Tyler Bagby
Mrs. Winters
English 1 - Hum - 3
30 May 2015
The Importance of Humanities
What would a society be without its philosophies? Without its literature? Its art or music? What about the rich history of the rise and fall of nations. Are none of these important, of such less importance that a school district would discourage the study and development of these subjects, overall known as humanities? By taking away the classes that enable students to interpret and create their own versions of these concepts, the district would be taking away the culture of our society today, because it is in a society\'s literature, art, music, and philosophies that a civilization is defined. These classes allow students who thirst for knowledge to delve into matters that allow them to think with other minds alike and ancient minds recorded on paper while giving them a healthy amount of skepticism, uncertain questions, and exercising their creativity. Take away these classes, and you take away the future generation\'s humane insight into the world and the nature around us.
Personally, I have seen myself and my fellow classmates think more critically about ideas represented to us today, and ideas that have been thought of in the past. From reading Ender\'s Game at the beginning of the year, to reading Siddhartha a couple weeks ago, our conversations in class have changed greatly and have grown more in depth. At the beginning of the year, we had to have a Socratic seminar to get ideas flowing and completely understand the text. But as the year continued, we no longer had Socratic Seminars in an ordinary day in class, because conversations about the text were deep and conclusions were made easily and more profound ideas were found by the quiet kids in the class without the Socratic Seminars. This may be seen as a habit of getting comfortable with surroundings, but can also be seen as the development of thinking. One may ask if these can be found in a regular English class, and while they may, these humanities classes are both a collection of students who excel in the areas of literature and history and ones that think differently. It is geared toward their own minds and encourages their out of the box style of thinking. Without this challenging course, these students would not be able to focus in a core class with it being too simple for them and no one but themselves to share their intriguing thoughts with because they would most likely think differently than the other students in the class. These classes also allow students to compare ideas not only with other students, but the greatest minds of ancient civilizations as they study their philosophies and read their literature.
Often times these days, majoring in a field in humanities is often advised against because they are thought of as luxuries that students wanting a job can not afford. While studies in mathematical and scientific fields are good majors, the study of humanities should still be stressed even in these majors. In science and math, students are told what is the answer, and there is often no discussion over the truth of the problem. The study of humanities and ancient philosophies and ideas allow students to ask questions and provides them with uncertainty and constant thought over questions such as who we are and the purpose of life that have been pondered by the greatest of thinkers, but to find no definite answer. These questions exercise, as do humanities, the one side of the brain, while the study of logic, mathematics and science, exercises the other side of the brain. It is important to study both creative and logical aspects for it creates a healthier mindset. This study of humanities allows the mind to think freely, not trapped by definite answers or facts, and this thinking allows ideas to flow freely and easily from the mind and makes people better citizens as they think more about their actions and why to do what they do.
By providing students with challenging classes that make them think, giving them people of the same mindset to share findings with and studying the great minds of ancient civilizations, and making students ponder over uncertainty and questions that may never