Department of Defense Education Activity


"I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power, the greater it will be."

Thomas Jefferson

Humanities is the integrated study of history, literature, language, philosophy, the visual arts, theater, dance, and music.


In the Humanities curriculum, emphasis is placed on critical thinking, creativity, and rights and responsibilities of the individual in society. Humanities is the study of that which makes us human: what we think, how we feel, how we look at the world around us, why we act the way we do, and most of all, our ability to create.

The study of Humanities has three major goals:

  • To understand human nature
  • To understand human roles and behavior
  • To understand human ideals

The program is characterized by interdisciplinary focus, arts emphasis, cultural diversity and host nation study, and a personal values perspective.

The Humanities Curriculum was originally developed over four years, 1984 through 1988, by what was then the Department of Defense Dependents Schools’ educators in cooperation with the staff of the Education Department of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. They came up with the following goals and objectives for the course. It is composed of an introductory goal and three major goals. Fourteen objectives are provided to guide instruction within the Curriculum.

Introductory Goal: To understand the nature and value of Humanities

Objective: To understand the components of Humanities

Goal I: To understand human nature

Objective 1: To understand our physical nature

  • Definition: physical - pertaining to the body

Objective 2: To understand our psychological nature

  • Definition: psychological - pertaining to the mind and emotions

Objective 3: To understand our social nature

  • Definition: social - living together in families and communities; pertaining to life, welfare, and relations of humans in a community

Objective 4: To understand our aesthetic nature

  • Definition: aesthetic - pertaining to the sense of the beautiful; pertaining to taste

Objective 5: To understand our spiritual nature

  • Definition: spiritual - relating to the nature of the spirit; not tangible or material; effecting the soul; supernatural

Goal II: To understand human roles and behavior

Objective 1: To understand that humans explore

  • Definition: to explore - investigate systematically; examine, study, and probe for the purpose of discovery

Objective 2: To understand that humans think

  • Definition: to think - reason, reflect, ponder

Objective 3: To understand that humans lead

  • Definition: to lead - go in advance; guide, conduct, escort, and direct others

Objective 4: To understand that humans create

  • Definition: to create - cause to exist, to bring into being; to originate; to produce

Goal III: To understand human ideals

Objective 1: To understand that humans seek truth

  • Definition: truth - correspondence with facts; conformity to knowledge, fact, actuality, logic; reaffirmation of intuition

Objective 2: To understand that humans love

  • Definition: love - intense affectionate concern for something

Objective 3: To understand that humans seek love for another; strong fondness or enthusiasm to seek justice

  • Definition: justice - moral rightness; equity; honor; fairness

Objective 4: To understand that humans seek beauty

  • Definition: beauty - the quality attributed to that which gives the highest degree of pleasure to the senses or the mind and approximates one’s conception of an ideal

Historical Documents

The following is a link to the curriculum created in 1988, with the help of the Kennedy Center for the Arts. This is for historic purposes only, as current practices in education are not reflected in this document.

DoDDS Humanities Curriculum

The Introduction describes how the curriculum was developed, defines Humanities, discusses the provisions for students of varying abilities, outlines appropriate learning activities, assessment and evaluation, and desired outcomes of the study of Humanities.


The following standards were built upon the goals created in 1988.

HU1:  Human Nature

The interrelationship of the physical, psychological, social, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects of humankind. Studying Human Nature will allow the student to better understand what makes humans unique, thinking, feeling beings.

  • HU1a: The student investigates the changes and inseparability that exist in thoughts and emotions during the stages of the physical life cycle.
  • HU1b: The student recognizes the interrelationships of religion, morals, ethics, and aesthetics present in the world's societies.
  • HU1c: The student examines media as a means of expressing information, thoughts, and ideals according to culture, place, and time.

HU2:  Human Roles and Behavior

The direction and volition in which humans explore, think, lead, and create. The roles and behaviors of the group, individual leaders, and heroes are examined.

  • HU2a: The student examines the motivational elements associated with discovery, curiosity, exploration, creativity, intuition, and logical thinking.
  • HU2b: The student explains that reason and rational thought change according to culture, place, and time.
  • HU2c: The student investigates the cultural ideals of leadership and heroism.
  • HU2d: The student examines the media as a means of expressing information, thoughts, and ideals according to culture, place, and time.

HU3:  Human Ideals

The phenomenon that humans seek perfection, however unattainable. The urge to achieve harmony through the pursuit of truth, love, justice, and beauty exists in all societies and is manifested in their art and artifacts.

  • HU3a: The student explores the ideals of Truth, as defined by cultures.
  • HU3b: The student analyzes the concept of Love.
  • HU3c: The student defines Justice and its many cultural and societal constraints and changes.
  • HU3d: The student discovers Beauty in works of art that reflect cultural, personal, and societal ideals.
  • HU3e: The student examines media as a means of expressing information, thoughts, and ideals.

HU4:  History and Culture

Incorporated as essential elements within Human Nature, Human Roles and Behavior, and Human Ideals, as defined by culture, place, and time.

  • HU4a: The student examines media as a means of expressing information, thoughts, and ideals according to culture, place, and time (see HU1c).
  • HU4b: The student explains that reason and rational thought change according to culture, place, and time (see HU2b).
  • HU4c: The student examines human ideals as they change according to culture, place, and time (see HU3a, b, c, and d).

HU5:  Characteristics and Merits of Work

Critical thinking, which reflects upon and analyzes the attributes of creative works.

  • HU5a: The student describes and analyzes a creative work using a structured system of evaluation.
  • HU5b: The student identifies potential aspects of motivation and inspiration in the production of creative works.
  • HU5c: The student recognizes that meaning can be communicated through the use of symbols, themes, and ideas.
  • HU5d: The student evaluates aspects of the media and its impact on the Humanities.

HU6:  Connections to Other Disciplines

Making connections between the Humanities and all other disciplines.

  • HU6a: The student investigates and analyzes common subjects and central ideas in creative works from different cultures, including the host nation, and relates these to other disciplines.
  • HU6b: The student names and discusses traditional and technological career opportunities in the Humanities.

HU7:  Technology Integration

The exploration, appreciation, and analysis of the relationships between the Humanities and technology.

  • HU7a: The student explores the historical and current relationships between the Humanities and technology.
  • HU7b: The student acquires and applies technology literacy to research and analyze the Humanities.
  • HU7c: The student analyzes, interprets, and evaluates creative works through technology.
  • HU7d: The student explores the impact that technology has had on media.



DoDEA Headquarters

DoDEA Fine Arts Instructional Systems Specialist

Instructional Systems Specialist
Fine Arts

4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria VA 22350-1400

Course Name Course Number Course Grade Length
Humanities M A HUH101E 6,7,8 9
Humanities M AB HUH103 7,8 18
Humanities HUH401 9,10,11,12 36
Humanities S HUH4010T 9,10,11,12 18
Humanities S HUH401S 9,10,11,12 18
Humanities S (4x4) HUH401SSF 9,10,11,12 9