Philosophy in Schools

Philosophy in schools

Given the increasing popularity of Philosophy as an AS and A2 subject, the BPA is very keen to assist in curriculum development and to support teachers of philosophy at AS- and A2-level. With this in mind, it extended individual membership to teachers in 2005, and institutional membership to schools and sixth-form colleges that teach Philosophy in 2006. We have also been engaged in curriculum discussions with the AQA, and ran a successful ’State of the Art’ conference for schoolteachers, in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Philosophy, in Manchester in November 2006.

However, in order to ensure that it can provide welcome and appropriate support for teachers, the BPA needs their input. So we would welcome active involvement in the BPA by school and sixth-form teachers. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us.

Teachers of philosophy in schools, sixth-form colleges and FE colleges are welcome to join the BPA as full individual members. In addition, schools, sixth-form colleges and FE colleges where philosophy is taught are welcome to become corporate members. Please click on join above for more information.

Please click on the links below for some information and resources you may find helpful. And let us know if you can think of anything we could add.

Free philosophy in schools!

The Royal Institute of Philosophy offers, free of charge, a course in philosophy to 6th-formers with little or no background in philosophy. The courses are taught by recent PhD graduates, who are paid by the Institute, so the exercise involves no cost to schools. The Institute is looking for new schools at which to teach the courses: click here for more information.

The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club is a resource for both students and teachers. It offers two kinds of tutoring paths.

  • The Scholar’s Programme is geared towards PhD students, who can design a philosophy course of their own choosing for students aged 8-18.
  • Brilliant Club tutoring enables PhD students to teach core curriculum subjects such as English and Maths to students in Key Stages 3 and 4.. This could be used as a replacement for the content under “Need a Philosopher?”

The Brilliant Club charity also provides two additional initiatives.

  • Join the Dots seeks to help students break down barriers in their transition from school or college to university. It is aimed at less advantaged students in year 13, who are helped by PhD coaches in making the transition from school to university.
  • Parent Power is designed to help parents and carers understand universities better so that they can help their children make informed choices about where they decide to study. The programme offers a range of resources to parents.

Online philosophy resources

Some online resources – suited to different ages and abilities – include:

Philosophy podcasts

Some well-known podcasts include:


Need a philosopher?

If you run a philosophy club in your school and would like to have a philosopher come and give a talk, don’t be shy – ask one! The easiest thing to do is find your nearest university’s philosophy department on the web and email the Head of Department. Many university philosophers are happy to come and give talks in schools.

In addition, the following well-qualified and experienced BPA members are willing to be approached by schools for advice about good practice in teaching philosophy. Those wishing to make use of this service should note which areas of the country are served by each member:



Any members who would like to offer their services (especially in Wales and Northern Ireland!), please contact the BPA.

Schools online resources and links

There are lots of articles and websites with material suitable for budding philosophers. Here are some:

  • The Routledge A Level Philosophy site has links to relevant text books, plus AS and A2 syllabi, etc.
  • Philosophy 4 Children: information about what it is, training courses available, etc., from SAPERE, an educational charity devoted to pursuing philosophical enquiry as part of education.
  • The Philosophy Foundation: a not-for-profit company delivering philosophy in primary and secondary schools with specialist philosophy teachers (philosophy graduates), and training teachers in Enquiry and questioning skills to develop higher-order thinking and collaborative learning in children.
  • A Level Philosophy site: provides training and resources for teachers and students of A Level philosophy and religious studies for Years 12 and 13.


Online philosophy magazines

  • Aeon – online magazine on all aspects of philosophy
  • Daily Philosophy – online magazine on all aspects of philosophy with an accompanying YouTube channel.
  • Psyche – online magazine about ethical and existential themes
  • The Philosophers’ Magazine  – written by professional philosophers.
  • Philosophy Now – newsstand philosophy magazine, with articles by professional and non-professional philosophers.
  • The Raven – an online magazine of philosophical essays and reviews.
  • Think has articles on various topics, and ’Thinking tools’ articles which introduce pointers on thinking clearly and rigorously.

The BPA bears no responsibility for the content of external websites.

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