Philosophy education is the practice of teaching and learning philosophy along with the associated scholarly research. It is not philosophy of education, nor the philosophical study of education in general.
Philosophy education around the world
Education in the subject is usually divided into 4 main stages: pre-school (i.e. pre-primary; e.g. kindergarten) and primary education levels (e.g. elementary school), lower (e.g. middle school) and upper secondary education level (e.g. high school), tertiary (higher) education level (e.g. college, university), and post-tertiary education level. Sometimes the stage referred to as "post-secondary non-tertiary" is also included (in a fashion similar to the ISCED levels). Not all countries provide study of philosophy at all levels and in many the subject is virtually absent from the entire curriculum.
In the United States of America philosophy is not generally taught at pre-college level. However, through the movements of Critical thinking and Philosophy for Children aspects of philosophy teaching have entered the curriculum. In the United Kingdom it is possible to do A-levels in philosophy.
In many other European countries philosophy is part of the high school curriculum, such as for example in Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Poland, and mainly Spain. In Germany the subject ethics has been introduced in more and more parts since the 1970s. In Croatia the subject ethics can be taken instead of religious education which mainly focuses on Catholic tradition. Spain is the most clear example of a philosophy education. In Secondary school all the students must take a little introduction to ethics, but it is during the sixth form, known there as 'bachillerato', where it is compulsory to take philosophy and citizenship in the first course, as well as history of philosophy in the second course in order to apply for university or just to get the title. University-level philosophy courses are widespread and are usually thought to have the longest tradition in the subject due to the historical ascription for the invention of philosophy as a separate discipline to the philosophers of Ancient Greece.
Africa and the Middle East
Philosophy education has a long tradition in some of the Arab states. According to a UNESCO-led poll, philosophy is taught at secondary level in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Qatar, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and Yemen. In most Arab countries the subject is taught at university (higher education) level. However, there are exceptions, like Oman and Saudi Arabia, where philosophy is entirely absent at most educational levels.
Philosophy education is traditionally available in most of Asia since the continent gave birth to the schools of Eastern philosophy. The 20th and early 21st century saw the increased interest in the field (especially in Western philosophy) in the Asian continent, with India, China and especially South Korea and Japan as major contemporary academic and research hubs.[need quotation to verify] However, broad regional and interstate differences apply.
Theoretical approaches to philosophy education
Theoretical questions concerning the teaching of philosophy in school have been debated at least since Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The modern debate in Germany in the 1970s gave rise to two competing approaches: the more traditional, text-oriented approach by Wulff D. Rehfus and the more modern, dialogue-oriented approach by Ekkehard Martens. Newer approaches have been developed by Karel van der Leeuw and Pieter Mostert as well as Roland W. Henke. A similar divide between traditionalists and modernists is to be found in France, with the proponents Jacques Muglioni and Jacqueline Russ on the one side and France Rollin and Michel Tozzi on the other. In Italy, philosophy education is traditionally historically oriented in the sense of history of ideas. Theoretical problems of philosophy education at college and university level are discussed in articles in the journal Teaching Philosophy.
- Teaching Philosophy
- American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching
- Diotime Revue internationale de didactique de la philosophie
- Pfister 2010, pp. 119–135
- UNESCO Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy Section, Social and Human Sciences Sector (2009). Teaching Philosophy in the Arab Region (PDF). Paris: UNESCO Publishing. pp. 22, 34–35. SHS/PH/2009/PI/ARB 185218.
- Filosofia e Sociologia no Ensino Médio, Ministério da Educação
- Pfister 2010, pp. 137–150
- Martens, Ekkehard (1979). Dialogisch-pragmatische Philosophiedidaktik. Hannover: Schroedel. ISBN 3507390094. OCLC 6199101.
- Rehfus, Wulff D. (1980). Didaktik der Philosophie. Grundlage und Praxis. Berlin: Cornelsen. ISBN 3590145722. OCLC 17190479.
- Rollin, France, L’éveil philosophique – Apprendre à philosopher, UNAPEC, 1982.
- Rehfus, Wulff D.; Becker, Horst, eds. (1986). Handbuch des Philosophie-Unterrichts. Düsseldorf: Schwann. ISBN 3590144475. OCLC 46096447.
- Tozzi, Michel (1994). Penser par soi-même: initiation à la philosophie. Lyon: Chronique sociale. ISBN 2850081892. OCLC 30808707. (Spanish translation 2008)
- Kasachkoff, Tziporah, ed. (2004). Teaching Philosophy: Theoretical Reflections and Practical Suggestions. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-1448-5.
- UNESCO (various authors), Philosophy: A School of Freedom. Teaching philosophy and learning to philosophize: Status and prospects., UNESCO Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy Section, Social and Human Sciences Sector, Paris: UNESCO Publishing, 2007.
- Pfister, Jonas (2010). Fachdidaktik Philosophie. Bern: Haupt Verlag. ISBN 3825233243. OCLC 612490530.
- Savolainen, Juha, Pekka Elo, Satu Honkala, Rebecca Cingi (Hrsg.), IPO Helsinki Finland 2009, Publications of The Finnish National Commission for UNESCO no 85, 2010.