Philosophy in Schools
Since 1997, the Jacobsen Trust has made available to the Royal Institute funds to promote philosophical work in schools. Thanks to the generosity of the Trust, the Institute expanded the scheme, offering philosophy courses to as many as 60 schools across the UK each academic year.
The courses usually consist of one two-hour session each week composed of no more than 20 students aged 16 – 19, who have little or no experience in philosophy. The courses are taught by a teacher approved and paid for by the Institute. He or she is usually a postgraduate or recent PhD in philosophy with some teaching experience. Our teachers tackle basic philosophical topics concerning the nature of knowledge, ethics, the mind, free will, aesthetics and so on. The content is usually organized around the teacher’s own area of expertise — always situated in mainstream, academic philosophy.
The goals of the scheme are many: engaging the interest of students in basic philosophical issues, free and rigorous enquiry, clarifying and discussing certain questions and the various reasons offered in support of one position or another, developing the capacity to think critically. Throughout all of this, no particular religious, political or ideological lines are favoured.
We are always on the lookout for new schools, so please do apply. We hope to enthuse non-philosophers, so don’t worry if your students have no background in philosophy at all.
If you have any questions about the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact the Institute.