BBC NEWS | Nursery pupils taught philosophy
Children as young as four are being taught philosophy in the nursery, BBC Scotland has learned.
The Clackmannanshire Council initiative is believed to be the first run by a local authority in Britain.
New research from Dundee University suggests learning philosophy raises children’s IQ by up to 6.5 points and improves their emotional intelligence.
It’s not the first time that very young children have been taught philosophy. In 2005, it was reported that children were learning philosophy in Leicester, and there’ve been similar reports from schools in other parts of the country.
Dr Catherine McCall founded the European Philosophical Enquiry Centre in 1990, where she began innovative schemes with children, adults, businesses and communities (including some in the most deprived areas of Glasgow). Dr McCall is involved with the European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children – SOPHIA.
Ever since I heard about her work, I’ve believe that philosophy ought to be a core subject in the curriculum for all ages, replacing RE. Religion should be included in other courses, but not a separate subject. If children learn to think in philosophy lessons, they’ll be better able to distinguish between sense and nonsense in other areas of the curriculum, including religion.