Why kids — now more than ever — need to learn philosophy. Yes, philosophy.

Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Feb 05, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If you read this more closely (like a philosopher would) you can see that what Valerie Strauss really means here is that kids should be taught how to reason more effectively. "The teacher’s job is to guide and inform student inquiries, helping them pay attention to the quality of their reasoning, and making sure they realize they’re meeting on terms of equality and mutual respect." This is a far larger endeavour than it sounds, as effective reasoning isn't simply a matter of memorizing some logical forms and fallacies. And while it is laudable to encourage kids to become better citizens, it's not clear exactly what that means - should they question assumptions, as Strauss suggests, or simply accept some things as fact, as many leaders suggest? And what is a better citizen anyways?

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