CIU Professor Takes Stand for English Lit

March 24, 2014

Columbia International University associate professor of English and Humanities, Steve Baarendse, says it’s important for all high school students to study English literature. Baarendse is responding to recent comments by South Carolina’s Education Superintendent Mick Zais who is proposing to make English literature optional for non-college-bound students.

Drawing on his own experience of growing up in a socialist European state where some children were intentionally barred from some areas of study, Baarendse warns that students in South Carolina who are not exposed to the liberal arts will “never dream of reading a book or discussing ideas, because they’ve never been taught to value books and ideas.”

Making a comparison to Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Baarendse writes, “Education deadens souls if it seeks to construct a human being for a utilitarian end rather than educate a thoughtful human being for life.”

Read the entire editorial published in The State newspaper of Columbia at: