The “point” of receiving a college education can vary from person to person. Some use the opportunity to secure job opportunity or a high salary. Others focus on learning how to change society. Some worry about how to change themselves. Regardless, a college education is supposed to signify a well-rounded individual, and the fact is that a degree in a STEM major at UK is far from representative of a well-rounded person.
STEM classes, at any public school, struggle to remain below the hundred to two hundred class size mark. That number can be even worse when taking that one general education class required of the semester. How are you supposed to have a conversation in a class that size?
I’m an extrovert, and that is intimidating for even me. There is also just not enough time to have each person granted the ability to speak. The class sizes are normally so large that on the rare chance that a professor has veered away from the PowerPoint to call on a student, that student still does not have a microphone to be heard.
How are you supposed to learn to be well-rounded when your class sizes are so large you cannot have a conversation?
It is through communication that people can learn not only other viewpoints but also what they themselves believe. Something about language helps us organize our thoughts.
In my English classes, we talk about literature, yes, but so much of understanding literature is also understanding society. That means that we talk about race and gender and sexuality. We talk about the environment. We talk about what is means to be a good person. What constructs a family. There are so many important conversations that I have during each class that are difficult to have in a non-academic setting.
So how are STEM majors able to ever have these conversations if it is not incorporated into their syllabus?