In praise of the humanities

In Saturday’s Globe and Mail, John Allemang asks the question: can there be a connection between the disappearance of the liberal arts and the rise of homegrown terrorism?


He argues that the humanities is the best way to teach empathy and critical thinking, and he argues for a “re-enrichment” so that liberal arts includes other traditions. Ultimatley, he believes that humanities education should be valued not only as an intellectual distraction, “but as the prime component of both peace and happiness”.

I thought that I pursued an English degree at Queen’s because I enjoyed literature and wanted to share my passion with kids one day – apparently, I was also doing my part to contribute to world peace.

And yet I appreciate Allemang’s support for the study of the humanities.

During this week when children across the country return to school, let’s keep in mind the role of a strong liberal arts program in our K-12 schools.

Good teachers understand that the age at which students can handle critical thinking and empathy is long before 18 or 19 years of age.

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