Skip to main content

Philosophy Outreach Programme

The Philosophy Cluster at Queen’s is keen to support the promotion of philosophy in the community and is currently running a number of initiatives which are designed with this in mind.


‘Philosophy for Children’ workshop for teachers
Dr Charlotte Blease and Dr Jeremy Watkins are joint recipients of £1510 from the Royal Institute of Philosophy to host a one-day philosophy of education and  in Queen’s University, Belfast.

Top of Page

The Irish Times 21 February 2012

A feature article on the importance of including philosophy in the school classroom and the Irish experience of "Philosophy for Children".

Details available here.


Top of Page

Philosophy for Children at QUB

On 26 and 27 January, 2012, twenty-six Queen’s philosophy undergraduates attended a two-day course on how to teach philosophy to children.  Led by Jason Buckley – a leading philosophy for children trainer – the course introduced students to a range of pedagogical techniques which encourage critical thinking and philosophical reflection in children. Over the coming weeks, the students will be putting what they learnt into practice by going into a number of local primary and secondary schools and running a series of “philosophy for children” courses.  The students will also have the possibility of gaining an accredited teaching certificate in teaching philosophy for children. It is envisaged that this scheme will provide benefit not only to local school children but also to the undergraduates involved.  Further details of this initiative, which has been developed by Drs Jeremy Watkins and Charlotte Blease, will be posted in due course. 
 

Top of Page

Term Talk: Philosophy & Education

Dr Charlotte Blease has a regular column on philosophy and education in the teaching magazine 'Term Talk', which goes out to all 27,000 teachers in Northern Ireland. The November feature is available here.


Top of Page

Royal Institute of Philosophy Schools Conference

On 21 September, Queen’s hosted a one-day “Philosophy for Schools” conference, supported by a generous grant from the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  This event attracted 130 sixth formers from all over Northern Ireland who wanted to find out more about the subject.  The event started with a brief introduction to the subject by Dr Charlotte Blease (QUB), and was followed by three very lively presenetations on the philosophy of art (Dr Dawn Phillips, Hull University), the philosophy of religion (Dr Michael Lacewing, Heythrop College, University of London), and ethics (Dr Jeremy Watkins, QUB). The conference ended with a presentation (including questions and answers) by the BBC broadcaster Dr William Crawley who spoke of the importance of philosophy to his own career. A conference programme can be found here.

Top of Page

Irish News feature 19 July 2011

A feature was published on 19th July 2011 in the Irish News by Dr Charlotte Blease. It highlights the importance of providing a philosophical education even for primary school children.  The feature is available here.


Top of Page

Royal Institute of Philosophy Schools Conference

On 21 September, Queen’s will be hosting a one-day “Philosophy for Schools” conference, supported by a generous grant from the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  This event is free and open to all, but is particularly aimed at sixth-formers who want to find out more about the subject.  No prior knowledge of philosophy will be presupposed, though some of the talks will be of particular relevance to those studying Politics and Religious Studies A Levels.  Further details, including details of how to register, can be found here.


Top of Page

Open Learning Courses
During May - June 2011 two short introductory courses in philosophy were run by Dr Charlotte Blease in conjunction with the Open Learning Centre at Queen’s University. “Introduction to Philosophy” attracted 28 lively students of all ages who met every Wednesday from 7-9pm to discuss a range of philosophical issues (‘Does God exist?’, ‘Is a good person someone who follows rules or someone who increases happiness?’, ‘Is ‘Duchamp’s Fountain’ (a urinal) ‘art’?’, Why is scientific reasoning special?’).  On Tuesday nights, “What is Psychiatry?” focused on the history and philosophy of psychiatry and as a class we examined the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders used by physicians and some seminal research papers. In some very wide-ranging discussions we asked, ‘Is psychiatry a science?’, ‘How does psychiatry police its drug testing?’, ‘How far does psychiatry consider patients’ autonomy in choice of treatments?’, ‘Is psychiatry guilty of pathologizing normal moods?’ Following positive feedback it is hoped that these courses will be run annually and that follow-up courses will be offered.

Top of Page

Royal Institute of Philosophy Courses for Schools Update
The Royal Institute of Philosophy’s Jacobsen Trust funds the teaching of philosophy in up to twenty schools in the UK annually. The scheme makes provision for weekly teaching of up to twenty students in a UK school over a ten-week period by a philosophy graduate, and provides £200 for the purchase of philosophy books. The idea behind the awards is to encourage 16-19 year olds, who have never studied philosophy, to gain an introduction to the subject. During 2010-11 the Belfast area was awarded three out of twenty of these awards. Dr Charlotte Blease, a teaching assistant in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, was appointed to teach in Victoria College, Belfast, Wellington College, Belfast, and Friends’ School, Lisburn. During the ten-week sessions students question their views on a range of topics in law, ethics, science, politics and art. Questions such as: ‘Is punishment ever justified?’, ‘Do we need God to be moral?’, ‘Is the mind the brain?’ are just a sample of the problems addressed. In the forthcoming school year, 2011-12, Dr Blease has been awarded teaching in five out of twenty schools (to include Victoria College, Belfast, Friends’ School, Lisburn,  Dominican College, Belfast, Bloomfield Collegiate, Belfast and Sullivan Upper School, Holywood).  If you would like your school to be considered, please feel free to email Dr Jeremy Watkins (j.watkins@qub.ac.uk) or Dr Charlotte Blease (c.blease@qub.ac.uk).

Top of Page

School Visits
Dr Jeremy Watkins and philosophy students at the Friends’ School, Lisburn
Dr Jeremy Watkins and philosophy students at the Friends’ School, Lisburn

Members of the Philosophy Cluster are happy to visit local schools to give introductory talks and lectures on a range of philosophical themes.  If you would like to take advantage of this initiative, please email Dr Jeremy Watkins (j.watkins@qub.ac.uk). 

 

 

 


Top of Page

Royal Institute of Philosophy Courses for Schools
Dr Charlotte Blease and philosophy students at Victoria College, Belfast
Dr Charlotte Blease and philosophy students at Victoria College, Belfast

The Royal Institute of Philosophy’s Jacobsen Trust funds the teaching of philosophy in up to twenty schools in the UK annually. The scheme makes provision for weekly teaching of up to twenty students in a UK school over a ten-week period by a philosophy graduate, and provides £200 for the purchase of philosophy books. The idea behind the awards is to encourage 16-19 year olds, who have never studied philosophy, to gain an introduction to the subject. During 2010-11 the Belfast area was awarded three out of twenty of these awards. Dr Charlotte Blease, a teaching assistant in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, was appointed to teach in Victoria College, Belfast, Wellington College, Belfast, and Friends’ School, Lisburn. During the ten-week sessions students question their views on a range of topics in law, ethics, science, politics and art. Questions such as: ‘Is punishment ever justified?’, ‘Do we need God to be moral?’, ‘Is the mind the brain?’ are just a sample of the problems addressed.   Depending on the availability of funds, it is hoped that this initiative will continue in the future.  If you would like your school to be considered, please feel free to email Dr Jeremy Watkins (j.watkins@qub.ac.uk) or Dr Charlotte Blease (c.blease@qub.ac.uk).


Top of Page