Educational charity The Philosophy Shop has organised "over 50 prominent British figures in the country's intellectual and cultural life, including eminent academics, scientists, campaigners, authors and comedians" to sign an open letter championing the introduction of philosophy into the classroom from primary on.
Philosophy Shop co-founder Emma Worley, Co-founder commented:
"There is a growing body of evidence that recognises highly-successful Philosophy classes run with children as young as 4, sees teachers citing marked improvements in classroom attention, problem-solving skills, verbal reasoning and strengthened powers of overall concentration."
According to the letter:
" introducing Philosophy lessons in the classroom from a very early age would have immense benefits in terms of boosting British school children's reasoning and conceptual skills, better equipping them for the complexities of life in the 21st century where ubiquitous technology and rapid social change are the order of the day.
"There is a growing body of evidence that Philosophy can be of huge importance in opening up young minds. Reasoning skills and habits improve learning in other subjects on the curriculum and do not require purchasing expensive equipment and classroom resources.
"The long-term imperative must be to recruit more specialist Philosophy teachers and to increase the number of Philosophy graduates. However, in the short to medium term we also call for the introduction of a new specialist teacher training diploma in Philosophy."
What do you think? Should philosophy be more widely taught and, if so, from what age?
Are its concepts and skills already included in other subjects?
Do you have suggestions for other subjects that should be taught in schools?
Poll results: Should philosophy be on the curriculum from primary school? (14-22 September 2011)
- Yes: 94% (15 votes)
- No : 6% (1 vote)