Philosophy students take the subject to the city 

Philosophy in the City

Students from the University of Sheffield are volunteering to teach philosophy in schools, as part of a pioneering outreach project across South Yorkshire.

The project, named Philosophy in the City, is run entirely by student volunteers who go into primary schools, secondary schools and sixth form colleges across the region to encourage pupils to think critically about philosophical problems and develop their own ideas.

Students from the project also work with the wider community in Sheffield by delivering workshops on philosophical issues in homeless shelters, care homes and probation centres.

Recently, the project has also launched a philosophy workshop in a pub in the city to help make the subject more accessible. The sessions teach empathy and the ability to consider other people’s views.

Aimee Goldsmith, President of Philosophy in the City and a third year student at the University of Sheffield, said:

“Philosophy is one of the best tools available for helping us to think critically, clearly and creatively about many of the problems that exist in the world today. It can help with everything from writing essays, applying for jobs to gaining a critical understanding of news stories in the media and on social media.

“I first got involved in the project because I wanted to show people that philosophy can be useful and it isn’t a subject in which people are hidden away in ivory towers holding endless and meaningless debates. It can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

She added:

“The workshops we deliver through Philosophy in the City can help school and college students to take full advantage of their education as well as their ability to think deeply and critically. It also teaches young children empathy and the ability to consider other people’s views.

“We hope that the workshops can inspire pupils by engaging them in conversation with students who have been through primary school, secondary school and sixth form college themselves and have gone on to study at degree level.

“Also, by creating a strong link between schools and the University of Sheffield, we aim to help every pupil understand that it is possible for them to continue their studies beyond school and into higher education regardless of their background.”

Philosophy in the City is also supported by the launch of a new project which sees philosophers from the University in residence at Sheffield Cathedral. This will enable students to work with the Archer Project, which is based in the Cathedral and offers support for homeless people in the city.

The Philosophers in Residence project is also set to deliver a series of events on philosophical themes. These will include the 'God and the Good' series of talks on religion and ethics, talks on philosophical themes held after the Sunday service, lectures for the Cathedral’s senior citizen group, and a curriculum enrichment day for sixth form students on the theme of religion and philosophy, all to be held in the Cathedral.

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