Paul Prather’s Aug. 28 column, “William Shakespeare stole my soul,” is a moving testament to the profound power of literature. At the outset of a new school year, his testimony reminds us how important it is to encourage students to take advantage of courses in the arts and humanities, and how vital it is to encourage political leaders and university administrators to make those courses possible.
A healthy economy, an innovative workforce and a sustainable democracy all demand a humanities-educated citizens.
Science, technology, engineering and math are often seen as funding priorities. And yet even the National Science Board, in a report titled “Revisiting the STEM Workforce,” agrees that “arts and humanities disciplines complement STEM education by teaching students interpretive and philosophical modes of inquiry; by honing communication and writing skills; by fostering multicultural and global understanding; and by cultivating an appreciation for history, aesthetics, and the human experience.”
We would not want to encounter, and we would never want to create, a culture or a workforce deficient in the vital nutrients of the arts and humanities. They are essential to the strength and reputation of our commonwealth and nation.
Morris A. Grubbs