About a week ago, I asked the question "What is the most important field of science for the public?" Many of the comments suggested that general reasoning skills are more important than any particular scientific knowledge because they would provide the framework for interpreting scientific knowledge.

With that in mind, I was excited to see that some school systems are making an attempt to introduce philosophy into primary education (thanks to Evolving Thoughts).

I am pessimistic about the prospects of a primary school philosophy curriculum because I don't know if the benefits of these curricula can be measured in a way that would convince politicians of their value. The article suggested that there were measurable benefits to the philosophy curriculum, but it appears that evaluations are done by expert evaluators, not by a standardized test that could be given to all students and produce convenient statistics for politicians.

Research by East Renfrewshire Psychological Services in 2006 found that under-achieving 11-year-olds exposed to GSD significantly increased scores in areas including problem solving, generating alternative solutions and decision-making. Another 2007 study from Dundee University suggested an average rise in IQ levels of 6.5 points in students who had been exposed to philosophy at a young age. Another report, also from Dundee University, also showed that an hour of philosophical enquiry each week in primary schools very effectively promotes emotional and social developments as well as increasing cognitive ability, critical reasoning and dialogue skills. The study stressed that although such developments can take place in mainstream classes of 30 pupils lead by teachers with little previous philosophy experience, the role of the teacher would have to move away from being an "expert instructor" to instead being a "curious facilitator".