Education for a future requires the Humanities and the Arts

Letter to Editor picking up on Grant Robertson's comment that the Arts are a necessary part of education for "collaboration, creativity, dealing with complex problems and understanding ethical dimensions". The Humanities in general are most important.

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

19 September, 2016

Dear Editor:

The article on the future of work as examined in the DomPost of 3 Sept (Life in the Machine Age) does at the end express that the reality of the coming “Age” is not primarily about machines after all, as Grant Robertson explains, “It’s collaboration, creativity, dealing with complex problems and understanding ethical dimensions”.

The Sixties and Seventies brought the sobering realization that the old exploitative ways were killing the planet; a new more inclusive way would be needed. This meant that the Humanities and the Arts would need to become the primary focus of education.

But the old ways have not given in. So far we have been trying to turn education in the opposite direction. Is it any wonder we have a refugee crisis, growing low paid jobs and inequality, perpetual wars and threats of worse, continuing growth in carbon emissions (not to mention Brexit and Donald Trump)? Robots and micro technology will only be of positive use to the future if it can be turned to enhance inclusive relationships with all the variety of the planet.


Richard Keller


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