Philosophy in schools
Philosophical Answers site for schoolteachers of philosophy.
Click on Answers above to access the site.
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 our schools officer, Tom Sorell, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, so please click here for more information.
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:
- S & W Midlands: Robert Ellis (email@example.com)
- North West: John Foster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Oxford area: Edward Harcourt, University of Oxford (email@example.com)
- Oxford area: Peter Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Canterbury area: Simon Kirchin, University of Kent (email@example.com)
- S. Yorkshire: Eric Olson, University of Sheffield (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- North East: Darrell Rowbottom, Bristol University (email@example.com)
- Essex & London area: Dr Howard Simmons (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- S. England area: Dr. Christine Lopes (email@example.com)
- Lisa Jones, St. Andrews University (LJ14@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Any members who would like to offer their services (especially in Wales and Northern Ireland!), please contact the BPA’s schools officer, Tom Sorell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
- The Royal Institute of Philosophy’s magazine, Think, has articles on various topics, and some ’Thinking tools’ articles which introduce pointers on thinking clearly and rigorously.
- The Philosophers’ Magazine and Philosophy Now also have some online articles.
- And for a bit of light (yet educational) relief, your students might like to try out TPM’s games page.