Philosophy lessons are being introduced in dozens of primary schools in a bid to get more children reading and open their minds...
But critics say that teaching youngsters how to discuss the finer points of Cartesian dualism over the dinner table with their parents is only diverting them from the more important lessons of learning the times table and spelling.
I'd dispute the claim that petty skills are "more important" than learning how to think, but whatever. It turns out the critics are wrong even on their own terms:
In 2007, psychologists in Scotland did a study on the benefits of teaching schoolchildren philosophy. In a survey of 105 ten-year-olds, it found children showed significant improvements in tests of their verbal, numerical and spatial abilities at the end of the 16-month period of lessons, compared to those who were not taught philosophy.
But Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, Nick Seaton said: 'Schools have enough to do teaching the basic three Rs without worrying about philosophy for children at that age. Considering how many youngsters leave education without a fundamental grasp of the basics, schools should concentrate on building a foundation of knowledge for youngsters in the limited school time they have.'
You've gotta love journalistic objectivity. "On the one hand, X actually promotes goal Y. But wait -- here's someone saying that Y is too important for us to worry about X (the effective means to Y, remember). Oh noes! How will we ever decide?"