19 June 2016

What's Really Happening to the Humanities Under Neoliberalism?

By Dan Falcone, Truthout | Op-Ed

The number of college students majoring in English, according to some contested reports, has plummeted. In general, the humanities are taking a back seat to more "pragmatic" majors in college. Students, apparently, are thinking more about jobs than about general learning. Given this trend, should schools be scaling back on the humanities?

I understand these sentiments and concerns completely. I've worked at schools where math and science were esteemed, and for good reason. When parents attend school assemblies, the college counselors and deans present course selection mappings. The flow charts for math and science look very impressive, intricate and complex, with many boxes, lines, twists, turns and explanations that require qualifications. Meanwhile, history and English get a few boxes and they appear straightforward. What is this illustrative of? The fact that more time and energy are dedicated to upholding math and science as gospel? It's possible.


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