The power of philosophy
Philosophy is the art of thinking critically and learning about learning. The expansion of horizons that occurs during this course is truly inspirational and opens many doors that allow for future explorations. This course should become mandatory because it can easily be applied to any field and will help students become better prepared for their post-secondary educations.
Critical thinking, the basis of philosophy, applies to everything everywhere. It is useful to scientists doing studies and arranging data in order to develop theories or laws. It is useful to lawyers trying to find reason and causes for action. It is useful to teachers in finding the best ways to teach students so that memorization is minimal. Philosophy would benefit every single student because it teaches them how to use their mind to find the best possible solution to the best of their abilities. It promotes questioning, reasoning, and noticing. These elements are key to careers as well as life and self-reflection. The best part of the philosophy course was learning how to learn so that whatever new knowledge was discovered was not memorized and soon forgot, rather understood, absorbed and stored in order to be applied at any moment in the future.
During the philosophy course, I learned the importance of class discussions and of appreciating different views. This course allowed and thrived upon the participation of students and was based on questions and following the ways of the mind as we interpret information and the process which we discover new knowledge, understanding and plans for action. Class discussions were never my forte, but I learned to appreciate them, and I believe my confidence grew as the semester went on. The increased self-confidence influenced my participation as well as confidence in myself as I search for solutions. If every student had this experience, then they would be much better off. Firstly, it leads to a sense of self-understanding and a realization of capabilities of the human mind. As well, it teaches us that these processes are the same natural and spontaneous processes that occur in everyone no matter what culture or age or time, so a sense of unity is developed. The course was not a course to promote certain beliefs; it is not ever offensive in anyway.
This course would be valued by students and appreciated by teachers if it were to become mandatory. Philosophy is a historic and cherished (yet sometimes forgotten) subject that surrounds our every thought, although it often goes unnoticed. This course should be mandatory because the benefits would be plentiful, especially as it would ease the transition for students finishing secondary school and moving on to pursue other things.