Topic 124: Is is more important for students to study history and literature than it is for them to study science and mathematics?

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is more important for students to study history and literature than it is for them to study science and mathematics. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

I disagree with this statement. Besides representing very distinct areas of human knowledge, they all are importants for the average person. Omnone side, history and literature concern the past and the culture of the people and on the other side, science and mathematics try to explain the world we live and to use it as an instrument in order to achieve the results we need and want.

From the other species in nature we have learned that having people assuming different roles in the society is the better strategy. A group of people assuming the same functions can become very specialized and is going to do a better work than a group of “generalists”. That is basis of the better argument for people enforcing this statement: mathematics and science employ knowledge that is so different from history and literautre that no one is going to need all this knowledge to execute his tasks.

In my opinion this is a false understanding, since these subjects should be part of everyone’s formation. Just for instance, let’s take an example of an engineer. A very specialized task like building a bridge doesn’t seem to require more than the mathematical and scientific background (to stick with the proposed study areas). However, we need to notice that that bridge is inserted in a broader context, and it is certainly to interfere with local population lives. We need thus a different kind of knowledge to explain this context and to guide the decision. The engineer is propably not going to need a deep understanding of history and literature, but the argument here is: the focusing his formation only on technical areas is not enough.

To summarize, I understand that history, literarure, mathemathics and science are equally important to everyone. Each task requires a deeper knowledge one of these areas, and this “deeper knowledge base” is certainly useless to people working in very distant dissimilar subjects. I defend however, that there is some subset of subjects and themes that everyone should have access to.


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