Thursday 18 July 2019

Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? These are just some of the existential questions that teenagers will soon be contemplating when philosophy becomes a set subject on the Junior Cert curriculum. Education minister Jan O'Sullivan (

Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? These are just some of the existential questions that teenagers will soon be contemplating when philosophy becomes a set subject on the Junior Cert curriculum. Education minister Jan O'Sullivan (right) deserves great credit for extending the junior cycle reforms to include a short course in philosophy - a discipline which helps encourage critical thinking.

Inevitably, of course, there will be some sniggering at the thought of the Snapchat generation getting philosophical. Personally, however, I'd be more concerned about the inability of some teachers to engage in critical thinking.

On January 22nd, ASTI and TUI mount yet another futile strike in protest at aspects of O'Sullivan's reforms. Hopefully, the smarter teachers will use their day on the picket-lines to do some contemplating of their own.

Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going?

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