I have been following an argument about "STEM"---> Science Technology Engineering Math VRS. STEAM ---> A=Arts trying to add art in there to keep the funding for these programs in our schools and the inportance of these subjects in our everyday lives.
I have been waffling back and forth about this for a long time now. You see, the arts are so very different from the other subjects. It just doesn't fit in with the others. BUT Arts--- literature, art and music--- are so important IMO to the human experience. Archeologists discuss the ART that describes the people they are studying. We all know the Literature stories passed down through the generations. We all know about communication through music and the feelings that surround music. It needs to be important too. We also know that there are children who are completely left-brain learners who will never be a great Scientist, Technician, Engineer, or Mathmetician but my God the beauty of their music will bring you to tears. Isn't there a place in our civilization for those students? Not if we completely gut those programs in order to focus only on STEM classes.
I have found my answer!!! You need both STEM and LAMP!! Lamp---> Literature Art Music Philosophy. The sign of protest at our local schoolboard meeting was "You cannot see a STEM without a LAMP." It blew my mind!! It is perfect, IMO. We need both. We need to recognize the importance of the Arts because they make us human.
ETA: A bit of background....our local public school has dropped music from the elementary grades 1-4, only have music as the band/chorus electives for 5-12, and are this year considering dropping art classes for the "odd" grades...1,3,5,&7...and making it an elective for highschool. They are making their language arts program 60% informational reading and technical writing. They are dropping all creative writing electives for etymology, "writing up science experiments," and "Memorandums and other business mailings."
EDIT #2: Here are some links to the debate: