TED Conversations

Henry Maldonado

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What are the arguments for and against philosophy in high school?

Philosophy is seen as a dead science. However, how can we ignore the prevalence of philosophy in history. Whether it be the philosophy of science, language, or history, there has always been philosophical inquiry except near the middle of the twentieth century.

Should philosophy be taught at the high school level? Should there be a mandatory or elective class for philosophy? What are the merits of philosophy in High School? What are the draw back of teaching philosophy in high school?

+10
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 15 2012: One drawback is the interest levels compared to an elective at college
    Another is the opportunity cost. What do you drop from the curriculum to fit in philosophy
    IF done well it could be part of high school humanities.
    Suggest you might mix it with ethics.
    • thumb
      Aug 15 2012: I agree about the curriculum "fit in" dilema. What about integrating it within other current curriculum offerings like history, language arts, science, math etc.

      There could be smaller lessons developed to help students contemplate some of the philosophical implications or aspects concerning their core curriculum. It may be a way to help students see each subject's relevance to their future lives through its philosophical connotations. This might help stir a deeper interest into each subject while improving critical thinking skills.

      This wouldn't cause a need for the elimination of other curriculum offerings or increase cost.
      • thumb
        Aug 16 2012: Doesn't this already happen? I have only taken one formal "Philosophy" class in my life (college intro level). However, I clearly rember covering logical fallacies in both Debate and Lit. classes in HS. Emperisim was covered in Chemestry, Phisics and Geometry. Cotton Mather, and Manifest Destiny figured prominently in American History and Locke, Hobs and Marx were introduced in a Government class. The only Inclusion I thought was extrodanary about my HS education was the inclusion of Rand in a senior Lit. class.
        The case could be made that the inclusion of the philosophical elements be made explicit, but I think they are there to be found in the ciriculum... or at least they were 25 years ago.
        • thumb
          Aug 16 2012: In my experience, it's not happening enough. It certainly didn't happen in my education, but as we know, personal experience is not a fantastic measure of reality. It could be happening in places. I'm sorry to hear that Rand was taught in a school. To me, that's as radical as teaching Marx in school without teaching about some of the consequences of totalitarianism that sprouted from some of his ideas. I hope they included some critiques of her "ideas."

          It sounds like you had a much better education in high school than I had.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.