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Friday, June 28, 2013

Report Argues for the Encouragement of a Liberal Arts Education



A report entitled The Heart of the Matter by the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences indicates that liberal arts is necessary to encourage stronger national leadership that focuses on the overall development of social, communicative, and cultural knowledge. It indicates that such skills create a more adaptive workforce that can manage their own affairs. They argue that the humanities and social sciences are a critical aspect of national and international development through greater awareness. 

China is attempting to copy the American system of education and expand their humanities and social science related offerings. As they begin to expand their programs the fear is the U.S. is beginning to focus too narrowly on career oriented fields. Without a general understanding of how human society operates there is a problem with rounding out careers and decisions. 

Three goals are outlined in the report:   

1      -Educate Americans in the knowledge, skills, and understanding they will need to thrive in a twenty-first-century democracy.
2   -Foster a society that is innovative, competitive, and strong.
3   -Equip the nation for leadership in an interconnected world.

The report outlines the need for cultural understanding in society and bridging our past with our future. The strengthening of education can occur through supporting students with online courses and providing relevant materials. They encourage academics to engage the public in solving critical societal issues for a stronger and brighter future.

Employers are seeking students who have critical thinking skills, complex problem solving skills, and communication skills.  Humanities and social sciences encourages these finely develop skills. The report didn’t state this but there is a place in this argument for self-management skills. Each of these increases with higher education and general understanding of society.

You may read the rest of the report HERE


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