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ERIC Number: EJ1020456
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
Meaning and Utility: Keeping the Humanities and Global Education Central to Learning
Carrese, Susan; Kim, Paul; Creeden, Jack
Independent School, v72 n3 Spr 2013
"Who cares?" and "Why do I need to know this?" are not just tired student mantras to be brushed aside by frustrated teachers. They are the questions about significance that lie at the heart of their work. At a time of both international economic recession and unprecedented global competition, educators and policy-makers too often pursue "utility" at the expense of "meaning." We can't just prepare students to fit into the world as it is. We need them to have the knowledge and skills to change it for the better. In this era of immense possibility, for better or worse, we can best help our students by assuring that "meaning" shares the spotlight with "utility." To assure that meaning is central, we need to insist that the humanities, combined with comprehensive global education, play a central role in our programs. The most important reason to integrate the humanistic and the global into STEM education is to ensure that we have citizens who live meaningful lives, and to direct technology and cultural systems toward healthy human ends. The authors suggest that the very qualities that create a meaningful experience in school are the same qualities that will make work and life more meaningful. Leading schools around the world are developing new curricula and programs to increase both "meaning" and "utility" in the education that their students receive. These schools face a serious challenge as they combat the demand for STEM-dominated curricula, but they realize that capitulating to the demand is too great if it constrains the humanity at the heart of our democratic system. The very nature of independent schools positions them to deliver the kind of education that integrates the humanities and STEM in a global context so that students feel them as complementary parts in their growth. This balance in our schools will help us educate students who are prepared for cosmopolitan citizenship and are able to develop their human potential.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Connecticut; Georgia; North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A