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Education to Empower

As a young mother and graduate in philosophy, I had what I thought was a brilliant solution to a world full of woes. I believed if children could be taught philosophy as part of the core curriculum in their various educational systems, the world would be transformed in a single generation, and the problems we faced in the 1990s (which aren’t unlike the ones we face in the 2000s) would find some resolution.

It’s idealistic, but I make no apologies. I still believe it. And the experiment on my own children has yielded remarkable results.

(This is not a mommy blog!)

Ethics not only empowers an individual with various means of decision making when it comes to moral questions, but it also allows a person to understand the methods others are using as they tackle ethical problems.

Informal logic gives people the tools to argue fairly and to recognize fallacious arguments.

Epistemology apprises those who study it on how we the human species know what we know while metaphysics lets people wrestle with what is real.

So, I was puttering around Dan Pozmanter’s twitter, facebook, and/or blog and realized he leads just such an effort! 

Right now!  As I write even!!

I mean, I saw what philosophy did and does for my own kids.  I had the opportunity to teach philosophy and see how it opened up the world for students, but Dan has made it his mission to offer philosophy to children around America.

Here’s one reason it’s such a thrill:

Clackmannanshire Council in Central Scotland pioneered the teaching of philosophical inquiry in primary schools when it introduced the subject in some of its most run-down areas six years ago.

An initial study carried out in 2003-04 showed that children aged five to 11 who were taught so-called “philosophical inquiry” showed intelligence gains of more than seven IQ points.  —Education to Empower (dot) Org

Yes, there are no standardized children, but the test is a measurement and offers a general idea about possibilities! 

Who wouldn’t want their kid toting around 7 more IQ points??? 🙂

So, if you get the chance and are so inspired, give these links a click and spread the word!

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5 thoughts on “Education to Empower

  1. Excellent!!! I think this is very interesting. Can you recommend something for me to read to get started learning about philosophy??

  2. great idea writechic…

    i taught middleschool in NYC for two years and really made an effort to introduce philosophers and philosophical thinking in the classroom. Absolutely fantastic to see you’re doing it on such a higher level… The long-term gains are incredible. I think it works best of all with middle-schoolers (just as their minds are getting fully flexed for abstract logic). What I did was small (intro to logic, and intros to major philosophers, thinkers), but I definitely recognized the impact by the end of the year. In terms of measurables, I definitely noticed a marked improvement in coherence and cojency in their writing (unlike mine, lol)….

    rock on with your bad effin self…. great stuff… definitely checking through all the links…

    one love,
    –reverend manny and the twilight empire

    • btw, btw , btw,…. I minored in philosophy (which crushed my little mind, and my even smaller GPA, lol)…. good stuff, though…. really beat the cobwebs out of the brain and sorta gave me much more respect for the craft of thinking…. intellectually humbling….

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