A recent study in England showed that a weekly philosophy class boosts math and literacy skills among nine and ten year old children.
Over 3,000 children in 48 schools throughout England participated in weekly philosophy discussions of truth, justice, friendship, and knowledge. Time was also set aside for silent reflection, questions, and building on each other’s ideas.
While the course was not designed to teach math or literacy, participants increased math and reading scores by an equivalence of two extra months of teaching. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds nearly doubled those results.
The study was conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), a non-profit organisation dedicated to closing the gap between family income and educational attainment. “They had been given new ways of thinking and expressing themselves,”said Kevan Collins, chief executive of the EEF. “They had been thinking with more logic and more connected ideas.”