Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Benefit of the Humanities Degree

The Common Core and PARCC testing and PISA or TIMSS have begun, little by little, to steal away or divert attention from the magic of the liberal arts education. Despite warnings from as far back as Charles Dickens' Hard Times, America has begun to myopically focus on a utilitarian foundation for secondary and education. Educating for job skills has replaced educating for the cultivation of the human spirit. And that has put the study of arts and the humanities at risk.

In fact, some in our government believe that student loans should only be available to STEM-majors, and those English and philosophy students can pay for the luxury of studying the humanities. Yet, for as long as I've been teaching - in fact, for as long as I've been around - I've known countless successful business leaders and community icons who began with a humanities degree. And that is the heart of Caroline Gregoire's list of "Irrefutable Evidence of the Value of Humanities Degrees." While I might have expected it from the likes of Jon Stewart or Conan O'Brien, who knew that businessman and multi-millionaire investor Mitt Romney began his adult life with a bachelor's degree in English?

We can follow that up with Rebecca Schuman's latest piece for Slate where she talks about people "Hating on the Humanities."

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