â€œSince philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it?â€ ~ Michel De Montaigne On Education 1533-1592
Instructing children in philosophy is exactly what Philosopher Leighton Evans and The Philosophy Shop intends to do. Leighton Evans is seeking to get primary schools in the UK to see not only the usefulness but also the feasibility of teaching kids to think philosophically. According to Philosophy Shop advantages to children will include â€œraised IQ, raised self-confidence and improved emotional intelligence.â€ As for the question of feasibility, though it may seem unlikely that kids from 7 to 11 years old will understand the principles of philosophy, Evans says that their age group is actually â€œwell suited to this type of thinking. They are not burdened by the subject knowledge they are going to gain through school.â€ Furthermore, according to Dr Ieuan Williams children are â€œnatural philosophers in that they ask important questions about the world and about human life and morality.â€ Thus their natural curiosity combined with their open-mindedness makes them ideal for thinking outside the box.
Philosophy Shop is not going to be the one conducting philosophy classes to kids but instead trains the teachers/philosophers how to use philosophy methods in the classroom and thus encourage a philosophical attitude among children.