Universities

Ministry of Science introduces philosophy in schools

Photo: Fotolia
Photo: Fotolia

Minister of Science and Higher Education Lena Kolarska-Bobińska announced last Monday in Krakow the "Philosophical Education" program. The project will be introduced in approx. one thousand high schools in Poland, with the participation of approx. 15 universities.

Students from a thousands groups throughout the country can take advantage of classes in philosophy, taught in the pilot edition of "Philosophical Education". The competition initiated by the Ministry of Science will be launched in 2016. Each of the projects may receive a grant up to 200 thousand zlotys.

The estimated budget for the program is 3 million zlotys. "The initial scope of the pilot is 60 hours of classes for a thousand groups throughout the country. Scientists would receive grants of up to 200 thousand zlotys in the project competition" - announced the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in a release sent to PAP.

In the planned "Philosophical Education", academics from several scientific institutions, selected in a competition, would teach classes for high school students. According to the program assumptions, universities will work with schools that wish to participate in the program. Philosophy classes will be voluntary.

The new program also envisages improving the competence of teachers. High schools staff will have the opportunity to take a close look at how practical philosophy teaching looks and use these methods in other classes. University faculty members will find out, in turn, how the schools teach and what skills should be developed in future students. Interesting and inspiring classes will help young people appreciate the humanities more, as it allows to gain new skills.

"Philosophy is not only lectures in its history. Philosophical education will be primarily classes developing competencies and skills associated with argumentation, critical, independent thinking and logic. Future students need these skills, as do graduates in the labour market" - emphasised Minister of Science Lena Kolarska-Bobińska.

According to the Educational Research Institute Report "Teaching philosophy at third and fourth level of education", philosophy has a positive influence on the overall development of students. Those who had philosophy classes at school, express their thoughts better than others, participate in discussions and argue their views.

"Philosophical Education" is not only the first step to a wider introduction of philosophy in high schools. "The system of education and science should form a whole, be a continuous process. Therefore, we should strengthen cooperation between universities and schools, lecturers and teachers. The program +Philosophical Education+ is an example of such cooperation and action for good education from schools to universities" - said Minister of Science.

The idea of the program appeared in 2014 during the Round Table of the Humanities, where the representatives of the Ministry of Science and academia met. The project, declared during the debate, has now been submitted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for implementation under the EU Operational Programme Knowledge Education Development.

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