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Humanities tuition facilitates the discovery of cultural diversity and human experience in students. Through an appreciation for the humanities, humanities tuition develops critical thinkers, eloquent speakers, and articulate writers.

Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. These are concerned with humanistic knowledge about our cultures, values, ethics, heritage, environment, and more. They include subjects such as history, social studies, geography and literature.

Through subjects like history, we receive the gift of ‘memory’. Studying about our past helps us understand ourselves and inform us about our present and future. Geography enables us to learn about our environment and the impact of humans upon the physical environmen. Subjects like literature and art celebrate human creativity. It appreciates humankind’s unique ability to express itself through human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination.

While science and technology continue to drive the new economy, thinking imaginatively about them cannot be understated. Organisations and institutions recognise the value that the humanities contribute to humanity. Employers search for humanities graduates for their ability to think expansively in finding multiple solutions to problems. In more recent years, new schools in the humanities, arts, and social sciences have been gaining more traction in terms of student enrolment.

Humanities tuition seeks to facilitate this ongoing discovery of cultural diversity and human experience in its students. By expanding students’ ability to reason, explore, and think critically, humanities tuition delivers a broader perspective of humanistic knowledge and the world in which we live in.

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General problems faced by humanities students

Humanities aren’t as Important

Education in Singapore is symbiotic to the nation’s economic goals in grooming talent for growth sectors and new industries. Hence, a utilitarian philosophy towards education has ensued among its citizens: to equip students with practical and specialised technical skills that qualify them for stable, high-paying jobs. 

As such, careers in science, technology, law, accounting, medicine, or engineering are favoured over those in the arts or humanities. With the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects etched in the minds of parents, the notion that humanities matter less compared to these subjects is ubiquitous.

Inability to Write Well

One of the requirements for excelling in humanities is being able to express and articulate oneself well in writing. Students must be able to explain and robustly discuss ideas while being erudite and concise. This presupposes an excellent command of English (or other languages) in students to structure arguments, flow ideas, and integrate the knowledge that they have learned. 

Students who have difficulty writing, organising, or articulating their thoughts may be led to think they do not have the aptitude for humanities. They feel that they are simply not cut out for it and may become discouraged. Sometimes a lack of practical essay writing skills may belie a genuine interest in the humanities.

Answering Structured Essay Questions

Structured-response questions (SRQs) can be a stumbling block for students. They may not know how to structure their answers in tackling SRQs. Instead of demonstrating knowledge by critically discussing and evaluating source material, students may simply regurgitate facts. In failing to understand what a question is asking of them, students may also deviate further from the answer. The incoherence of weak, unsubstantiated arguments shows a general lack of analysis and deep critical thinking.

What can Humanities Tutor offer?

Appreciation for Humanities

Contrary to the belief that humanities subjects are less practical compared to STEM subjects, humanities tutors can cultivate an appreciation in students for the formerto help them make sense of what they are learning and why it is important. A humanities tutor can communicate applied areas in critical thinking and problem-finding. Furthermore, he or she can demonstrate how to look at the world, society, and human experiences from a variety of vantage points to put forth solid arguments and offer alternative explanations or solutions.

Essay Writing Skills

The humanities tutor can guide students in answering structured essay questions and source-based case studies according to the Levels of Response Mark Scheme (LORMS). Furthermore, in grading students’ tuition assignments, the humanities tutor can quickly assess the content of their written answers to offer practical advice and helpful recommendations. To help students fulfill exam requirements, humanities tutors teach them to weave knowledge into explanations while effectively analysing source materials.

Skills for Interpreting Source Material

Certain humanities exams like history or social studies may require students to interpret and evaluate source material. Humanities tutors equip students with the necessary skills to tackle such questions by understanding the material/data, drawing inferences, and ascertaining the usefulness of the information they have been given. 

Furthermore, humanities tutors help students distinguish between fact, opinion and judgement; recognise values; and detect biases. It is with sharp analysis and evaluative skills that students will be able to critically compare and contrast views, and draw conclusions after considering all the evidence.

Benefits of Humanities Tuition

Humanities tuition strengthens the critical thinking skills of students by allowing them to consider crucial world issues through different perspectives. Rather than resort to set modes or patterns of thinking and problem solving, humanities tuition cultivates students’ critical ability to think broadly and deeply. 

In considering the same event from a variety of perspectives and vantage points, students learn that there is usually more than one way of viewing an event, situation, or problem. This ability to think inductively and analyse situations from various perspectives enables students to engage in more holistic, expansive, and robust discussions.

To do well in their humanities subject, students are required to put forth robust argumentswhether verbal or written. Subjects like literature (in various languages) would require students to be equally articulate in both speaking and writing. With humanities tuition, students receive the tools they need to become great communicators and excellent writers.

Humanities tuition helps students understand global issues better by reading widely to gain a deeper appreciation of different perspectives and cultures. This cultivates a greater self-awareness as students explore how they think and feel about human-centric issues concerning society. 

It forms engaged citizens and ethical, compassionate thinkers. Learning about social studies, history, geography, and other humanities subjects translates to a greater appreciation for people, culture, and the arts. Humanities tuition facilitates this ongoing discovery of cultural diversity and human experience in its students.

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Distinction Tutors can help

Distinction Tutors’ humanities tuition equips students with valuable skill sets to excel in the humanities. Students will learn to think critically, speak eloquently, and write effectively while discovering cultural diversity and gaining a greater appreciation for the humanities.

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