Report - Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences

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Report - Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences

career flexibility, and personal fulfillment of the American people. But we are confronted

with mounting evidence, from every sector, of a troubling pattern of inattention

that will have grave consequences for the nation:

• For a variety of reasons, parents are not reading to their children as frequently

as they once did. 4

Humanities teachers, particularly in k-12 history, are less well-trained than

teachers in other subject areas. 5

• And even as we recognize that we live in a shrinking world and participate

in a global economy, federal funding to support international training and

education has been cut by 41 percent in four years. 6

It is time to recommit ourselves to our distinctly American form of education: broad,

comprehensive, and balanced, recognizing the interdependence of all areas of knowledge.

This report seeks to remind Americans of the vital importance of such an education,

and to urge the changes that can make it possible. In an era of diminished

resources, we are mindful that every priority has a price, and the recommendations

of this report enter a political environment already burdened with competing priorities.

For this reason, each recommendation invites all stakeholders, public and private

alike, to embrace a new commitment to collaboration and a new sense of mutual obligation

to the role of the humanities and social sciences for a vibrant democracy.


This report offers recommendations to advance three goals:

1. Educate Americans in the knowledge, skills, and understanding they will

need to thrive in a twenty-first-century democracy.

2. Foster a society that is innovative, competitive, and strong.

3. Equip the nation for leadership in an interconnected world.

The Heart of the Matter 19

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