C-87. STEM and TEAMS

The STEM initiative in education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) emphasizes Stage 4 learning – i.e., training new generations to be able to do what is already being done by others (0:Sp). If they ADOPT these ways then they will be able to ADAPT – to fit into – enterprises now underway … and, perhaps, lend a mind and hand (not further specified in developmental terms) toward things “new and improved.”

In this Stage 4 sense, the four advocated STEM salients stand as concepts, summarizing vast ranges of learnable particular behaviors. As fields in the higher education academic realm. As disciplines there too, but disciplines largely in the limited sense of accepted practices – as in the recipe research tendency (XII)

Vocationally advantageous, to be sure. But professional ? Isn’t STEM missing something? Or, if not missing that something, overbalancing matters – which, we have seen, vitiates the potentially productive interdependence dynamic (XI; C-71) of these four salients with the omitted, but needed developmental capabilities?

TEAMS suggests a counter-initiative. The four STEM salients are still there, albeit scrambled and with an additional entry. The additional salient is art. This is art qua composition, which resonates with engineering (“design”) and is readily seen to be involved with the others (e.g., science’s “art of inquiry,” technology’s “invention,” mathematics’ “imaginary numbers”). This is art across all four stages of being, from a needed functionality given the Nature of Things through developed capability to that capability exercised in building new structures (especially behavioral molecules) with their own distinctive functionality – i.e., uses. In this, art’s inclusion with the others does what they too should be doing. They all need to be transformed to theoretical constructs from their current concept status (C-81, C-85). Students need to get the complete idea of science, technology, engineering and math. This is not the abstract understanding of a concept. This is the firmly grounded functionality involved, from need onwards. This is the sense of “meaning” that Presence and Realization, related theoretical constructs, strive for (App. XIX).

What of the scrambled letters? TEAMS emphasizes community, giving added meaning to “T.” And community is all about collective behavior and collective problem solving, from partnerships to polities. Needed functionality indeed! Far more community capability than what education’s learning/knowing > 1(XI) provides now, for example, in “extracurricular” (!) teams participation and/or” fan” behavior. More than “interdepartmental” or “interdisciplinary” efforts that combine, but may not compose, effective communities. (Bullying proves how disoriented we are. Compose, not repose, is the way to peace. And so on….)

HAS discipline (App. XV) points the TEAMS way forward, whether by formal, developmentally grounded education or by and on our own initiative, in realization of the Nature of Things. Da Vinci and Pasteur shine as beacons of what these unified disciplines can achieve.

Vocational skills – even so called “liberal arts,”seen as Stage 4 functionalities, corrupt the vocation in profession. Profession, like vocation as a calling, heeds need. Needed functional capabilities are right there with bodily needs. Needing, we might say, to be more fully realized. Problems (0, I), situational and the ever-troubling behavioral, claim our attention – but not enough of disciplined functional engagement.

(c) 2013 R.F. Carter