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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 27 2013: First, let me quote the passage by Summit: "As described by Summit, the emphasis on character building, lifelong learning, and interdisciplinary study of the new ‘studia humanitatis’ would better prepare students for the ever evolving 21st century workplace." My discussion will follow this line about humanities program in academic institutions.
    First the "character building and lifelong learning" should start at the secondary education because these CHARACTERS SHOULD BE ACQUIRED BEFORE THE ENTRY TO COLLEGE EDUCATION. When I was in a middle school in Shanghai, China, we had classes in Chinese classic literature, the materials in the course consisted mainly teachings in Confucianism, where all the contents were morality, social justice, education and proper political activities. It was not told like a Shakespeare drama, rather, involved mostly narratives in the history of Confucius and his doctrine. Even though these narratives were a little difficult to understand, but compared to Shakespeare, they were not involved in very complicated human emotions in the drama by the latter. so the former is more suitable for the secondary edu.
    The next crucial point is that "better prepare the students (in humanities) for the ever-evolving 21st century workplace." Besides the great needs of STEM graduates, the changing demographics and treatment of abnormal conditions also play a role of the needs for humanity experts. The expanding elderly population need more medical attention, prevention of cardiovascular diseases that require more drugs and medical devices or artificial organ replacement. We also need biotechnology, stem cell research and nanotechnology by STEMs. Let's look at childhood autism, the treatment protocols have rapidly shifted from psychological evaluation to drug and testing therapy.
    The robots in factories don't need psychotherapy.
    In summary, we all need humanity education. But the needs for professional workers with humanities skills are gradually decreased.

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