Nine- and 10-year-old children in England who participated in a philosophy class once a week over the course of a year significantly boosted their math and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students showing the most significant gains, according to a large and well-designed study (pdf).
More than 3,000 kids in 48 schools across England participated in weekly discussions about concepts such as truth, justice, friendship, and knowledge, with time carved out for silent reflection, question making, question airing, and building on one another’s thoughts and ideas. More.
Unlike many edu-advocacy findings, this one makes sense. Philosophy teaches us to think in a systematic way. It’s hard to see how that wouldn’t help with math and literacy.
But make no mistake. Lots of people today think that scientists dumping on philosophy are proving that scientists are smarter than philosophers. And, guess what!, so are their hearers! Funny that.
See also: Do scientists “believe” things?
Bill Nye Embarrasses Himself (Barry Arrington and commenters)
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