Philosophy Taught Early

There needs to be more philosophy taught in schools, to at least help kids learn how to think - just call the subject "Thinking" and make it serious fun.

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  • depending....it's far from necessary but might be good to see more often...

  • I object because this is a terrible idea that only a liberal could think of

  • it's extremely important. A no-brainer. Otherwise our kids are just robots making the same mistakes as the generation before them.

  • The more you learn in your younger days the bigger the dreams and the further you go in life. But you can only teach an adaptable old dog new things

  • Thats a nice idea, but first lets think about erasing illiteracy in the world, before we start teaching philosophy. In my country, now, there are kids who get no education, and more children being born without the hope of an education. It seems to me that this idea is western/
    rich world centric. I think it should be more inclusive in terms of considering all other parts of the world, or what is usually referred to as the 3rd world.

  • Agree with 1043. We need ideas for that.

  • Philosophy comes from the Greek words Philo + Sophist meaning wisdom friend, and education originally meant 'the rearing or training of animals' - source www.etymonline.com. I bring it up because I'm one of the people who feels short changed by the western education system.

    I don't mean to downplay the issue of literacy, something which definitely needs to be addressed but from what I can see, the emerging nations of the world have an opportunity to learn from our shortcomings in education before they start their own systems.

    You only have to look up the views and techniques of Sugata Mitra, Salman Khan and Sir Ken Robinson (www.ted.com) to see that there is so much room for innovation in this field. We can make education wiser, friendlier, cheaper and more effective than the Bismarckian model we have today. These guys are already doing it.

  • As an animal we are a social creature which at times can be very much anti society why. The pressure of maintaining ones staus within their local society such as where we live , how many kids and where do they go to school , their colour etc etc . Point being is we benchmark ourselves accordingly and when we can't keep up with the "jones" we feeel as if we have failed , hence set achievable goals towards your self not to be judged by others in your socical comfort zone. Yes , I think it's a very good idea to educate kids to think , think and again think !

  • Students from small age should be taught to question things around their surroundings ,also introduce them more advanced reading and math

  • I agree I think the issue is that many people think religious philosophy when they hear the word. So a class called thinking would be awesome. Who could be against children learning to think more clearly

  • is it about Thinking " free thinking".
    OR, GUIDED thinking.
    free thinking is great and making them learn from different sources, surfing the internet will diffidently help.
    But the problem if they are exposed to bad material, influencing them to other bad stuff.
    Monitoring is needed.

  • My vote is for less "public institution" because this is a huge part of the problem. In the US back when everything was privatized and religion was allowed in "public" schools, the worst crimes were running in the hallway. But now you have murders, drugs, ect... its out of control.

  • Yes, I agree that people need to be taught how to think. We need more critical thinking and free thinking in our society. People just accept things without really thinking about them. I think that this will make our society better.

  • I very much agree with teaching students how to perceive the world we live in. I would love to see more Sociology classes in schools.

  • All great ptoins and very much to the issue at hand, "your boss" and "eyes wide open!" The blogging issue is one that gets WAAAAY under my skin. I work for a large company that blocks all types of chat and blog sites because they are not pertinent to the jobs employees are paid to perform by the company. That is completely legal and EXPECTED. I find it outrageous that ANY employer would find it acceptable, much less the taxpayers of this Commonwealth. Maybe Rep. Stein can "justify" the time spent on that legislation she's drafting to the people who pay her to do their work in Frankfort... I thought that was the taxpayers but "eyes wide open" raises an interesting question about who is actually paying for that particular "duty" that Rep. Stein has taken on.Could it be that she was too busy drafting ridiculous legislation like that instead of showing up for votes?

  • I don't see how this is a bad idea. I also don't get why it should be labeled "liberal". I humor myself thinking that conservatives are beyond reason and thinking and have no need for exploring ways people perceive the world.

  • Learning how to think severely improved my thinking abilities, I honestly feel this is not taught to children on purpose so that when one decides to search for such knowledge it has more impact. Whether or not this strategy is ethical is up for debate. It's a fact however if we were to immitate Socrates' teaching methods we would yield empirically more geniuses from our schools.

  • I couldn't agree more!

    When Norway hit oil in the 70's, a national philosopher was called upon to give guidelines on how to deal with this stroke of luck. He responded that he was probably 'not the right person for the job... He barely knew stocks from shares...' Thats exactly what the government wanted! They had plenty of people to take care of the financials. The government wanted to hire him as he would ask the questions the traders would not ask... The ethical and philosophical questions, challenging the implications of one strategy or another.
    This has served Norway extremely well, and I feel that philosophy should be at the heart of any major exploit of the worlds resources, whether it is a material or human resources.

    If we teach our children to think instead of reaching for an 'out-of-the-box' answer, I believe that we are teaching them to build a better future!

  • MY LORD THIS IS A GOOD IDEA. I know kids that can't arrive at conclusions when given ample information. It truely is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly.

  • I like this idea, but I feel it's a little problematic because of the "make it fun" angle. It's a little too vague for me, especially when "making it fun" relies on the educator, the person teaching it.

  • Hey, good to find seomone who agrees with me. GMTA.

  • Woah nelly, how about them aplpes!

  • Nice idea but isn't it dangerous to teach children how to think ? They are already creative thinkers and tend to lose this creativity when they're 'taught'.

  • Provided other important parts of education weren't neglected.

  • A great idea. I do believe if children were taught to think about the way they think at a earlier age that it would create more open minded people in search for answers. Organized religion eliminates that for a child by giving them a cut n dry concept and already knowing whats going to happen to them when they die. We need to explain to children to just question everything.

  • I object because this is the job of the parent not the state

  • I've read a lot of good ideas derived from the initial idea, but I've also read some who show some lack of knowledge of the world. It's true that we need to teach kids to have a more active mind, but we need to do it very carefully not to cause the exact opposite as ab58lon said. Also, one of our fellows from Egypt called to our atention the need to actually manage to grant acess to primary instruction to kids in the poor countries. Such measures are important so that we don't allow a problem of a very easy to manipulate class of manpower. As for the comment from one of our fellows from the US that said that private education is better, that's debatable. In my country, the existance of a private sector of teaching is one of the causes of our financial problems. It forces the State to have to compete with them and that will lead to excessive costs, wich would have been avoided if the State were the only entity responsible for education. Of course you can say that such monopoly may be dangerous and lead to the manuipulation of data, but there are mecanisms to prevent that.

  • I'm a philosophy student, and I've nearly finished my degree. A large percentage of students at my university, taking different courses admittedly make the most inane and asinine comments and arguments about subjects because they lack the ability to reason correctly, they can't form cogent arguments and don't attempt any form of forethought. If children are able to critically think about their actions then they are less likely to act in a rash and ill-advised manner. This would then be applied in the future, which would hopefully be more progressive and better motivated to form something good out of the world.

  • ab58lon - I believe the point of teaching philosophy is to avoid what you described.

    I like what JRRossa said about the government having to compete with private educators. I do think that having a federally controlled education is best, I feel that private sector education would be just as prone to corruption as government controlled education, plus I can see having such differing educational background leading to massive political conflict when that generation grow up.

    That being said, I am not happy with the US's system. (I speak of the US because I am not familiar with any other educational systems) This one-size-fits-all way of teaching is horrible. I hated school. In high school I feel like I gained very little, despite performing above average on standardized exams, which I think are generally think are meaningless. I think bringing philosophy into schools would be wonderful. It may not teach people to think outside the box, but hopefully they would find their box has grown. I also think it would help deal with problem of the education system acting as though all student learn in the same way.

  • to teach philosophy and how to think critically and not just "memorise and agree approach" is absolutely necessary to give children the tools to eventually practice freedom of speech in the full extension.

  • Philosophy is an ideal beginning for which the common child or adolescent can grow the ability to pose critical questions of themselves and their environment. No man or woman can have the strength to pave their own way on Earth without nurturing the confidence needed in seizing their own conclusions and values, something that the cookie-cutter education model of today fails to address. Educating younger generations "to think" empowers and prepares them for what adversities may lie in future.

  • schools are so often the antithesis of places of learning; they are entrainment camps <3

  • I think philosophy is the basic to be able to see the bigger picture

  • Great i kids really are taught how to think for themselves. Trouble is kids are very good at giving the right answer (albeit the politically correct one).

  • This is done in certain European countries. It shows by how more informed those Europeans are. Quite why anyone could oppose this is beyond me. If anyone does, reasons for their opposition to this idea need to be given - that's how critical thinking an in turn, philosophy, works.

  • Yes, I feel people would all get along a lot better if they were taught from a young age to be more self-aware and open-minded of others.

  • I think it's necessary to teach children how to think critically in this age of massive information and misinformation.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

  • Absolutely. Add Psychology with to that, the psychology of a human being, and the psychology of humans in masses. Mass manipulation, the effects of public oppinion on decision making i.e the science behind rational and logical thinking. Letting us understand at an early age how and why an entire population can fall victim and support outrageous acts and ideologies like Germany in WW2.

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