Underappreciated Philosophy

In Socrates We Trust

In Socrates We Trust

Studying philosophy is beneficial to children: not only does it raise their linguistic competence but it also improves their mathematical skills. Researchers at Durham University recently confirmed the beneficial effects that studying philosophy has on children. They examined 3,000 pupils from 48 different primary schools, all of whom took philosophy classes for a year. The researchers noted a positive effect that the classes had on children: after taking the course, the pupils were two months ahead of their peers in terms of development; they were also better at discussing difficult topics, such as violence at school, and became better listeners, which in turn made them enjoy school more. Despite these apparent benefits, only 196 schools in Poland offer philosophy courses, usually high schools in big cities. What is more, only 18 of them reach the level required for the students to pass the school-leaving exam in philosophy; consequently, less than 500 students in the entire country opted to take this year’s exam. This reflects the prevailing attitude towards philosophy in Poland; it is often perceived as useless drivel, which cannot be applied to real life. On the other hand, enthusiasts of the subject point out that philosophy teaches the ability to think logically, allows for a better understanding of oneself and of other people, and helps to become a more creative, inquisitive, and morally sensitive person.
Gazeta Wyborcza

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