Philosophy in schools

Since 1997, the Jacobsen Trust has made available to the Royal Institute funds to promote philosophical work in schools.

The Royal Institute provides courses to promote philosophical work in schools.

Although the Institute sometimes arranges sessions with younger children, the courses usually involve students aged 16 – 19, who have little or no experience in philosophy. We’ll work with students of just about any age and of just about any background. But our hope is to target schools where there’s not much funding or opportunity for extra study like this.

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 — typically courses take up topics encountered at A-level or in first year introductory classes at university.

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.

We are always on the lookout for new schools, so institutions able to host a course are very welcome to apply. Just fill in the application form on the left and email it to the Managing Director.