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Philosophy Instruction Belongs in High School

Gabby Douglas, Staff

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Philosophy is defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Debate is a large part of the academic discipline, and current debate is whether or not philosophy should be taught in high schools.   

Social studies Matt Power teaches the philosophy elective at CHS, and many students love the open-minded aspect and the ability to express their own ideas while also listening to their peer’s opinions.  

“I think philosophy should definitely be offered in more schools. It is something that could benefit everybody especially when we get into ethics. I think it is something that is missing in education,” Mr. Power stated.  

Students love this class because they get to explore different ways of thinking.  

“It’s a blast! It’s fun to explore the theories of the world. It allows students to keep an open mind about different possibilities over all,” junior Cody Brick explained.  

The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization is an organization that believes philosophy should be taught in high schools. PLATO advocates for and supports philosophy to youth through programs, resource sharing, and the development of a national network in pre-college philosophy. 

“Philosophy teaches students how to pose meaningful questions, inspect and scrutinize their deeply held beliefs, and work out their own ideas with care and rigor,” according to research by PLATO. 

Although some people may oppose these ideas, the belief that philosophy should be taught in high school is shared with many, including writer for Huffington Post, Michael Shammas. He believes that philosophy being taught in high school is the answer to the world’s greatest and smallest political problems within our democratic society.  

Michael Shammas believes he has the answer to this crisis. 

“How can we solve this crisis? Because the capacity to debate requires the capacity to think, I believe the answer lies in philosophy,” Huffington Post writer Michael Shammas stated.  

While most people believe that philosophy should be taught, some oppose the idea of exposing high schoolers to that level of thinking.  

“While I would like to expose more people to philosophy, I’m not sure this is the right way to go about it. Do we want students to be introduced to philosophy by high school teachers with no training in the subject?” Dan Bonevac from Daily Nous states.  

CCBC has the perfect solution for people that agree with Dan Bonevac. Philosophy, along with various other courses are available to students in the parallel enrollment program at CCBC. This is an early college access program for all high school students. Students that live in Maryland pay only 50% of the tuition rate! Students interested in getting a jump start on their college education should meet with their school counselor to get started! 

Students enjoy taking Philosophy because it improves outside thinking and is filled with various abstract concepts which they can discuss with their peers. 

“I just like asking big picture questions which lead to discussions on two opposing viewpoints and how eventually we find common ground,” junior Patrick Brenan stated. 

Students also enjoy the class because they feel safe expressing their opinions. 

“It is a relatively safe space for people to talk about their ideas and it feels good to talk about them,” junior Nick Manely explained. 

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Philosophy Instruction Belongs in High School