Humanities left behind by focus on sciences


The rise of STEM has brought attention and participation to the sciences, but at the cost of the humanities, which are just as important.

In recent years, there has been an increased push toward encourage education in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math. However, while pushing the sciences is important, it should not come at the expense of the humanities.

Proponents of STEM, including President Barack Obama, argue that more STEM education is necessary to prevent America from falling behind economically. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the Obama administration has set a goal of increasing STEM graduates by one million by 2022.

Pete Bavis, Asst. Supt. for Curriculum and Instruction, believes that this stance comes from the idea that the STEM subjects are the main factors in economic growth.

However, this does not mean that the humanities are less important. In fact, the sciences and the humanities often work better together and in most cases, are both necessary for success.

According to Bavis, Northwestern’s engineering department looks not only for engineering students who perform well in STEM categories, but also for those who have performed well in the humanities. In other words, they need people skilled in STEM, but also need people who can write.

What we really need to promote is a well-rounded education in all areas.

It’s not an either-or situation. Students can be skilled in math and history or engineering and English. Knowing STEM and the humanities not only gives students future job options, but adequately prepares students for the real world, where skill in both the humanities and STEM are needed.