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Science and Humanities Both Have a Place at SYA


Whether today’s students go on to become artists, doctors, engineers, politicians, teachers or writers, the challenges they face will demand creativity and innovation. Science courses present the tools to invent the future; courses in the humanities inspire the imagination. A recent review of SYA’s curriculum called for the addition of science and the integration of technology at all of its schools, without losing its core of a humanities- based education. Author Rich Salit explores the science vs. humanities debate through SYA’s lens. Highlighted are a handful of our many alumni who have careers in science and technology who share how language acquisition and the study of the humanities through SYA provided them with a well-rounded education.


philosophy of SYA and the goal of immer- sion in another culture through language flu- ency and homestay. Today’s leading scholars see a humanities-based education as essential training for future scientists, business leaders and technology experts. “Today’s students don’t see such a sharp divide between their interests in science and their humanities courses,” says SYA President Jack Creeden. “In the last two years, we’ve heard repeatedly that students wish we offered a class in one of the sciences.” Te strategic plan calls for SYA “to inte- grate the use of technology into all aspects of the program as a learning tool as well as to provide wide student access to online pro- grams,” and it urges exploring “the best prac- tices of online and distance learning tools to make appropriate use of technology in the curriculum.” Te Board of Trustees, senior administra-


Merritt Moore IT’05 A


s we celebrate the successes of our first 50 years, the Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan that increases the role of science and technology and lays the founda- tion for the next generation of


SYAers. For most of its history, SYA has been a bastion of humanities courses, offering few if any classes in science and limited use of technology.


All that will change starting in the fall, when environmental science, a staple of sec- ondary school curricula across the country, will be taught in the local language in France and Spain. In China, the course will be taught in English on an Advanced Placement level. Already this year, SYA Italy introduced archaeology as a way to incorporate science. In the past, some have argued that science was antithetical to the humanities-centric


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It’s all about thinking differently. If it’s just science and you’re just sitting there, creativity can be lost — that way of questioning things, of looking at things with different perspectives. Part of my motivation is to prove that it’s possible to pursue the arts and be a scientist. — Merritt Moore IT’05


tive leaders, Resident Directors and faculty believe there’s a place for science and tech- nology within study abroad. Tis generation of students sees and understands science as an integral part of its worldview. Science and technology permeate everyone’s daily life, and students make use of both science and the humanities to under- stand today’s global challenges and then to work to create solutions. Te American


philosopher and educator Martha C. Nuss- baum believes the humanities play a critical


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