Making The Case For Liberal Arts

From states considering differential tuition that would be punitive toward the humanities to talk of tying state funding to the production of “high-demand” degrees, there’s a general sense that the humanities and social sciences are under attack. But a new report out today argues that they play a vital role in growing an informed, career-oriented population equipped for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.
“At the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as a stimulus to innovation and a source of social cohesion,” the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ “The Heart of the Matter” report reads, “we are instead narrowing our focus and abandoning our sense of what education has been and should continue to be – our sense of what makes America great.”
The report notes the challenges facing the humanities and social sciences – including decreased funding and a lack of integration between K-12 and higher education – in the United States, and makes recommendations for overcoming them, in both education and the broader culture. The report seeks to advance three goals: educating Americans in the knowledge, skills and understanding they’ll need to thrive in 21st-century democracy; fostering a society that is innovative, competitive and strong; and readying the nation for global leadership.
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