Why should pre-college students study philosophy?
We've compiled here a number of articles that point to the value of studying philosophy at any age.
"Teaching philosophy at school isn’t just good pedagogy – it helps to safeguard society"
"Teaching philosophy to children has been shown to sharpen reasoning and communication skills. Moreover, students who engage in philosophical thinking are better able to grapple with concepts that might otherwise be beyond their grasp. But, according to Emma and Peter Worley of The Philosophy Foundation, a UK-based organisation that specialises in doing philosophy in the classroom, what’s even more important than these cognitive advantages at the individual level are the societal benefits of having a population that thinks critically and coherently. In this instalment of Aeon’s In Sight series, the Worleys describe how, beyond teaching children to ‘think well’, spreading philosophy is a safeguard against the sorts of educational and societal structures that tend towards authoritarian control."
"Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English"
"Kids who took the [philosophy] course increased math and reading scores by the equivalent of two extra months of teaching, even though the course was not designed to improve literacy or numeracy. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds saw an even bigger leap in performance: reading skills increased by four months, math by three months, and writing by two months. Teachers also reported a beneficial impact on students’ confidence and ability to listen to others."
"For a Better Society, Teach Philosophy in High Schools"
"Why philosophy? Because the study of philosophy, the “love of wisdom,” creates and nurtures thoughtful minds, minds that can — as Aristotle suggests — entertain a thought without accepting it. With a philosophic worldview, a Republican who despises any tax increase or economic stimulus could at least consider the notion of tax hikes or Keynesian economics. A Democrat facing antithetical ideas could do likewise. Thought rather than anger could become the default response to opposing worldviews."
"Teaching philosophy to children? It's a great idea"
"By setting children on a path of philosophical enquiry early in life, we could offer them irreplaceable gifts: an awareness of life’s moral, aesthetic and political dimensions; the capacity to articulate thoughts clearly and evaluate them honestly; and the confidence to exercise independent judgement and self-correction. What’s more, an early introduction to philosophical dialogue would foster a greater respect for diversity and a deeper empathy for the experiences of others, as well as a crucial understanding of how to use reason to resolve disagreements."
"Why kids — now more than ever — need to learn philosophy. Yes, philosophy."
"K-12 education in America can be the petri dish in which a more promising and enduring approach to living in an increasingly pluralistic society can be cultivated. Experiencing (and, yes, enjoying!) the participatory, communal manner in which philosophers argue their positions will enable our kids to evaluate the myriad issues that come up in social and political life and, to the extent possible, respectfully engage those who disagree with them."
"The Educational Role of Philosophy"
"One senses in Socrates the conviction that philosophy is thinking at its best, and that to educate children is to provoke them to think well, from which it follows that philosophical activity must be central to the educational process."
"Philosophical discussion boost pupils' maths and literacy progress, study finds"
A Durham University evaluation suggests philosophy instruction can “be used to reduce the attainment gap in terms of poverty in the short term”.