Ireland isn't the only country to teach Philosophy. Many European countries include philosophy in their school curriculum.
Irish Minister for Education, Jan O'Sullivan, has set up a new school curriculum in Ireland that includes Philosophy. The new National curriculum has developed a short course on Philosophy that can be taught between the first and third years of secondary school. O'Sullivan believes the study of Philosophy will make "a significant contribution to giving students the tools to critically engage in an informed manner with the world around them".
The UK, however, does its very best to avoid any notion of Philosophy in its school curriculum, and seems adverse to teaching philosophy. Even at "A" level there is no recognisable Philosophy curriculum. Philosophy suddenly appears as option at University. By which time, kids will have developed a very caricatured understanding of what Philosophy is.
Teaching Philosophy as a separate subject, and just as "critical thinking" should be a part of the High School curriculum. Devisers of the curriculum probably think teenagers wouldn't be interested, or "wouldn't get it". But, kids like asking questions.
Young #Children go through annoying phase of asking "why?" to everything; "why is the sky blue?" etc.
Teenagers might well be inspired by looking at the world in a different way, and asking seemingly perverse questions, such as: "how do I know I exist?", "is democracy the best form of government?", "should I kill the fat man to save the lives of seven people?".
Assessing who is responsible for the lack of interest in teaching Philosophy to kids in the UK is tricky. Obviously, it is partly due to the Government. Unfortunately, we don't have a Minister for Education like Ireland's O'Sullivan. However, the Government's lack of insight to see the value of teaching Philosophy is understandable, given the multitude of other things a Government has to do, including things like winning an election.
To get Philosophy on to the school curriculum, there needs to pressure from somewhere outside of Government. The Department of Education, The Civil Service, Exam Boards and Teachers/Headteachers should all be working on a curriculum that puts Philosophy into education.