This is a follow up from a post in February of this year – A little bit of philosophy makes you smart… – about the effect of teaching primary school children thinking skills.
I noticed, via a TED post, that the BPS research blog has referenced a follow up study on Topping’s research. Testing the group of children two years after the initial study. The benefits of the teaching had persisted. So, a little bit of philosophy really does make you smart(er), or rather, you can be taught to think. I just hope it isn’t too late for an adult geek like me, and that the government enables schools to act on these findings. I still have my ‘introduction to philosophy’ book to hand (Philosophy: The Basics). Something to study in the new year.
UK teachers do a great job, but a radical shake up of the curriculum is required, given the changes that have happened in technology and society. We have to learn to learn, rather than just learning. We also need critical thinking skills to separate fact from opinion, in the age of micro publishing.
The community based approach to enquiry used in Philosophy for Children (P4C) scheme reminds me of how the blogosphere can work, at its best. Complex questions that can’t be answered by one individual or one discipline can be answered by the community’s skills. I wonder what it would have been like if Socrates had had access to today’s technologies. I bet his blog and comments feed would have been a cracking read!