Education, humanities

Barely Literate? How Christian Fundamentalist Homeschooling Hurts Kids By Kristin Rawls, AlterNet, September 3, 2014

How Corporations Are Cheating Millions of School Children Out of Billions in Education Funds By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet, January 4, 2015 

How a Bigger Purpose Can Motivate Students to Learn By Ingfei Chen, MindShift, Big Ideas, August 18, 2014

Why Understanding Obstacles is Essential to Achieving Goals By Linda Flanagan, MindShift, December 26, 2014

Barely Literate? How Christian Fundamentalist Homeschooling Hurts Kids By Kristin Rawls, AlterNet, September 3, 2014

The New Education — Norman Cousins  – “The new edu­ca­tion must be less con­cerned with sophis­ti­ca­tion than com­pas­sion. It must rec­og­nize the haz­ards of trib­al­ism. It must teach peo­ple the most dif­fi­cult les­son of all—to look at some­one any­where in the world and be able to see the image of him­self, or her­self. The old empha­sis upon super­fi­cial dif­fer­ences that sep­a­rate peo­ples must give way to edu­ca­tion for cit­i­zen­ship in the human com­mu­nity. With such an edu­ca­tion and with such self-understanding, it is pos­si­ble that some nation or peo­ple may come for­ward with the vital inspi­ra­tion that men need no less than food. Lead­er­ship on this higher level does not require moun­tains of gold or thun­der­ing pro­pa­ganda. It is con­cerned with human des­tiny. Human des­tiny is the issue. Peo­ple will respond.”

Don’t Dismiss the Humanities by Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, AUG. 13, 2014  The humanities aren’t obscure, arcane or irrelevant. They awaken our souls, influence how we think about inequality, and help us adapt to a changing world…To adapt to a changing world, we need new software for our cellphones; we also need new ideas. The same goes for literature, for architecture, languages and theology.

Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University, author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters in an interview on NPR, August 03, 2014 …in an economy that places a premium on high-tech skills, is a liberal arts education even relevant? On whether higher education is necessary for success – …Today the shifts in the economy mean technological change will only produce accelerated pace of innovation, of changing relations to audiences. A broad, wide-ranging education is the best way to be able to shape that change rather than just be victimized by it. On the cost of paying for college – Higher education in the United States has traditionally functioned as a vehicle for social mobility. And as costs have escalated and financial aid has not kept up with those costs, elite education has become a way of cementing privilege rather than…

Our [emerging] economies…will require new literacies not only for work but for living a fulfilled life, coping with the new complexities of our societies, and engaging as a citizen…focus ever more on critical thinking, the ability to question, analyse, challenge; seeing arguments from different perspectives; articulating ideasWhat Does It Mean To Be Literate In The 21st Century? By Sheila Moorcroft, Shaping Tomorrow, posted on, June 19, 2012 /what-does-it-mean-to-be-literate-in-the-21st-century/

“The new education must be less concerned with sophistication than compassion. It must recognize the hazards of tribalism. It must teach people the most difficult lesson of all—to look at someone anywhere in the world and be able to see the image of himself, or herself. The old emphasis upon superficial differences that separate peoples must give way to education for citizenship in the human community. With such an education and with such self-understanding, it is possible that some nation or people may come forward with the vital inspiration that men need no less than food. Leadership on this higher level does not require mountains of gold or thundering propaganda. It is concerned with human destiny. Human destiny is the issue. People will respond.”  Norman Cousins


Report Argues U.S. Is Neglecting, Undervaluing Education in the Humanities -CONVERSATION — PBS News Hour, June 19, 2013 - A new report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences panel warns that the U.S. could lose its competitive edge in the liberal arts and social sciences… languages, history, philosophy and more, a call for new commitments to the humanities in higher education…much focus has been on the need for the U.S. to nurture more graduates who specialize in science, technology, math, and engineering. It also comes amid lower funding for research in the humanities and a drop in interest in civics courses…by focusing on one part of the problem, we have forgotten that actually the problem requires a balanced solution

JOHN LITHGOW (actor):  “I have always felt that studying the humanities and the arts at the college level just put me into the habit of learning that’s really defined my life in all sorts of ways. And it’s extremely difficult to quantify exactly what the humanities does for you…The study of humanities is not being attacked. It’s not a terrible political football, which is always a great danger, because people have different belief systems. But it is being simply neglected. There is an imbalance. And my feeling has always been that these two sides of the brain have to work together.

RICHARD BRODHEAD (president of Duke University): Well, I actually think the burden really falls on educators to educate people about the meaning and value of education..when people end up being able to lead successful and creative lives, it is typically because they had a very broad range of skills that they were able to use in versatile and opportunistic ways as life unfolded. So you shouldn’t prepare yourself too narrowly. You think you’re being prudent, but it’s like penny-wise and pound-foolish. Better to develop more parts of yourself, more different skills and abilities, to be prepared for the chances of life… The first thing we need is for people who know and care about the value of literacy, the value of understanding foreign countries, the value of leading the kind of rich spiritual life you can get through the acquaintance with philosophy and literature and things of that sort, we need people to remind the public of the value of those things. I don’t find this a hard case to make when you speak to people…it’s been a while since anybody has tried to wake people up to how much they already do know and care about these things…”

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