The Downward Trend

Evidence and Resources

Why Humanities are Worth Saving

"We increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable, productive, and empathetic individuals. This short-sighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world."

Indicators of the Downward Trend

Decreases in Ancient Disciplines

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has put together a database of statistics regarding the study of humanities in the United States. The link below will take you to the Classical Studies section of this database.

Decreases in Humanities Studies

"...as has been recognized by many in the academy, the humanities are struggling. Fewer graduates are majoring in English, history, foreign language, or liberal arts now versus ten years ago".

"The plunge seems not to reflect a sudden decline of interest in the humanities, or any sharp drop in the actual career prospects of humanities majors."

"Robert B. Townsend, director of the Washington office of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, said that he began 'hearing concerns from faculty eight or nine years ago about declining enrollments' and that he sees the new data as confirming these fears".

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