Arts and Humanities: Don’t Leave School Without Them
~a book driven by gaming technology that is for, by, and about students~
by Christine Henseler and Elizabeth Altman
Why do you—the students of today—think you should or should not take classes or earn a degree in the arts and humanities? What are the arts and humanities anyway? Find out what knowledge and skill set it takes to find seriously cool career options and make a meaningful difference in this world, whether you are interested in visual art, engineering, political science or environmental science.
This organically evolving book and webpage serve to answer your questions through concrete examples from former and current college students, young professionals, creative innovators and deep thinkers. Individuals just like you. Our goal is to answer your questions and concerns through an approachable and fun format and through a series of well-researched and written scholarly vignettes meant to contextualize your thoughts historically, educationally, and professionally.
We consider this a participatory and playful book project because it uses interactive gaming technology powered by The GoGame to involve students, high school counselors and young professionals from diverse communities across the nation. To highlight the relevance of today's arts and humanities, all visitors are also invited to visit our Facebook page and use an Instagram hashtag to post materials—comics, Infographics, event photos—through their smart phones.
This project is co-authored by Elizabeth Altman, a student at Union College, NY. In addition, student designers will be involved in the visualization of the data and materials and students with communications backgrounds will spread book content and invite feedback and materials through social media. In essence, Arts and Humanities: Don't Leave School Without Them will live and grow through your feedback and will be updated live on this site and published in book format for you and your parents to enjoy.
If you are interested in participating, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?
Why are we writing this book, in this way and for this audience? Because students are wrestling every day with questions such as What’s Your Major? or What are you going to do with that degree? Currently, the messages that our children hear are misleading them into believing that a degree or a background in the arts or humanities is not worth their time and investment. They are wrong.
According to The Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press, 88% of Millennials get their news regularly from Facebook, 83% from YouTube, 50% from Instagram and other places they actively access, such as Reddit, as opposed to those sites run by institutions of higher education. Most importantly, they are drawn to news recommended and contextualized by their peers, and once noticed, 75% of them continue to investigate other opinions on their own.
Because peer communication through social media plays an enormous role in how our future leaders and thinkers receive information, which is why those of us working to defend the arts and humanities publicly must involve our students. We must ask: “what is on your mind?” “what are the questions, concerns, or worries you are juggling?” and “in what ways is an education in the arts and humanities deepening your knowledge, expanding your skills, and making a difference in your lives and your jobs?”
With this project, we wish to involve our future and current students in the sharing and spreading of all that they care about and all that the arts and humanities can bring to their lives and careers. We will expand on their questions and concerns by providing context, expertise and knowledge. In essence, we believe that engagement with the arts and humanities on an educational level is best achieved by engaging everyone in their own lives, from their own perspectives, and through the social platforms that play a part in their lives.
TENTATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS
(changing based on student input)
Introduction: This is Not Your Mother’s Arts and Humanities
Elizabeth Altman is a second-year biology major/psychology and classical civilization minor at Union College. After completing her Bachelor's degree, she hopes to earn a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration and become a certified Doctor of Medicine. Research has become a large interest of hers since her senior year of high school, when she spent the year completing an independent study course researching treatments for two life-long conditions that would improve quality of life and/or lifespan for those afflicted with these conditions. Since then, she has been taking every opportunity for research that comes her way. The interactions between the humanities and the hard sciences are fascinating to her, as they underlie the history of science at every turn and the creativity taught by the humanities feeds the development of new medical treatments every day. She hopes to show the Millennial generation just how important the humanities are, beginning at Union College and progressing to all other members of the generation that she can reach.
A WIDE NETWORK OF PARTICIPATION
Participation and collaboration toward this book project includes:
Some of this data gathering will be conducted through gaming technology provided to us through The GoGame. Depending on the level of success, we may develop other game-based participation environments in the future toward this book project.