A Thinking Person’s Country

graphic of library at university of leyden

At the moment, the headline’s referent is Ireland. Evidence? The President of Ireland is able to say in public that education isn’t about getting a job or supporting the economy, positions that are mostly unheard on this side of the Atlantic.

Too many policy lobbyists have, often unknowingly, unthinkingly perhaps, accepted a narrow and utilitarian view of… education — one that suggests we exist to be made useful — which leads to a great loss of the capacity to critically evaluate, question and challenge.

Rather than give all the attention to STEM disciplines, as is the trend in the U.S., Ireland started the philosophy awards as an alternative. The organizers also have devoted some energy to providing resources for teachers: “The website www.myshortcourse.com/ created by Daniel Mccrea contains 40 “ready to go” lessons for teachers whether or not they have had prior experience in philosophy.”

 

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