I am arguing, as would be expected of the school’s humanities lead, that the humanities are more important now than ever before. The humanities allow students to contemplate; to appreciate, with awe and wonder, the world around them; to explore the complexity of the human story; and to consider human life with depth and sensitivity. The humanities teach the importance of evidence and thinking critically of its use in the construction of ideas.
At British College Brazil we have a humanities department that includes History, Geography and Brazilian Social Studies. The subjects are integrated through common themes in each year that allow the distinct disciplines to be mutually reinforcing. Lessons are organised through inquiry which facilitates the students’ exploration of a given topic, encouraging them to make connections about what they are learning. Increased curiosity helps them engage and gain a deeper understanding of topics and content, instead of memorizing and recalling rules, ideas or formulas. Ultimately, the students are allowed to think and arrive at conclusions of their own.
The students we aim to produce weigh evidence skeptically, considering multiple perspectives to reach independent judgements in a thoughtful and engaging manner. These skills are vital if we are to meet the challenges of our future in a humane and equitable manner.