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The need for Humanities in education

The Star News Online – Thomas Schmid

“The Humanities dare to devote themselves to the examination of what it means to be a human being. In the words of the Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities, these academic disciplines “reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual, and intellectual sense of a world in which irrationality, despair, loneliness, and death are as conspicuous as birth, friendship, hope, and reason.” The Humanities comprise one of the ancient and indispensable pillars of a liberal, that is, liberating, education. Traditionally, the Humanities include language, literature, history, philosophy, the study of religion and the study of the fine arts. These disciplines help individuals “come to grips with the question of what living is for.” Moreover, the civic and historical knowledge and ethical reasoning that the humanities develop are prerequisites for informed participation in a free democracy. The complexity and diversity of the human experience across time and place means that those who seek to describe and understand it must develop a vocabulary of interpretation, strategies for accommodating complexity, and protocols for evaluating contested ideas — the skills of critical thinking.”(more)

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