Humanities in decline at colleges

 

Facing tough job prospects, many students are shying away from humanities and opting for fields with more possibilities.  Fuse
Facing tough job prospects, many students are shying away from humanities and opting for fields with more possibilities.
Fuse

The term “humanities” covers a broad spectrum of topics covered in college — from literature to music and philosophy — and that’s sort of the point. Humanities is an inclusive idea that refers to many fields of study and is revered for providing a broad spectrum of learning to students. A recent report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences titled “The Heart of the Matter” says that students are opting out of pursuing the humanities in college. As college tuitions go up and students look at a tough job market, the study suggests they are taking classes with a firmer guarantee of jobs after graduation.

“The Heart of the Matter” attempts to further the conversation about the importance of humanities. The report “calls on parents, teachers, scholars, the media and the public at-large to join a cohesive and constructive national discussion of these issues.” We spoke with several academics in an attempt to do just that.

Steven G. Brint, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, has been watching academic disciplines rise and fall for years. “The fields that students study in colleges and universities are far from stable over time.  Instead, new fields come into being and some fall into obscurity,” says Brint. Though some may put the humanities into the “obscurity” category, Brint sees hope. “I am confident that those who have a feeling for the humanities will find a way to continue to appreciate them. These fields are not on the verge of going extinct,” he says.

Dr. Jana Mohr Lone is the director at University of Washington’s Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children. The program she introduces philosophy to K-12 students. “Engaging in philosophical exploration encourages children to think abstractly and deeply about themselves and their experiences, and helps them develop confidence in their own ideas and questions, as well as strong critical and creative thinking skills,” she says.

Lone  also has  hope for the humanities. “I believe that if we can tap into the natural interest children have in exploring some of the central questions at the heart of the humanities, children will grow up with an enduring passion for ideas and a commitment to furthering their imaginative thinking about these questions.”

 

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.