Socrates in the classroom: Should primary school pupils be taught philosophy?

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This is the question being asked both within schools and by academia.

Amid ‘modern ills’ such as anger on social media, fake news, ‘cancel culture’, and a perceived lack of debating skills, do we need to do more to create ‘thinking children’?

Pupils couldn’t choose philosophy at Standard Grade level at publicly-funded schools until National 5 replaced Standard Grade in 2014.

Since then, the number taking the subject at National 5 has more than doubled. There were 238 pupils receiving a grade in 2020.

And 513 students attained Higher philosophy last year.

While rising, these numbers represent a fraction of school students, with the subject remaining non-compulsory.

Now experts and teachers alike are asking whether there should be more philosophy at school level. Some think this should happen as early as primary school.

Period2 Jun 2021

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