Back in 1982, Frank Breslin, a New Jersey high school teacher, wrote an article arguing that philosophy should be taught in high school. Huffington Post just reprinted a version of that piece, and it’s worth taking a look at. One of it’s main ideas is that philosophy is a natural fit for teen rebelliousness:
Adolescents are a skeptical lot. Anything and everything is fair game to them, and woe betide what is found wanting. Criticism comes easily to these professional skeptics. Irreverence is natural when one is taking the world’s measure, cutting one’s teeth, and finding oneself. However, American high schools waste this irreverence by failing to harness and turn it to educational use. By not providing programs which could tap into this natural resource, they forgo their most valuable asset — the intellectual restlessness of youth itself…. The study of philosophy is one such program which American high schools should introduce to channel this skepticism toward academic ends.
He makes other good points, as well. The whole thing is here.
Is there more philosophy in high schools now than in 1982? Does the APA or some educational organization keep tabs on this?
UPDATE (9/18/15): Huffington Post just put up a second article by Breslin on the “how-tos” of teaching philosophy in high school.