Philosophy in the classroom teaches critical thinking skills: research
People across the world describe it as a threat to democracy, honest debate and freedom of knowledge. Global leaders use it strategically to boost their profile, harness community support and shutdown opposition.
‘Fake news’ has penetrated the media landscape, and left readers confused as they sift through the innuendo, misleading headlines and editorial spin in their search for the truth.
A new book by Dr Laura D’Olimpio, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at The University of Notre Dame Australia, suggests that the study of philosophy can develop vital critical thinking skills that can help people to better separate fact from fiction. And it should start at an early age.
“Teaching philosophy in schools is a great way of helping young people think critically and respond to others with compassion, particularly when considering information on the broadcast news, social media and various personal blogs on the internet,” Dr D’Olimpio said.
“Despite the importance placed on educating students of all ages to engage critically with online media, the educational environment has not kept pace with the rapid advancement in technology.”
The book titled Media and Moral Education: A philosophy of critical engagement addresses this oversight by demonstrating that the study of philosophy can be used to boost critical thinking skills that are sorely needed when analysing and interpreting news and information.
Dr D’Olimpio claims that the attitude of ‘critical perspectivism’ – the ability to approach a situation with compassion and logic – should be practised and habituated in order to develop people as global citizens who are balanced and reflective when examining information presented as fact.
“This is a great argument for teaching philosophy in schools,” Dr D’Olimpio said.
“Not only does an understanding of philosophy enhance public debate and develop robust sources of information, but it allows us to navigate the online world and its endless content with confidence and a critical mind.”
To purchase a copy of ‘Media and Moral Education: A philosophy of critical engagement’ visit www.routledge.com or New Edition bookstore in Fremantle.