The sciences vs humanities debate may be as old as education itself, and there is a need to see the actual reasoning behind this. The Humanities have been depicted as lees important than hard sciences for a long time. A vivid example of this are the news in 2015 about Japanese government forcing higher education institutions to limit the provision of social sciences and humanities courses to “serve areas that better meet society’s needs” (Grove, 2015, p. 1).
Certain favouritism trends in the field of higher education are quite obvious, and tend to shift in order to accommodate the needs of the market. That was a move aimed at the improvement of an economic situation of Japan, which may be misplaced, but is clearly influenced by the capitalist society and its construction of values. Often these areas of education are the first ones to receive financial cutbacks and attacks of the government (Hendricks, 2017).
However, there is a different standpoint which emphasises the importance of the humanities education for a people who will be “able to function as democratic citizens in a pluralistic, modern, and globalized, society” (Hendricks, 2017, p. 1). While the author does not depict sciences as of any less importance, she argues for the importance of humanities and arts for the society.
This shows that the diversity of interests, which different people have calls for a wide variety approaches in education, as well as equal treatment for the various spheres with a critical analysis of why one may be valued over the other at a certain point of time. And in a fast-moving and dynamic world in which we live now, limiting education to one specialised sphere impairs the ability of humankind to develop and progress organically in many various areas of human activities.
Have you ever thought why are hard sciences valued more than arts and humanities?
Grove, J. (2015). Social sciences and humanities faculties ‘to close’ in Japan after ministerial intervention. Retrieved December 03, 2017, from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/social-sciences-and-humanities-faculties-close-japan-after-ministerial-intervention
Hendricks, S. (2017). Need Another Use for a Liberal Arts Education? How about Learning to Be a Citizen? Retrieved December 03, 2017, from http://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/need-another-use-for-a-liberal-arts-education-how-about-learning-to-be-a-citizen