Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused schools may be seeing significant success for furthering students’ educations in science and technology, but they’re snuffing out a vital component: Liberal Arts. There’s no arguing that the future relies heavily on continued advances in technology, and STEM programs all over the country have helped students connect with and see success in studies revolving around those subjects. But because these programs cost quite a lot of money to run and education cuts are continuing to rise, we’re quickly losing valuable arts programs as sacrifices.
Arts may not teach students how to navigate complex mathematical equations or cure a disease, but that doesn’t mean they are without substantial merit. Arts have long been helping students who aren’t drawn to or good at the sciences survive and excel in academic settings. Liberal arts classes, whether they be music, pottery, painting, English literature, or creative writing, help students learn how to think creatively and develop a moral compass.
But these days, pottery, painting, and music classes are being cut or their budgets being slashed. And English “literature” classes are, for some schools, quickly becoming classes dedicated to teaching students how to read dry, dense, informational nonfiction. The new Common Core Standards for English have been adopted by 46 states and sacrifice classic and contemporary literature and developing great readers and writers in order to better prepare students to navigate dry texts that will help them in a business setting.
But at what cost? Will our children no longer know the classics or even understand the point of fiction writing? How much of our culture and our community are we cutting out of our children’s lives by denying them an education in the arts? Sure, let’s teach them about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—but let’s not forget about music, literature, art, morality, life, and love.