The teaching of philosophy and the pre-philosophical curriculum in schools and colleges
Chapter 1 introduces the main issues including those of definition, within a history of ideas context, and explains how the argument will proceed in the succeeding chapters. Chapter 2 considers a wide range of claims and counter-claims concerning the teaching of philosophy and a pre-philosophical curriculum. The transcendental claim that pre-philosophical and higher order thinking are de facto taught in all schools, is combined with other strong claims to make the case for developing a philosophy and pre-philosophical curriculum. Chapter 3 argues the claim from transcendental realism, following Kant and Bhaskar, that philosophical concerns are pervasively present in the curriculum, pedagogy and organisation of schools. Chapter 4 shows how a philosophically-driven pedagogy can be informed by philosophical theory concerning conditionals, counter-factual and possible worlds thinking. Chapter 5 demonstrates the importance of the claims for benefits from thinking and phiosophising in relation to the intellectual and moral dispositions, and the virtues. Chapter 6 examines discussion and practice of the canonical in philosophy and prephilosophy, through a series of comparative case studies. The extent to which the National Curriculum for England and Wales might present a canonical form of the prephilosophical curriculum is examined. Chapter 7 recommends, in practical and theoretical ways, how a strategy for a whole school or college approach to the philosophy and pre-philosophical curriculum can be devised and implemented. Chapter 8 considers particular issues of personal, professional and pedagogic ethics which teachers will need to address. The importance of narrative and philosophical auto-biography is argued. It is claimed that a teacher should be a transformative professional and public intellectual. A concluding over-view envisages prospects for further philosophical and scholarly enquiry, and empirical and public policy research. Thirty-eight Appendices of reference and teaching materials, together with a Bibliography of works referred to in the text and notes, illustrate the argument of the thesis and provide teaching material for teacher education.