ERIC Number: ED147220
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Nov-26
Reference Count: 0
Something Old, Something New: What Can Philosophy Contribute to Social Science Education?
McConnell, Mary C.
Growing interest in teaching philosophy in elementary and secondary school prompted a 1975 national survey to determine the present status of philosophy as a component in the curriculum. Possible contributions of philosophy to students' personal growth and critical thinking skills are explored. The first section of the paper presents the following survey findings: (1) at least 205 sections of philosophy courses involving approximately 4,500 students were taught in 1974-75; (2) social studies departments offer a philosophy course over half of the time; (3) philosophy teachers often use a topical or thematic approach; and (4) most teachers prefer to use some original philosophical works and view class discussion as the most effective learning activity. The second and major section suggests contributions of the discipline and offers models for teaching philosophy in elementary and secondary schools. At the elementary level, philosophy should be part of a general education program to encourage rational, imaginative, and creative learning. At the secondary level, the teaching of philosophy can contribute to three modes of human understanding: (1) synoetics: insight into or awareness of persons, oneself, or things; (2) ethics; and (3) synoptics: integration of meaning in different ways through disciplines such as history, religion, and philosophy. Four secondary philosophy course models are included which utilize life style, inductive, problem-solving, and thematic approaches. (Author/KC)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Affective Objectives, Cognitive Objectives, Cognitive Processes, Cultural Education, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Research, Educational Objectives, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Humanistic Education, Humanities Instruction, Induction, Integrated Curriculum, Intellectual Disciplines, Learning Processes, Philosophy, Problem Solving, School Surveys, Social Science Research, Social Sciences, Social Values, Teaching Models, Thematic Approach, Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Cincinnati, Ohio, November 23-26, 1977)