Over 100 teachers and other delegates joined together on a sunny spring day to enjoy Cranleigh School’s first-ever School Philosophy conference.
So why teach philosophy? This was the question answered with graceful eloquence by the first of the conference’s keynote speakers, the renowned philosopher and author, Professor Anthony Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities.
Professor Grayling took as his starting point the fact that philosophy teaches us to think, noting that teaching like this involves a challenge to society. This was a point picked up by the second keynote speaker, Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.
Having been challenged by both speakers to explore philosophy with as wide a horizon as possible, delegates moved into workshops under the expert guidance of leaders from SAPERE, The Philosophy Foundation and the A Level Philosophy company.
The plenary session of the conference contained an update on the proposed new Philosophy GCSE and the first public discussion of possible subject content, as well as discussion of the use of the Higher Project Qualification as a vehicle for philosophical inquiry. Exciting opportunities lie in store for schools looking to embrace the rich tradition of Socratic philosophical education.