Teaching primary school children philosophy improves English and maths skills, says study
Children from deprived backgrounds benefited the most from philosophical debates about topics such as truth, fairness and knowledge.
Teaching philosophy to primary school children can improve their English and maths skills, according to a pilot study highlighting the value of training pupils to have inquiring minds.
Children from deprived backgrounds benefited the most from philosophical debates about topics such as truth, fairness and knowledge, researchers from Durham University found.
The 3,159 primary school pupils from 48 schools who took part in the trial saw their maths and reading scores improve by an average of two months. But the benefits were even more pronounced for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose reading skills improved by four months, their maths results by three months and their writing ability by two months.
Teachers interviewed as part of the study suggested that the year-long programme also improved children’s wider skills such as confidence, patience and self-esteem.
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Related: Why I teach philosophy in primary school by Giacomo Esposito; Teach philosophy in primary schools