Innovation in the liberal arts

Innovation in the liberal arts

August 30, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


I am, as a scientist but now as a university
administrator, an advocate of the liberal arts imperative, that although we’re moving
to an increasingly STEM-oriented economy, I believe that the liberal arts are more important
than ever, and so it should not be STEM, it should be STEAM, with A standing for the Arts. We’re looking at a world where what was
traditionally science is now combining with humanities, and this is an incredibly exciting
new field that we need to be globally competitive, to be able to have an inclusive world, and
to find solutions from our past, for example. With the liberal arts educations that students
are now receiving, it’s also connected to changes in the digital world. So a lot of digital humanities programs have
come through the kind of flexibility and training that students, I think, get as a result of
liberal arts. I mostly was in a world of lectures when I
was a student. They lectured to us, we took notes, we wrote
exams, and that model has dissolved and been rebuilt over the last – last quarter century. Really in the course of my career I’ve watched
humanities profs teach very differently now. Je pense que rendre l’apprentissage authentique
avec des tâches qu’on dit authentiques, je crois que c’est une clé. Bien sûr on veut sensibiliser l’étudiant
à son rôle de futur citoyen, donc on veut non seulement le mettre dans des tâches actives,
mais on veut aussi qu’il s’investisse socialement, qu’il soit amené à réfléchir
à son futur rôle. I think we’re at a very exciting moment
for young people where it’s not only about traditionally engineering and science. Those are very important fields, but even
in those disciplines, we need to approach them with human knowledge.