Very interesting article that, finally, brings back our attention on the importance of studying the humanities not only as a path to personal enlightment but to build tools for life.
This is something that we were very good at, here in Italy, with our “Liceo Classico”, a demanding high school track where the core subjects are Ancient Greek, Latin, History, Philosophy (plus of course Math, Physics English etc.).
The “problem solving” skills developed by translating a greek period helps in the end more than more advanced math topics and graduates from Liceo Classico are usually at the top of their classes once they move to University even when choosing Engineering or Physics.
Unfortunately, the recent debate and most “political action” tends to have a very short-sighted view, advocating a school that would provide the “skills” immediately in demand for the industry. The “problem” is that what is needed today is not what is needed in 10/15 years time, when kids will come out of the “new-and-improved” school system.
School should teach how to learn, over and over, on your own. Isn’t this flexibility what is needed today? Humanities do just that. And much more, as the article linked below well explains.
Why Teaching Humanities Improves Innovation
Too bad too many, even great figures as Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, continue to think and preach (“we need more coders…”).
Even without a clichè mention of Charles Snow’s “Two Cultures”, it is obvious to anyone with a minimum of historical knowledge that the classics have never been opposed to science. Science is the “daughter” of philosophy. Anassimander basically invented the scientific method.
Nor did great scientist played down the importance of a classical background.
So who are these pseudo-scientists who, especially in Italy, relentlessly bash the study of the humanities and, each year propose the latest education “fad”? And, above all, WHY?