According to a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering, schools need to concentrate less on teaching subjects and fix more attention on problem solving. We are experiencing a lack of engineering talent, according to the experts, and by encouraging this type of mental process at school it will hopefully result in a new wave of young talent in the field.
Schools have been asked to “rethink” (Prof Bill Lucas, Winchester, BBC) their approach to teaching the physical sciences and mathematics. There is also call for people already in the field of engineering to spend some time with the younger generation to fuel interest in the subject.
As populations rise, the demands on the planet and each other increase with every new individual. Of course, we all bring our unique gifts and talents with us, and raising populations can also mean great things but there is also a strain on the environment and resources to keep up. Engineering is the only subject that can offer real life fixes to some of the major problems we are facing.
Being the one to invent the next world changing technology, being the person to discover tomorrows technique for disposing of poisonous waste, or being the person to invent a new material that can house people at little cost, these are all incredible opportunities that wait for someone to find. It's vital that if the human race is to begin making amends to the planet Earth for all the debauching done over the past few hundred years since the industrial revolution, we must begin teaching the young how to think like a problem solver.
Being able to see patterns, see problems, and dedicate time to thinking about how what we know can do something new and helpful, is something that many of us are able to do. The tool kit is a critical mind and an appreciation for nature. Only when we stifle children with books worth of facts and figures but give them no tools for using them in life, do we cut off the route to progress. It's not up to us to let others think for us, it's up to us to teach others how to think for themselves.
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