Are we not human?

February 19, 2015

I have long struggled to establish anthropology as a subject to be taught outside the university setting, particularly as an A-level subject in schools.

Anthropology, as the philosopher Immanuel Kant famously defined it, is the study of what makes us human. It is thus an absolutely vital subject in our multicultural society. Indeed, the French long ago recognised this in making anthropology a constituent part of the Baccalauréat.

In 2010, anthropology was introduced as an A-level subject and has flourished and developed in many schools and colleges since then; a school textbook in anthropology is being published this year by Polity Press.

I have just learned that the AQA exam board is to drop anthropology as an A-level subject. Apparently exam boards now decide what is to be taught in our schools. It is of vital importance that our young people learn something about “other cultures” – the study of which has always been the hallmark of anthropology.

Brian Morris
Emeritus professor of anthropology
Goldsmiths, University of London

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

looking through a gap

University appeals ICO notice to publish report on refusal to take part in league tables

Kenny Dalglish

Agnes Bäker and Amanda Goodall have found that academics who are happiest at work have a head of department who is a distinguished researcher. How can such people be encouraged into management?