The Washington Community College Humanities Association (WCCHA) and the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) Pacific-Western Division Program Committee held their 2014 joint conference “Humanities: The Heart of the Matter” this past October 16-18, 2014 at The Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Washington.The “Heart of the Matter” report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences calls for humanities and social science educators to make a clearer, stronger case for the value of a broad education in areas that develop the “long-term qualities of the mind” and human empathy.
In the current political and educational context that emphasizes the importance of STEM fields for global competitiveness, the “Heart of the Matter” report calls educators, students, parents, and all stakeholders to recognize the Humanities and Social Sciences as equally valuable and necessary for long term global success. This conference challenges educators to engage in a vigorous examination of how best to communicate the broad usefulness of social, cultural, intellectual, and creative capacities the Humanities develop.
Creative workshops and presentations at the conference looked at:
- How can community-college teachers help students apply their Humanities education to the “real world” and the workplace?
- What unique opportunities do community colleges have to contribute to the effort to communicate the value of the Humanities on a local or national scale?
- What is the value of the arts within a culture? In what ways are the arts essential for a culture to remain vital?
- How do the values taught in Humanities courses enrich and facilitate global citizenship?