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

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations