CON: STEM vs. Humanities

|Should the U.S. education focus more on STEM education at the cost of the humanities?

Sarah Markiewicz, Staff Writer

Think about this: If the center of our education system was to rebuke the field of humanities, you might be discouraged from reading a school newspaper like this one, or any newspaper for that matter in the future. You can also predict a decline in communications and international cooperation.

Consider what would happen if people start to rebuke the humanities, which are the studies related to personal experience. Unfortunately, our society is becoming more skewed to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, so that the education of history and language is seen as impractical.

This July, there was a proposal by the Republicans in the House of Representatives to cut funding for the liberal arts organization called the National Endowment for the Humanities by five percent. While this may not directly afflict high school and college education, it is proof that there is a growing skepticism over the value of the humanities.

Have our expectations become so shallow that we prefer not to waste our time on anything that won’t guarantee us lucrative careers? Some people don’t realize that while professions in the arts may seem hard to find, these careers do exist, and can be obtained if the person is motivated to achieve one of these careers.
Even for those who aren’t interested in the humanities, they are just as relevant today as they were at the time when science and math were rebuked in favor of a “classical education.” Actually, the progression of math and science careers has caused an even greater need for certain aspects of the humanities. For example, if a scientist is limited to only a certain number of languages, he or she could miss out on the research of scientists from other nations.

Communication between people of all languages is vital for international cooperation and progression- a key factor for any field. Reading and writing are tools we need to make educated decisions and analyses. Yes, it is true that words themselves will not cure diseases. However, without proper means to communicate, how effectively and safely would knowledge of this cure spread? Is it also not true that the study of history will help us to make more educated predictions of what will happen in the future, as well as to understand how and why the wars and tensions of today began in the first place?

Instead of cutting funds from the humanities, these classes should be reformed to give students awareness and analytical skills of modern events. It may not make a difference between a yearly salary of $55,000 and $84,000; it could be the defining difference that brings enlightenment to the world.