You’ve considered your kid to be an amatuer philosopher ever since they asked the existential question, “What is bedtime?” Now, a new study from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent educational charity, suggests that you might want to up your home curriculum game, because your little Aristotle stands to gain a whole lot from it.
The experiment gave over 3,000 kids, ages 4 and 5, across 48 primary schools in the U.K. weekly lessons in “Philosophy for Children,” or P4C. The 11-month trial specifically looked at the lowest income students, indicated by who received a free lunch, as well as other students as part of a control group. After nearly a year of exploring concepts like truth, justice and other things 5-year-olds love, cognitive abilities test results for both groups improved. While most kids tested 2 months ahead in reading and math, impoverished students progressed an extra 4 months reading, 3 months in math and 2 months in writing. Testing aside, teachers found that the philosophy lessons increased confidence, patience and self-esteem among the kids — all qualities that will come in handy when their parents try to talk them out of majoring in philosophy 13 years from now.
Flickr / Timothy Takemoto
So, how can your baby genius get in on this? SAPERE, a U.K.-based charity that helped implement P4C courses for th study, recommends visitings the ICPIC website (an international organization promoting philosophy for children, and not the Insane Clown Posse) to see if any schools are already implementing these strategies nearby. P4C is currently practiced in over 60 countries, but if you can’t find one for your kid there’s always the option of reading Plato’s Republic as a bedtime story. No word on whether it will improve their math scores, but it will definitely get them (and you) to sleep.
[H/T] Science Alert