Economic Stimulus in the Emoji Age (Part 3)


How does the value of the humanities find application in the classroom? How can outcomes be assessed? In the emoji and meme era, our student’s abilities to communicate serious content have weakened. Critical thinking today? Anemic. Deep understanding of history and culture rarely appear among students. We could lament and complain of these faults until midnight, but how can we help students? In my three-semester sequence of History of Ideas courses, students learn the great ideas that built our civilization from fifty influential authors in history, from Gilgamesh to Camus. This vigorous reading program instills cultural depth. Equally important, students learn to communicate in these writing intensive classes. Students orally present each research paper while the others critique the papers with five separate sets of criteria. When students finish the courses, they communicate better, combining classical learning with contemporary challenges. The reading content and the writing exercise many humanities disciplines. Students discuss the weighty ideas they discover and assist each other to learn new perspectives. Lectures are rare in these discussion classes where articulation matters. Students should emerge able to clearly communicate complex ideas with sound arguments and application. We assess outcomes yearly. …Read More.