Who will lead America into a bright future?

That’s the opening hook to the new report issued by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. David Brooks has devoted his New York Times column today to the subject, and notes the dramatic drop in students majoring in the humanities since the 1960’s.

I think the AAAS report is really worth a look; the Executive Summary lists 3 major goals and 13 recommendations for institutions to consider. How well would you say CSU is doing in supporting any of these goals?

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2 thoughts on “Who will lead America into a bright future?

  1. Tim Howard says:

    Brooks’ column and the AAAS report articulate a compelling vision for the role of the humanities in higher education. I wonder, though, if John Q. Public sees that vision through the program designs we present. The list of general education learning outcomes would seem to be the outward expression our learning priorities. On the humanities, we say the student will “Generate knowledgeable interpretations of texts, works of art, or music.” Does that one phrase capture the vision?

  2. Tim, you raise a great point here. The Area C Gen Ed outcome is pretty underwhelming as a grand vision for the Humanities and Fine Arts! On the other hand, it has to accommodate a broad range of courses: all the fine arts appreciation courses, the ITDS comparative arts courses, the literature surveys, and more. So it’s also kind of brilliant in its brevity and elasticity.

    I think the subject would be an interesting one for all the faculty who teach in this area to discuss. (I’m jotting this down as a potential Roundtable topic.) Could we come to an agreement about what we want students to be able to do or know and also come up with something more inspiring?

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