The Philosophy Shop becomes a charity! Reasoning for all!
The Philosophy Shop, as part of its mission to help UK schoolchildren get the full benefits of its unique pedagogical approach – introducing primary and secondary-school-age children to Philosophy as a way to kick-start their reasoning skills – has become a registered charity, The Philosophy Foundation.
Its new charitable status is part of a consistent Philosophy Shop commitment to finding ways to make the benefits and pleasures of philosophy accessible to all and parallels the group’s campaign to encourage the government to provide a formal place for Philosophy in the school system with its 4Rs campaign (Reading, (W)riting, (A)rithmetic AND Reasoning.).
This commitment has been underlined by the move to become a charity, which guarantees that the organisation is a fully and transparent not-for-profit concern.
The Philosophy Shop, which will operate as a trading name for The Philosophy Foundation, has a five year track record providing training for qualified Philosophers on how to practically employ philosophical methods in a classroom situation for children as young as four. The body also helps to place these subject specialists in schools and offers continual professional development to support them, plus trains classroom teachers in using an aspect of Philosophical method called ‘Enquiry’ to help in facilitating child-centred discussion.
Apart from its work in UK schools, The Philosophy Shop also provides benefit to the wider community by offering recreational education classes to adults, as well as Philosophy summer schools and philosophy in prisons, with ex-offenders, and in hospitals..
Commenting on the move, Emma Worley, The Philosophy Shop Founder and Chief Operating Officer, notes, “A great deal of our work is charitable in nature and becoming a charity is a natural move for us.
“We have had overwhelming support from the educational community and with The Philosophy Foundation we can build on that support and do more to ensure young people from all backgrounds finally gain access to Philosophy and the intellectual benefits that access brings.”
The Philosophy Shop has also appointed its board of Trustees, which includes: Dr Andrew Flynn, Catherine Pamplin and Jasna Simpson. Each of whom has a strong interest in or experience of education.
“We find Philosophy is beloved of the most able, but also nurtures the abilities of students far too easily labeled ‘difficult’ and ‘low-achieving’ as well as adults who did not respond well to a conventional curriculum, all of whom really enjoy the stimulus of discussion and argument,” she adds. “Philosophy can provide all members of our community an outlet for their intelligence and creativity.”
“Philosophy has developed our more able, but also given great confidence to those children who struggle with the more conventional curriculum,” adds Headmistress Mrs Palmer at Eliot Bank Primary school, an institution that uses The Philosophy Shop’s resources.
Reflecting the recent cuts to funding for the Humanities, the group plans to subsidise Philosophy students coming from low socio-economic backgrounds, who will otherwise be unable to continue in Higher Education. It will seek to raise awareness as well as fund research into the impact of Philosophy on learning and education more widely. Finally, The Philosophy Shop plans to offer funded Philosophy teacher placements to schools in disadvantaged areas.