization of people?
Are the younger generations able to think abstractly without a screen in front of them? Can they connect ideas, facts, situations? Will they relate historical events to present day ones? What will happen to the children who were pushed to do higher and higher levels of academics and athletics at the sacrifice of recess, imaginary play, crafts, coloring, and singing? Yes, they will be able to do calculus or play a fierce game of soccer, but what about making friends with kids from different classes, races, and religions? What about understanding themselves in relation to others, both peers and adults?
I am finished raising children. I do not have grandchildren. If I did, I would certainly try to expose them to mega doses of historical sites, museums, storytelling, and photo albums of generations that came before them.