Outdoor Education Blog

Learning Beyond the Walls

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Why Philosophy in Education

As I sit in the airport in Budapest, awaiting my flight back to Canada, I'm thinking about the real need for philosophy education. My time in Budapest brought this issue into focus for me after attending an international Peace in Education conference that Martha presented at. Another factor was our visit to the Terror Museum at 60 Andressy St in Budapest, once home to the notorious police who iron-fistedly put terror into the hearts of Hungarians in the name of communism after WWII.
In both instances the need for a humane education system was brought up. How can we create communities of caring, humane individuals if we don't spend time discussing why w we should pursue one course of action or another.
When I was a teacher in Ontario, I often took my students outside of school for a variety of reasons. My teacher friends would often quip, "Where are you heading off to this week Todd?"
The truth is they saw little need for such excursions, regardless of the educational potential. The need to discuss philosophical issues between and with high school students has never been more readily apparent. As the election in the US takes place on Tuesday next week, questions about the nature of democracy are sure to be discussed in classrooms around the country.
But deeper more personal questions and questioning by students is more often stifled by an education system that sees the only valuable time as classroom time.
Philosophy Education in Ontario is a curriculum based course, and outdoor experiences are one of the best ways to create a safe place for students to consider the deeper, more personal issues.
Learn more at ExpEd.ca