During the Christmas holiday I read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book David and Golaith. Chapter 3 “If I’d gone to University of Maryland, I’d still be in science” is about the big fish – little pond effect. Lots of interesting perspectives are presented but one of thing that struck me was that more than half of all American students who start out in STEM programs at university drop out after their first or second year.
It is sad but true but this seems to reflect what happens to my IB Chemistry higher level students. Many have the intention of pursuing a science related major at University but end up switching to majors likes finance, business, or international relations. Now there are many reasons for this, but the difficulty of STEM majors may be part of the reason.
Galdwell a journalist by profession provides lots of food for thought. Recommended reading.