Are the Humanities still important?

You might as well ask “What is it like to be a human?

Science draws conclusions in a context that is concrete and clearly defined; the humanities force you to draw connections in a context that is opaque, with concepts that are ill-defined and unrelated. Emerson and Fitzgerald force you to think outside the box, encouraging the kind of open-mindedness that pays dividends when it’s your own life you’re reflecting on and not Gatsby’s.

Great, but what specifically makes the Humanities so important?

Today, humanistic knowledge continues to provide the ideal foundation for exploring and understanding the human experience. Investigating a branch of philosophy might get you thinking about ethical questions. Learning another language might help you gain an appreciation for the similarities in different cultures. Contemplating a sculpture might make you think about how an artist’s life affected her creative decisions. Reading a book from another region of the world, might help you think about the meaning of democracy. Listening to a history course might help you better understand the past, while at the same time offer you a clearer picture of the future.

Let’s take a closer look at what Chancellor Bruce Leslie’s mandated core curriculum change is taking away from the 60,000+ students of the Alamo Colleges. He is taking away student choice. The choice to study philosophy, a foreign language, literature from around the world, religions, civilizations. Chancellor Bruce Leslie is requiring that all Alamo Colleges students learn to be “highly effective people” while taking away their choice to study what it means to be human.

2013-14 Humanities core student options 2014-15 core requirement which eliminates all of these options

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