TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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Why is philosophy so commonly taught in prestigious private prep schools and yet so rarely taught in public schools?

The ideal of a critical, reflective thinker which has driven the tradition of the liberal arts education seems to have a well-recognized and appreciated value in the hallways where the sons and daughters (etc.) of senators and governors and so on are sent. If the ability to read about and discuss and evaluate complex arguments on deep issues like justice and ethics is important to the education of future leaders, why, then, is it not voted in and funded as part of the education for public school students?


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  • Apr 22 2011: Supply and Demand. Supply: Lack of experience in the teacher pool in public schools; Demand: such curriculum isn't sought after by the schools, the community and parents. ...therefore qualified teachers aren't hired.

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