This article presents an argument for the integration of science into English courses in order to emphasize the usefulness of a Science, Technology, Education, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education. The idea for this approach arose after the implementation of a divisional initiative to create learning communities with a STEM cohort of students called Student Persistence and Retention via Curricula, Cohorts, and Centralization (SPARC³). The author’s involvement in teaching a science-infused English course for this program inspired the argument that follows, which outlines why/how the sciences should learn from the humanities and why/how the humanities should learn from the sciences. The purpose of this approach is to outline how important it is for first and second year collegiate educators to teach academic communication, research, and logic in college English courses using provocative science topics and literature that addresses scientific themes. In seeing issues commonly thought of as “science topics” from a different perspective, the humanities help stress analytical thinking, in-depth research, and the importance of precise rhetoric and effective communication. In doing so, this approach provides students with the cognitive tools needed to get involved in scientific discourse, research, and debate through complex reasoning skills encountered through literature, philosophy, and ethics. This study confirms that a new approach to science and the humanities is both necessary and beneficial to collegiate education due to the new demands of the twenty-first century, and the attacks on science and science literacy.

Author/Artist Bio

Christopher W. Thurley is an English instructor at Gaston College in Dallas, NC. He currently acts as the English department’s liaison to the science department and teaches an English course specifically designed for science majors which emphasizes the role of communication in science and the convergence of art and science. Mr. Thurley is currently writing his dissertation on the British author Anthony Burgess’s time in America and the impact the US had on Burgess’s life and work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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