When I say philosophy, do you think of bearded proffessors, bespectecaled undergrads, and tedious dinner guests? It doesn’t have to be that way. Some advocates, like the Philosophy Foundation and the awesomely acronymed PLATO, are trying to make philosophy accessible for public school students. The touted benefits are improvements in analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, problem-solving, and self-esteem. Teaching or discussing philosophy in younger grades may also help with math skills.
The organizations mentioned above provide plenty of resources and training for teachers wishing to introduce their students to the fascinating world philosophy, which is really just thinking about the ourselves and the world we live in. However, as time-strapped educators, we often don’t have time for anything new.
A site called Philosophy Experiments is worth a look. It has a series of thought experiments that one can work through and, by answering a series of questions, examine different moral and philosophical stances of one’s self. Its simple structure gives analysis to your answers and compares them to various demographics.
At the very least it will start conversations. And that just may be the spark that lights the fire.