The Importance of Humanities

by PPHS Coach Jonathan Watson 

When my sister and I were in high school, she was accepted into a magnet school called the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. It was a two-year, intense program in, you guessed it, science and mathematics. Interestingly, one of the most respected and beloved (and truth be told, somewhat feared) teachers was an English teacher who was known for rigorous and demanding standards for reading, writing, and reasoning. 

This is the standard to which humanities coaches at PPHS aspire. Good reading and writing is so much more than grammar, spelling, and sentence construction (though these are important); rather, the reasoning inherent in learning to read and write well exists at the heart of all disciplines. For example, how will a student in math reason through word problems and other operations (as well as in any discipline in which applied mathematics is required) without understanding that "three cubed" and "three to the power of three" and "3^3" and "33" all require the same mathematical operation? Or, if they do not know, what process they must go through to get to that knowledge? Reasoning through lack of knowledge is extremely important, and is a big part of how humanities coaches can contribute to learning.

This is the importance of the humanities at PPHS. Not only learning reading and writing in and of themselves, but as a necessary skill in reasoning through mathematics and science, creating and giving presentations, and other areas critical to academic and career success. 

Published on 10/5/2020