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Benefits of Teaching Philosophy to Children in Class

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It is inspiring to learn that few schools are still trying to enliven the spirit of philosophy within the human heart in spite of all these distractions and dumbing down going on especially in most industrialized and metropolitanized part of the US and Europe. With the rapid media technological changes and the growing generational apathy that is staggeringly prevalent in the recent decades, sweeping through our culture like a plague, the value of philosophy and self-inquiry has been almost totally forgotten and what remains is the emphasis on the perpetuation and the reproduction of the passive mundane mechanical nature, replacing our natural inquisitive minds with the embracement of digital and highly calculated obedience. So again, we should be grateful that there still remain a few parts of our humanity, manifesting through simple projects like, for instance, teaching children philosophy.

Photo: eidyn.ppls.ed.ac.uk/outreach/philosophy-schools-0

So what could be the benefits we as a society can get from this? What kind of positive changes we can achieve for our society if we teach philosophy to children? First of all, it will make them aware of so many varying ways of thinking, simple or complex, meaningful or absurd. And through this, they will gain a realization that exploring these ideas will make them appreciate their own and also the value of other’s ideas too. This will make them more confident about their own thoughts and gives them more opportunity to think about their answers to existential questions they are having themselves; sincerely delving into many different aspects of the issues or subjects, exploring different sides and angles. And through discussions, they can have a chance to speak clearly and honestly. This will help children develop a sense of empathy and tolerance to other’s opinions or way of life, things that are so important for all of us people to truly live a peaceful and productive life within the society.     

Photo: facebook.com/Institute-for-the-Advancement-of-Philosophy-for-Children-at-Montclair-State-310984896217/

Through the revival of these kinds of projects for students, along with effective promotion in the media, movie industry, music, and various arts and culture hub, society will eventually appreciate the value of philosophical thinking again; the sincere and genuine look and consideration to self and to everything in the universe. This will help our children flourish both intellectually and spiritually and have some sense of academic achievements. It doesn’t have to be so complex or deep or we don’t need to have big expectations, just the basic and the most important parts, aspects, or areas; they are all essential. If many of our institutions maintain this kind of education, our young generation will surely bring great positive impacts to our future society as it will systematically develop their character to be more rationally critical and intellectually flexible, thus, creative and resilient.       

Photo: mori.art.museum/en/learning/455/

Undoubtedly, if provided appropriately and efficiently, philosophy class will cultivate children’s perspectives and outlook on life. If we are going to maintain and develop discussions and programs of this kind to our schools, consequently it will increase the student’s empathic character, therefore, improving the way they treat each other and through compassion towards each other, their supportive impulses will also grow. It would also allow them to explore their imaginations and amazement in life, both in the practical and the abstract sense, giving them more sense of freedom and enthusiasm in life. And lastly, this will help their mind channel new and unfamiliar realms of realities along with their rational and experiential judgements. Lastly, it will develop their social skills while also teach them to listen, learn, and respect other’s point of view.    

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