Why Study Humanities
Critical thinking, an understanding of art and human nature, as well as an idea of ??our place in society and in the natural world are the most important characteristics of an educated person.
Historically, the humanities and general education subjects have contributed to the development of such a personality. However, what is happening in universities today raises very real concerns.
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As noted by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, there are at least three reasons for the decline in the number of students choosing humanities as their majors.
The first reason. The scientific community, and especially public institutions of higher education, relinquish responsibility for managing curriculum and curriculum development work. Over the past 30 years, professional disciplines such as business and engineering have destroyed a number of core curricula and tailored courses to meet specific needs.
The second reason. Administrators and even state legislators emphasize that general education (the traditional liberal arts disciplines that make up the “core,” such as English and history) can be limited to high school and secondary education. In such a case, higher education should be aimed at preparing for work.
The third reason. The humanities and social sciences are clearly not doing enough to stimulate interest in the disciplines studied within their framework.
At the University of Florida, we had to push for state law to bring the liberal arts back into the curriculum. All students are now required to complete a 12-hour course and pass credit.
Bernie Mahen’s analysis hits the spot. The basic curriculum at public universities has been reduced, and general education subjects are increasingly being taught in community colleges. To counter this trend, Clemson University (like the University of Florida and other universities) has developed new programs. In our case, these are interdisciplinary research programs for students, implemented within the framework of the Creative Search initiative.
Think about this. The market value of Apple Inc has reached $ 770 billion today. It is the most valuable company in the world and is worth more than Exxon and Berkshire Hathaway combined.
But when he unveiled his iPad in 2010, founder Steve Jobs himself said: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone isn’t enough. We need technology combined with general education, combined with the humanities, and it produces results that make our hearts sing. “
Humanities rule the world, set goals for humanity, come up with social and moral concepts. Without this – nowhere.
Also, the humanitarian sphere is a weapon, and a very powerful weapon. Your country can rivet thousands of tanks, but if your people are fooling their heads with the wrong ideas, there will be no use for tanks.
In the end, it’s not just Western students who are lying on the grass and discussing some distant questions about literature, philosophy, and so on. Then these guys will take their positions and start working: in one corner of the world they will arrange a small war, in another – a revolution, in the third – also a revolution, but only sexual. Etc.
In general, the more people doubt the needs of the humanities, the better and more profitable it is for those peoples who do not doubt them.