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Calasanctius College - School News

Happy Pressentation Day

 

 

TY Students at the launch of the Irish Young Philosopher Awards

“I think it is important that we should be taught about philosophy as it helps you to learn to think for yourself …, and furthermore helps you to live a life where you have at least a basic idea as to why you are here.”

This is what a TY student wrote in a recent essay, one of the four TY pupils from our school who attended the launch of the Irish Young Philosopher of the Year Award (IYPA) at Áras an Uachtaráin last Thursday 16th November 2017. He was echoing the words of President Michael D Higgins at a similar reception at the Áras to commemorate World Philosophy Day, around this time last year: “The teaching of philosophy is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower our children into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected and uncertain world.”

Calasanctius College was one of the very few schools (seven in total, two primary and five secondary) represented at the IYPA launch. Four TY students Dara Walsh, Robert Spelman, Laura Gough, Liwia Scurowski attended the event, accompanied by TY Coordinator Mr Declan Duffy, and Mr Luison Lassala, Philosophy facilitator and one of the founding members of Philosophy Ireland, the organisers of the Awards.

It was a great privilege for us to be there, mixing with other students and teachers of Philosophy, as well as with academics from UCD, TCD, NUIG, and some journalists, like Joe Humphreys from The Irish Times who has a column on philosophical matters every Tuesday.

President Higgins delivered a wonderful speech, insisting yet again on the importance of a holistic education that gives pride of place to the ability to think critically, to face big questions and seek satisfying answers, to break away from a technocratic approach to education where preparation for the job market seems to be the norm.

We heard from several teachers and TY students why introducing philosophical enquiry into the classroom has been transformational, for themselves and for the wider school community. Being able to engage in philosophical discussions had positive impact also in how those students related to each other (as a ‘community of enquiry’ someone called it) and how they approached their study of the other subjects. The enthusiasm and passion that came across clearly from all who spoke was infectious.

Precisely to further encourage the study of philosophy in schools (secondary and primary), Philosophy Ireland, in cooperation with UCD, have organised the Irish Young Philosophy Awards: an annual festival similar to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, where school students will share their projects and engage in philosophical discussions about anything that matters to them. We are looking forward to a big uptake from Calasanctius TY students to submit projects for the IYPA.

More details about the Awards can be found at their website: www.youngphilosopherawards.ucd.ie

You can read more about the launch event at the Áras on the following media:

TY Christmas Shoe-box Appeal

Once again, our TY students prepared the Christmas Shoeboxes which will be received on Christmas morning by children, struggling in poverty or with the effects of conflict, in Eastern Europe or Africa. On Monday 13th November twenty TYs will work at the Shoeox depot in Ballybrit Racecourse where they will prepare the shoeboxes for dispatch.