Once again, my friend and follow blogger, Vera of Verawrites.com recommended a very interesting blog post. This time, it was by Beth Byrnes titled “Cherchez la Faim.” Like some of my blog posts in the past, this article focuses on education and discusses the absurdity of placing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education above the humanities.
I particularly enjoyed this article because it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that I am not the only person who sees the many flaws in the education system. Beth actually states that “We cannot put the humanities, i.e. art and literature especially, on a back-burner.” No, we CANNOT. Some of you may remember previous blog posts of mine in which I discuss the difficulties that students have in writing a simple 5-paragrah essay or how grammar is a significant issue even amongst adults.
Beth talks about an example from historian Adam Gopnik in which he credits Apple’s success to not just great engineering but awesome creativity. Now think about that and then think about the significance of language and words as it relates to business and beyond. For example, did you notice how “Global Warming” suddenly became “Climate Change” or how people take notice to the word “Free” in sales ads? Where would businesses and technological corporations be without the power of language and creativity?
It is unacceptable to believe that society can thrive on STEM education alone. The humanities need math and science, and math and science need the humanities. And Beth’s article provided another excellent example when she told us about how her niece’s love of signing, acting, painting, and knitting prepared her for a career as a scientist.
Although Sooryan is a fictional kingdom, much of its design pertains to a reality that I wish to have in education. My book’s concept of multidimensional learning takes subjects like math and history and “combines” them with other subjects to make educational more meaningful and exciting. The purpose of this teaching strategy is to not only show that every course is significant but that each subject can relate to the other in some way. Multidimensional learning is seen when a teacher incorporates math and art or when an in-depth study in English class discusses a novel’s historical significance as much as its literary.
Towards the end of this wonderful post, Beth discusses the argument by Gopnik that “We are impelled to study the humanities because we are human” due to our desire for understanding of ourselves, our history, and the world around us. The example that she provides pertains to the significance of studying 19th century literature and how it relates to our current issues.
For me, I see Gopnik’s concept a little differently. I believe that we need to study the humanities because of how we live as humans:
We Think: The humanities teaches us to analyze
We Speak: The humanities teaches us how to articulate our words properly. Am I the only person who cringes when someone says “omg”?
We Write: We cannot downplay the importance of writing and grammar. Most adults may not have to write essays or reports on a daily basis, but knowing how to properly write an email is certainty not that common.
We Read: We must never take literacy of the English language for granted.
We move and we are moved: Words and art give us the power to impact, influence, and touch the lives of people we may have never seen or spoken to.
Education of the humanities impacts how we see ourselves and the world, and how we interact overall. So tell me, isn’t this just as important as learning the basics of math and science?
Peace and Love,