Philosophy To Be Taught In Ireland’s Secondary Schools

Philosophy will become a part of the secondary school curriculum in Ireland, according to an announcement by Minister of Education Jan O’Sullivan, reported in the Irish Times. The country’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment will develop a “short course” in philosophy that will be taught to students in the early years of secondary school (approximately ages 12-16). The course would begin in a select number of schools in September of 2016 and eventually include all secondary schools “as teacher capacity to deliver the new subject is developed.” According to the Irish Times:

The Minister says she wants “to give students an opportunity to explore the concepts and ideas of philosophy in the 21st century”. She believes study of the discipline will make “a significant contribution to giving students the tools to critically engage in an informed manner with the world around them.”

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9 years ago

Great news for Ireland!

For what it’s worth, philosophy has been part of the secondary school curriculum in Ontario (Canada) for quite some time.

More info here, starting at pg. 327 of the text:

9 years ago

In Italy philosophy is a compulsory subject taught during the last three years of high school (age 16-18) in two types of high schools, Liceo Classico and Liceo Scientifico, 3 hours a week (if I remember correctly). The content and quality of these courses may vary considerably from teacher to teacher, but in principle all follow an historical pattern, inevitably starting with the Pre-Socratics. I would thus venture that 95% of Italian philosophy undergraduates already have had a three-year exposition to philosophy (this is just a hunch, but I’ve never met a fellow student who had not studied philosophy at school).

9 years ago

For those of us interested in potentially teaching philosophy in Ireland, is there someone, or an agency, that we should contact? I take it that those with professional experience in teaching philosophy will be in demand in Ireland in the coming years.

8 years ago

Philosophy is not being taught officially in Irish School. The teaching council of Ireland refuse to acknowledged Philosophy as a subject or even register Philosophy Teacher unlike emerging Britain and other EU countries. The Philosphy society of Ireland produced a syllabus to the Teaching council. it was rejected ???
The minister for Education ‘Jan O Sullivan’ claims she introduced philosophy into other subjects ??? (so therefore is not taught by qualified teachers of Philosphy).
It is not an official subject. Now the Minister for Educations is allowing students to sit out of Religious Education without a class option of studying philosophy instead.
Maybe she will soon allow for students to sit out of Maths and English ???

Brent Silby
7 years ago

Sounds like having music introduced into other subjects. It’s a step in the right direction, but I think it should be introduced as a subject in its own right. This is a battle we see in other countries too.

For an argument for teaching philosophy in school — as a subject, not part of another subject — see:

Keep fighting the good fight. This world needs good young philosophers.