"The arts (music, dance, visual arts, etc.) are vitally important to student's education and should therefore receive as much emphasis as mathematics, science, reading and other mainstream subjects." Are the arts, namely music, dance, visual arts, etc., so vitally important to student's education as to receive as much emphasis as mathematics, science, reading and other mainstream subjects? The speaker gives an affirmative answer to this question. However, although I agree that the arts play a very important role in human society as well as our daily life, I think the speaker's claim that they are as important as the mainstream subjects has carried it to an extreme which I can hardly agree. First of all, the fact that mathematics, science and reading have been established as the mainstream subjects is not accidental; instead, it is determined by the structural nature of our society, which is in term determined by the most basic needs of its constitutional units — individual human beings.
As the classical sociology has shown, human needs can be largely classified into two main categories: the basic needs for survival and the more sublime needs on a more spiritual level. The former consists of our need to feed, to be clothed so as to keep warm, to have a residence that protects ourselves from unrelenting weathers and other potential dangers. This category of needs characterized the dominant amount of human activities in a society – agriculture, industry and commercial activities, etc – in short, the economic activities. And we know it is the mainstream subjects, reading, science and engineering, etc. that are most important for these kinds of activities that directly satisfies our basic needs in a society; therefore, it justifies the importance these main subjects currently receive. On the contrary, the arts activity belongs to the second category of human activities: the pursuit of spiritu..