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Fritzie -


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Are too few students focusing on Humanities?

I read yesterday that fewer than 8% of college students now major in humanities. The most popular major is Business Administration and then all the STEM fields.

Does this seem like a sensible mix, or has attention swung too heavily in one direction?

While I cannot now find the article, please let this interesting piece serve in its place: http://artsandhumanities.fas.harvard.edu/files/humanities/files/mapping_the_future_31_may_2013.pdf

Finally I came upon the report that motivated my question. http://humanitiescommission.org/_pdf/HSS_Report.pdf


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  • Jun 26 2013: This is a crucial question..
    WIthout a solid grounding in humanities, people are less able to recognize and resist political lies, statistical manipulation and social and economic stupidity like the recent austerity programs that have financially crippled so many European countries.
    People who don't know history and who don't recognize empty emotional rhetoric can feel justified in committing physical brutality like the Trayvon Martin murder, and social brutality like stripping the elderly of social security and pensions they have paid for and minorities of the right to vote.
    In America local school boards, town councils and cities have been systematically taken over by questionable religious organizations that rewrite textbooks for their own purposes, like teaching their theory of "intelligent design" instead of evolution.
    In Arizona, local politics lead to taxpayer funding of religious indoctrination at private schools, which is clearly unconstitutional.
    Without training in critical thinking our political, cultural, scientific and religious history is easily twisted to serve business, religious or political ends. Witness the on-going attack against unions, which brought hard earned prosperity to millions. Even our diets have been carefully manipulated to benefit agriculture in the now disproven and discarded food pyramid.

    Our laws, our morality, our patriotic spirit are constantly wielded against us and unless we learn how to evaluate legislation, advertising and political speech, we are at the mercy of who ever has the microphone.

    I'm afraid the recent "reasonable" sounding push for scientific and technological training without broader education will make it easier to control people, probably not for their benefit.
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      Jun 26 2013: You raise the important point that education is not only about preparing people for an economic role but also for a civic role.

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