Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
The humanities have always been under attack in the higher education of the United States of America. Corporate culture of the university requires the most money distributed towards research and specialization, while making employability of the graduates the main goal of education. With two thirds of all majors being in business and finance, humanities don’t seem to play a big role in higher education overall. This work makes an attempt in defense of liberal arts education to our students, and the importance of teaching the subjects like English, Literature and Philosophy independent of a student’s major concentration. Even in our age of specialized and corporatized education, these courses are of great importance. These subjects can help young people find their way in this confusing web of life weaved out of pressure, expectations, failures, problems, fears. What other fields of study can teach them about history of cultures and languages, people who made history; who made contribution to the world in art, literature and science; what young people can learn from them. But most importantly, how to raise questions about life in general and search for answers, how to find meaning, how to know what’s important to them. In general, teaching them how to think. I would like to take different approaches in looking at teaching humanities to college students in this country, drawing from my own experiences in both Russia and US, my graduate courses at UVM, as well as works of those in the academia concerned with the same matter. I will look at how corporate culture of the university and research-driven education dictate the curricula in colleges and universities; how multiculturalism and political correctness that saturated higher education these days can influence the way humanities are presented, and explore the influence of humanities in our students’ making meaning of their lives.
Pleshakova, Victoria, "The Importance of Teaching Humanities in Higher Education Institutions: in Defense of Liberal Arts Education" (2009). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 182.