AC Grayling, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London and supernumary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, has been a consistent advocate for the charity's work in promoting philosophy in schools and has accepted the role of honorary patron, along with Angie Hobbs, associate professor at the University of Warwick. Angie is the country's first senior fellow in the public understanding of philosophy, with the specific remit of bringing philosophy to as wide an audience as possible.
Both philosophers have supported The Philosophy Shop and its campaigns in the past two years, participating in The Philosophers’ Football Match to raise awareness of its 4Rs (Reading, (W)riting, (A)rithmetic AND Reasoning) initiative.
Meanwhile Scottish philosopher and philosophy with children expert, Catherine McCall, director of the European Philosophical Inquiry Centre, philosophy consultant for East Renfrewshire Council and president of SOPHIA: the European Foundation for Philosophy with Children, is another firm supporter of The Philosophy Shop's work in schools.
Catherine worked closely with recently deceased Matthew Lipman, the originator of the philosophy in schools movement in the United States, and her work was demonstrated in the 1990 BBC Programme Socrates for Six Year Olds. Catherine has also publicly supported the 4Rs campaign to get philosophy in to schools and has seen The Philosophy Shop's work in action.
The Philosophy Shop is committed to getting philosophy out of the academy and into the classroom – which is why it is also delighted that comedian and co-presenter of the science radio programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, Robin Ince, has also agreed to be a patron. Robin brings philosophy and science to bear on his comedy and is convinced of the importance of maximising our children's potential through teaching them reasoning and philosophy.
Commenting on the appointments The Philosophy Shop's founder and chief operating officer Emma Worley says: "We're absolutely thrilled to have Anthony, Angie, Catherine and Robin as our patrons. They are all hugely important figures in their respective fields, and have been very generous with their time and have helped enormously to increase the profile of the work we do.
"They are a huge asset and we are deeply honoured."
For Worley, the link to this level of public intellectual and media figures signifies "increased access to influencers in the corridors of power, added attraction for new supporters to the cause – and simply doing more to ensure young people from all backgrounds finally gain access to philosophy and the benefits that access brings".
The Philosophy Shop has a five year track record providing training for qualified philosophers on how to practically employ philosophical methods in a classroom situation for children as young as four.
The charity also trains classroom teachers in using an aspect of philosophical method called Enquiry to help in facilitating child-centred discussion.
Apart from its work in UK schools, The Philosophy Shop has also worked in India and has trained specialists in Europe. It also provides benefit to the wider community by offering recreational education classes to adults, as well as philosophy summer schools.
(Online) AC Grayling's Mumsnet discussion on philosophy in schools, 19 October 2010
(Image) Anthony Grayling campaigning for the Four Rs at The Philosophers Football Match, May 09 2010 www.facebook.com/login/setashome.php?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=135181023188331&set=o.338300921472&theater
(Video) Angie Hobbs's interview with BBC journalist Dylan Winter on the 4Rs campaign, May 09 2010
(Image) Robin Ince speaking at the launch of Peter Worley’s (Founder and CEO of The Philosophy Shop) new book ‘The If Machine’ on the issue of maximising our children's potential through teaching them philosophy
(Video) Catherine C McCall 1989 interview, which featured in The 1990 BBC documentary Socrates for Six Year Olds
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Notes To Editors:
About The Philosophy Shop
The Philosophy Shop promotes the practical application of philosophy in the community. It supports and promotes the teaching of philosophy in schools, as well as philosophy summer schools, philosophy groups and residential adult philosophy courses.
The Philosophy Shop is committed to the fact that through the rational investigation of existence, ethics and knowledge children are able to realise lots of benefits, including raised IQ, raised self-confidence and improved emotional intelligence.
The company provides training for qualified philosophers on how to practically employ philosophical methods in a classroom situation. The programme brings philosophy to bear on the national curriculum and teaches classes of primary school children to think critically and ethically about themes raised there.
The Philosophy Shop also offers teachers training in how to enhance their teaching methods through philosophical techniques. There are now 20 philosophers-in-residence working across 40 schools in London and nationwide. The Philosophy Shop's work in British schools has been featured in the TES, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Times, The Observer, BBC Online, the BBC World Service and on The Today Programme.
The Philosophy Shop recently launched an online campaign (www.gopetition.co.uk/petition/37997.html) to make Reasoning Skills compulsory in schools as part of a co-ordinated campaign to make sure children from all backgrounds get the advantages Philosophy can bring in terms of intellectual development at a young age.
The Philosophy Shop is the trading name of The Philosophy Foundation, a registered charity. For further information visit thephilosophyshop.co.uk
About AC Grayling
Anthony Grayling is professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a supernumary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. In support of his belief that the philosopher should engage in public debate, he brings philosophical perspectives to issues of the day in his work as a writer and as a commentator on radio and television, complementing his extensive philosophical bibliography. Grayling is a firm backer of both The Philosophy Shop and the 4Rs campaign.
About Angie Hobbs
Angie Hobbs is associate professor in philosophy and senior fellow in the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Warwick. Her chief interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, ethics (both theoretical and applied) and political theory, and she has published widely in these areas. She contributes regularly to radio programmes, newspaper articles and philosophy websites, and has appeared in television documentaries for BBC2 and National Geographic; she lectures and gives talks around the world. She also engages in a variety of public and political work in the U.K., promoting the role of philosophy in schools and adult education and advising on academic public engagement.
About Robin Ince
Robin Ince majors in intelligent and literate comedy. A regular performer on radio and TV comedy shows, Ince is also the co-presenter of The Infinite Monkey Cage, a Radio 4 programme dedicated to discussing matters scientific and occasionally philosophical. His shows include The Bad Book Club, his guide to the world's most unintentionally hilarious books. A committed humanist, Ince also presented Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People.
About Catherine C McCall
Dr. Catherine C McCall is a philosopher, author, and philosophy consultant. She is president of SOPHIA: the European Foundation for Philosophy with Children and set up the Postgraduate Centre for Philosophical Inquiry at Glasgow University. Her work was featured in The 1990 BBC documentary Socrates for Six Year Olds and is described in her latest book Transforming Thinking: Philosophical Inquiry in the Primary and Secondary Classroom.
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