Academia

Philosophy in High School

There’s a notion that religion shouldn’t be taught in high school. I am of the kind that very much agrees with this notion. Although, there remains a problem that must be addressed. Some students either do not regularly practice any religion, which there is nothing wrong with, or they end up not going to a university where some form of ethics class is taught. The proposition at hand is that high schools should invest in implementing a philosophy class for juniors or seniors to take as a course. One of the major factors in a philosophy class is the teachings of ethics.

To begin, one must understand that individuals learn a sense of ethics as they grow up in life. The ethics that one learns depends on one’s parents/guardians, peers, school, and media. There are those that are unable to see ethics outside of the ethics of their own community. There are times when this could be a positive when the ethics in the community is fairly positive, but what comes of this is possible ignorance when the ethics disregards those of lesser class. With an implementation of an ethics class across the nation, we can maintain a standard for all to decide what is right and what is wrong with logical reasoning.

As some are aware of, there are multiple types of philosophy courses. The kind I am proposing is an Epistemology course. This is the basic form of ethics, it is the study of the nature and scope of knowledge and justified belief. It invites the student to ask questions like “what is knowledge”, “How is knowledge acquired”, “What do people know”, “What makes justified beliefs justified”? Epistemology focuses on propositional statements and conclusions, meaning if A then B and discussing why.

After understanding this, one can realize how this can be very helpful on a national level. This could very well be the cure for ignorance in the nation, if not the world. It isn’t about giving people a framework of which to think, it is about giving people a spectrum of understanding and having them decide for themselves what sounds the most reasonable and attempt to explain why that is. This would lead to those who were never given a chance at understanding the world they live in but just mandated to live in it without a reason of why others behave the way they do, the ability to truly see the world and its potential.

As the world is today, one cannot be mad or upset with those who are unable to reason thoroughly and understand the perspective of another. There are constraints in life on everyone. For those who believe there are no constraints in their life, then that is their constraint. There will always be some kind of constraint on human life and understanding. The goal of philosophy is to make thin the barrier of constraint on the human mind and understanding. To enable humanity to think outside the constrictions of community methods of thinking, we must implement the teaching of epistemology of philosophy in high school to enable children to have better thought processes throughout life.

 

2 replies »

  1. I understand the fear of confusion not allowing students to attain the skill of critical thinking, which is the ultimate goal. This is why it would be imperative for those employing teachers for the course to be very decisive on the teachers entrusted with the position. If the right kind of individual teaches an epistemology of philosophy class, it can lead to empowering young people to learn to think for themselves and see the wrongs that may reside in their communities. When the right kinds of methods are taught, in terms of dealing with complicated issues, it can lead to the ability to deal with confrontation and discussions people find significant. As topics such as ethics and metaphysics are explained in the simplest forms, people begin to truly realize the world around them.

    • …the right kind of teacher would be teaching critical thinking, which can occur through any material. The best philosophical proposals come from someone who has no traditional philosophical preconceptions anyways. :))

      Like Yoda said about Luke when Luke came to him. Young people they “look away…to the horizon, to the sky, to the future. Never his mind on where he was, on what he was doing.”

      I would suggest you bring philosophy to the school. A club. A proposal is good, like I said, good points there. But then again, even while philosophy is not just a book club, you gotta start some where.

      Good luck to you.

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