Profiting from Not for Profit: Toward Adequate Humanities Instruction in American K-12 Schools

Martha Nussbaum’ describes Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities-her paean to a humanities-rich education-as a “manifesto, not an empirical study” (p. 121). Drawing on contemporary psychological research and classic pedagogical theories, Nussbaum convincingly argues that scholastic instruction in the humanities is a critical tool in shaping democratic citizens. Nussbaum shows how the study of subjects like literature, history, philosophy, and art helps students build essential democratic capacities like empathy and critical thought. Through myriad examples and anecdotes, Not For Profit sketches an appealing vision of what an ideal education should be in a democracy.