Archive for the ‘Education’ category

Philosophy for children?

2008-04-09

Recently, I posted a question on LinkedIn regarding teaching philosophy in primary and secondary schools. It led to a series of amazing conversations with over two dozen respondents. My idea wasn’t to teach a philosophy class in, say, second grade, but rather to emphasize critical thinking throughout the existing curriculum. Children are naturally inquisitive and skeptical, but when their “why” is answered with some variant of “because that’s just the way it is”, it’s not surprising that they eventually stop asking. One respondent’s suggestion, which I particularly like, is to ease children into a more formal awareness of ethics by explaining (or better yet, having the children explain) the reasons for the classroom rules. Another respondent felt that greater awareness of critical thinking and informal logic might be seen by some parents as undermining their religious beliefs.

Putting aside for now the barriers to implementing such an idea, would you support such a “No Child Left Unable to Think” proposal?

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