The provocative article makes the case that in the decades ahead, arts education could become more important than the STEM education that gets most of the attention today. The reasoning is that the STEM skills may become less useful in the society of the future because so much of that will be embedded in technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. But AI and robotics cannot deliver on social skills anytime soon. This suggests that the relative importance of arts and the liberal studies may actually trade places with technology, math and science in the decades ahead.
Researcher Andreas Schleicher, who leads the Programme for International Student Assessment at the intergovernmental economic organization OECD, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading educational thinkers, said: “I would say, in the fourth industrial revolution, arts may become more important than maths.”
Nobody is predicting that STEM skills will disappear, but it is a very interesting line of reasoning.
Of course, the best of both worlds would be pursuits that develop math, language, reasoning and social skills all at the same time. And that is exactly what the study of music does.