School philosophy

By admin, May 21, 2012

Organization of teaching of philosophy in high schools :

Overview from participating countries at IPO Oslo 2012:










A. Yes

  1. Compulsory
  2. 3hs per week, 96hs per Year, in the last two years of high school
  3. Kids have an exam for each module, and they have 10 modules per year. They can have both oral and written exams.
  4. Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophical Anthropology, Logic, Research Methodology, Political Philosophy.

How to recognize the different areas and ways of understanding philosophy through time and / or philosophical schools? What are the values that man made in their approaches in ethics and aesthetics? What are the ethical positions and ideas behind our actions? What is a good argument and a responsible attitude? How to continue the philosophical debate from modernity?

Philosophy as questioning 1. The desire to know 1.1. The wonder of the real 1.2. The sleep of reason 1.3. Curiosity about the truths 2. Civil society 2.1. The challenge for the reception of foreigners 2.2. The plot of the tradition 2.3. Ethics and morality 3. Identity and Difference 3.1. Civilization and Barbarism 3.2. Reason and Passion



A. No, currently philosophy is not being taught in both secondary and high schools of Armenia, not even as part of the content of other courses.




B. Compulsory & Optional

C. Compulsory:

1st year – 2

2nd year – 1.5

3rd year – 2


Depends on choice of school


Each subject ends with an oral exam.

Philosophy can be exam for matriculation by the student’s choice.

This year 6000 students chose to sit for matriculation in philosophy


1st year – Ethisc & Law; Logic.

2nd year – Philosophy.

3 year – Person and World.

F. Approximately: 1150.



A. No


Czech Rep.

A. Yes, at grammar schools and some other types of high schools. In a subject called “Essentials of Social Sciences”.


B. Compulsory.


C. Philosophy is taught in the final year of study, two lessons per week.


D. It depends on the management of the school.


E. The basic outline of curriculum is given by the Czech Ministry of Education. Details can be adjusted by the school management or teachers. Philosophy is taught only in the final year of study and teachers should explain the whole history of philosophy, i. e. from ancient basics to contemporary philosophical ideas and problems.



a) YES

b) Compulsory

c) 2 lessons per a week in 4th grade of high school. (Logic is one lesson per a week in 3rd grade; Ethics is optional in all high school in all four grades of high school)

d) Oral and written exams.

e) We have three different curricula for philosophy.

One is based on history of philosophy (from Tales to Gadamer) about 90% of teachers teach philosophy in this way;

Second is based on philosophical problems (art (aesthetics), good and bad (ethics), anthropology, cosmology, metaphysics…) about 10% of teachers teach philosophy in this way;,

Third curricula are mixing of first two….throe philosophical problems throe history of philosophy. Just a few teachers teach philosophy in this way



A: Yes

B: Optional

  1. C-level: 3 x 45 min. pr. Week. 75 hours pr. Year: The course takes one year
  2. B-level : 5 x 45 min. pr. Week. 200hours . The course continues  C-level, i.e. C+B = 200 hours

C: oral


  • C-level: The students must be able to:

-recognize and explain philosophical problems

-demonstrate knowledge of philosophical problems and theories concerning fundamental ideas of man, society and nature

-demonstrate elementary knowledge of the history of philosophical problems, concepts and ideas as well as the systematical coherence and development of this

- demonstrate ability to use definitions and distinctions

- demonstrate elementary knowledge of theory of argumentation

- discuss philosophical problems

- recognize, explain and evaluate ethical problems

-distinguish between different forms of knowledge, i.e. knowledge of natural science, social science, humanities etc.


  • B-level: The students must be able to:

-recognize and explain philosophical problems

-demonstrate knowledge of philosophical problems and theories concerning fundamental ideas of man, society and nature

-demonstrate elementary knowledge of the history of philosophical problems, concepts and ideas as well as the systematical coherence and development of this

-deal with and discuss a philosophical problem with material from the last 20 years

- demonstrate ability to use definitions and distinctions

- demonstrate elementary knowledge of theory of argumentation and logic

- discuss philosophical problems

- recognize, explain and evaluate ethical problems

-distinguish between different forms of knowledge, i.e. knowledge of natural science, social science, humanities etc.

- formulate and communicate the result of the investigation of a philosophical problem in relation to a project



A. Yes

B.  “Introduction to philosophical thinking” is compulsory, “Philosophical ethics”, “Knowledge and reality in philosophy” and “Social philosophy” are described and defined in the national core curriculum. These courses are used when the questions for the Philosophy- test in the Matriculation Examination are created. In some schools, there are additional philosophy courses that are described only in the school curriculum in question.

C. As the Finnish system is course based, the relevant answer is to say that an average course module contains officially around 38 hours. However,  the actual number of hours is usually, thanks to calendrical reasons,  a little smaller and includes tests etc.

D. The exams are usually written, although oral examinations can be used in school specific courses, during preparations towards the Matriculation Examination etc.

E. Basic outline of curriculum is included in Supplementary Material contained in my reply to this query. It has been published in 2009 IPO Helsinki Finland book and will be made again available for all.  I shall post it under the title Finnish education and curriculum, Supplementary Material.




- Yes but not for all students, only for those who want to follow humanities studies.


- Compulsory for some students in the second year of the high school and optional for the last year high school students.


- At least 2 lessons of 45 min per week for approx. 25 weeks, when it is taught in one year


-  oral and written exams


- In Greece is used a textbook that is based on problems rather than on history of philosophy. The major fields of this textbook are, introduction to philosophical reasoning,  metaphysics (monism-dualism), logic and philosophy of language, epistemology (empiricism, rationalism, skepticism), ethics (moral absolutism, moral relativism, consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics), philosophy of science, political and legal philosophy and aesthetics.

- In reality, high school philosophy classes in Greece mostly deal with the philosophical discussion issues relating to students’ life by addressing at the same time academic problems of the Western and Eastern Philosophy.



A. Yes, in a subject called Philosophy

B. Compulsory. Schools are free to offer it in one year/grade (usually, in 10th grade), or to distribute the contents in two or three years/grades.

C. Five 30-40 minutes lessons per week, per aprox. 26 weeks, when it is taught in one year.

D. Written exams, organized by each teacher.

E. There is a basic curriculum, proposed by the Ministry of Education, which comprises: a) The human person, society, and culture; b) Philosophy and religion; c) Logic; d) Epistemology; e) Ethics; f) Aesthetics. (Note the absence of Metaphysics). Every school, however, is free to adapt this curriculum (normally, depending on the criterion of the teacher).

F. Notes: 1) in Guatemala, there is a big difference between private and public schools; private schools are much better. 2) Philosophy is not taught by philosophers; there is no particular requirement as for who can teach philosophy at schools. 3) As a result, there is an ample range of quality in the teaching of philosophy in the country. 4) Even though the importance of Philosophy in education is widely acknowledged and has always been so, there is little effort to improve the quality of its teaching, compare with scientific subjects. 5) Very few people study Philosophy at the University; there are only three departments of philosophy in higher education. 6) Philosophy is a “depressed” subject in terms of social esteem. 7) There are less than 30 people with a Ph.D. in Philosophy in the country.








A/ Compulsory

1/ History of philosophy: 12th year, 1 hour per week.

B/ Optional

1.            Special ‘Facultative’ class in philosophy offered for 11th and 12th year students. 2 hours per week

2.            Ethics: 11th year, 2 hours per week. Previewed as compulsory from 2013.

3.            Ethics or Religious course, as alternatives, in upper-elementary level. Previewed as compulsory choice in new National Curriculum for all high-schools (from 2013).

There should be a relevant remark: these subjects are often thought by the same teachers of history or literature, who are more often than not ready to fill in the time of these ‘light subjects’ (philosophy, ethics) with their ‘heavy subjects’ (marks in history, literature would be counted at the entrance exams). The presence of these subjects is seriously affected by this circumstance all over the highs schools.


Both oral and written forms during the classes.

Optional written + oral maturity exam in philosophy, though the scores are never eligible at the undergraduate entrance exams.


1. Philosophy / 12th year compulsory class/: The study program includes readings, discussions on topics prescribed by Ministry decree /National Curriculum/ – fairly focusing on epistemology, ontology, or metaphysics. Authors range from Pre-Socratics to Heidegger, 2-3 post-war or contemporary authors. The teacher may opt for a problem-centric approach or s/he may pursue the more traditional readings in history of philosophy. At present, teachers are free to select from a short list of textbooks. Some teachers would prefer to widen the range of textbooks, in the new Curriculum however only ONE textbook is previewed.

2. Ethics (optional in 11th year): Special fields, problems of ethics discussed in philosophical perspective. Teachers have some liberty to choose topics, readings, methods, etc.

3. Optional class /’Facultative’, two hours per week/  in philosophy offered for students interested in further readings and discussions. Here students may also get assistance to get prepared for the national and international philosophy Olympiads.



A.            Yes

B.            Optional, hence very few schools / students opt. Rough guess is less than 1% of high school students take Philosophy / Moral or Religious studies

C.            About 4 hrs per week for about 30 weeks per year

D. Written exams

E. (Not available in print as of now. Will update a.s.a.p.) Primarily includes – Logic, argumentation, Historic introduction to Indian systems of thought, rudimentary introduction to western thinkers and the schools of thought; little introduction to modern western thinkers. Many different boards in India (about 40), hence data is an average.



  1. Yes
  2. Optional
  3. 6 Lessons pr. Week, 180 lessons pr. Year (a two year program – the last two years of high school)
  4. Running written exams during the year and a final written exam each year.
  5. The curriculum issued by the ministry of education is partly fixed, while some courses are multiple options to be chosen by the individual teacher. The first year is composed of two big mandatory classes (Epistemology and Ethics) and two optional smaller ones. The second year is composed of advanced Ethics or Epistemology and further optional classes. Additionaly, the students are required to submit a final written paper on a subject of their choice (regulated by the program’s specified standards).



A. Yes, in a subject called history and philosophy, which is compulsory in all kinds of high schools. In vocational schools, however, philosophy is not offered, only history.

B. Compulsory in all kinds of high schools.

C. History and Philosophy are taught four hours per week, of which philosophy takes the half: two hours per week; seventy hours per year over three years, which equals 210 hours devoted to philosophy.

D. Oral exams—three per term.

E. First year: Presocratics to Cusanus—first volume of textbook; Second year: Renaissance to Kant—second volume of textbook; Third year: Fichte to our days—third volume of textbook.



A.   No.

B. C. D:    No answer  can be given.

E.  Ethics is taught as an elective subject in many high schools.


Korea South


- Yes AND No

Yes. Officially the subject of ‘Philosophy’ exists in Korean High School Curricula; there are some official textbooks of Philosophy for high school students and teachers. However, most schools in Korea do not select Philosophy so that there is almost no chance for Korean high school students to learn Philosophy in their classroom. Around 10 schools offer philosophy courses in Seoul.  But officially ‘Philosophy’ teachers exist in around 80 schools out of 1500 high schools (5%).


- Optional subject if a school selects Philosophy.


- At least 2 lessons per week if a school selects Philosophy.


- No exams. Philosophy is one of ‘No grade-reporting’ subjects; if a school selects Philosophy, the philosophy teacher comments each student’s activity as a short sentence evaluating overall her/his discussion attitude, thinking and writing skills.


- Korean official textbooks of Philosophy are written according to the National guideline of Philosophy (revised in 2009-2011) which is consist of the philosophical inquiries on Self, Human, World, and Value, including the basic questions of Philosophy’s major fields such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics.

- In reality, Philosophy classes (in a few (less than 10) high schools including the alternative special schools) mostly deal with the philosophical discussion issues relating to students’ life and their practical needs, rather than academic problems of the Western and Eastern history of Philosophy.




B. 1. Compulsary choice between ethics and religion. As a law in constitution. For this reason it is not possible to make obligatory philosophy teaching for the last two years.  Catholic hierarhy are against. They are afraid that philosophy demolish religiuos education.

Who chooses? Primary school – parents, secondary school, gymnasium – students are choosing

Philosophy is taught as philosophical ethics included into the programme of ethics

Students who choose religijon do not learn philosophical ethics. Sometimes they participate in olympiade, but they are minority.

2. Some schools choose philosophy as an optional choice in socail optional curriculum. It depends on school‘s administration and teachor. Not very popular, but s possible.

We (Lithuanian univeristy of educology, my department of Philosophy– I am professor at this department responsible for curriculum and students practice at schools) are preparing rather qualified teachers of philosophy, but they are not included into job for the two reasons: very low salary for teachers; 2. old teachers are keeping places (sometimes without qualification)

C.  1 or 2; for one year one lesson if philosophical ethics, and two lessons if school additionally have chosen the philosophy course

D. No assessment, no exam

For this reason good teachers take very seriuosly NATIONAL international philosophy olympiads for the reason they encourage the motivation of the stydents for further development. 2012 it was organized  16-th NATIONAL olympiad. We have 3 stages of NATIONAL olympiad. I. Suggested tasks (to write essay, to answer questions, to read text and interpret, and so on) are sent to schools expecting works return back untill february 1,

2. In April – the second stage, 35 best students are invited to Lithuanian Educological university to write essay (similar as at the international olympiad),

3. the winners of the first places can take part in further writing essays in English for the final decision who is going to participate at the international olympiad)

E. Philosophical Ethics in secondary schools and gymnasiums:

The project of the general programme of Moral Education for secondary education in the 11th and 12th forms maintains:

1. General module of Ethics

The content of Ethics for the 11th and 12th forms can be divided into modules:

A. Philosophical Ethics and Applied Ethics one of which students can choose;

B. Professional Ethics;

C. Family Ethics;

D. Ethics and Film.

Philosophical Ethics is for students of the 11th and 12th forms who wish to develop their own philosophical thinking, especially for those who prefer academic learning and prepare for higher education at university. Ethics is moral philosophy. The nature of Philosophical Ethics should be disclosed upon completion of secondary education. The object of Ethics is all human life from everyday choices and actions to meaningful life. Ethics as philosophy of practical life is justified and interpreted on the basis of one’s own experience and a long-established tradition of philosophical thinking. This programme may be implimented for two years from the 11th to the 12th form or intensive course in the 11th form in gymnasiums.

New programmes of Applied Ethics module are offered considering the chosen learning path and what is important to the students of the 11th and 12th forms. Schools should allow groups of students to choose both Philosophical Ethics, as well as at least one of the modules offered by Applied Ethics. If teaching Ethics is intensified, students can learn the two directions – Philosophical and Applied Ethics in parallel in the 11th form. In this case two weekly hours are allocated to Ethics. The content of Applied Ethics programme includes theoretical, practical and ethical levels.

1.1.    Aim

The main aim of teaching Philosophical Ethics is to help students develop personal thinking and conscious ethical attitude, to gain a common understanding of the philosophical foundations of Ethics, to be able to justify ethical values and strengthen the motivation to follow them, to give meaning to their own lives, to develop responsible relationships with others and the world around them.

1.2.    Objectives

The following objectives are to be implemented in reaching the aim of Philosophical Ethics:

interest in philosophy and understanding: of the fundamental trends and issues/problems of Philosophical Ethics, the tradition of their consideration; of existential dilemmas and ethical posture of wise men; of prominent thinkers, who strove to ground ethical principles and attitudes; of philosophical anthropology approach to human identity, phenomena and institutions, thus encouraging students to develop their philosophy of life, ethical and cultural awareness;

develop their abilities: to reflect, to think critically and reasonably, to understand and interpret philosophical texts, to reason on ethical issues both orally and in writing; to develop a philosophical dialogue; to distinguish between the discourse of Philosophical Ethics and others (literary, practical, business, political, scientific discourse) and learn to reason; to discuss, to interpret works of art and literary works philosophically; to apply their knowledge addressing to ethical issues/problems;

develop the personality’s attitude towards learning and improving, finding meaning, recognizing the moral value of life and their ethical duty and responsibility, being open to a dialogue, respecting other people who think differently, tolerating public opinion, ethical beliefs, diversity of philosophical concepts, a critical assessment of stereotypes, in this way students’ valuable and existential self-determination in difficult life situations is motivated.

1.3.     Structure

The programme of secondary education basically retains the same structure of the content of Philosophical Ethics course as Ethics programme of basic education. Four areas of educational activities and topics are distinguished to record the achievements in Ethics. The growing requirements of philosophical thinking in students’ achievements are described in the following areas of:

1.3.1. Awareness of identity and self-education: I am the Person is a teaching/learning activity focusing on student’s self-monitoring, self-education, search of identity and development of conscience. It encourages self-assessment and reflection.

1.3.2. Dialogue: Me and You is an educational activity promoting a philosophical dialogue, which can be understood as an interactive relationship and openness, the ability to hear and understand the other person who thinks differently, and as a rational and dialogic exploration of issues, opinion agreement, placing own arguments for others to consider. This activity develops student’s communicative competence and ability to engage constructively in a variety of communication situations from different perspectives of the debate – ethical experience, philosophical, cultural, and religious.

1.3.3. Social relations: I and We is learning to understand social relations and norms, based on the conventions, common goals and values, to be tolerant towards evaluation of  peoples’ attitudes, and to evaluate critically preconceived stereotypes and attitudes, to understand relations of personality and society (in the context of democracy), democracy development and principles.

1.3.4. Meaning of life/Meaningful life in the world: I and Meaning is an activity that encourages students to think existentially, to be authentic and to search for the meaning of life in the changing world, to consider the marginal life situations, to resist negative thoughts and attitudes, to solve problems creatively and constructively.

The project of Philosophy programme for secondary schools and gymnasiums reads as follows:

1. The Purpose of the Subject

Philosophy is an optional subject of Social Sciences. Its purpose is to develop students’ critical thinking and expand humanitarian education. This is essential for all students especially for those who want to acquire professions of a political scientist, a lawyer, a literary critic, a historian and journalist.

II. The aim, objectives, structure

2. The aim is, on the bases of the interpretation of philosophical texts, to create students the conditions for the formation of critical thinking and intellectual expertise which can help students focus on the worldʼs diversity, analyze it, evaluate it and act appropriately.

3. Objectives.

In achieving the aim students will develop the ability:

•  to think critically and to express their thoughts coherently;

• to raise philosophical questions on the basis of everyday experience;

• to understand and interpret philosophical texts;

• to understand personal psychological and existential problems arising in adolescence, and to consider these problems at an abstract level;

• to perceive themselves as unique individuals, an integral part of human phenomena in general;

• to understand philosophy as meditation, therapy and a mode of life, and to apply the philosophical legacy to the improvement of their personal maturity;

• to share their ideas with others in a dialogue;

• to reflect on the issues of the world and social environment widely and from different perspectives.

4.  The Structure of the Subject

The Main Topics are divided according to the main phenomena of man.

  • Philosophy as a mode of life
  • The Riddle of Man
  • The Working Man
  • The Playing Man
  • The Fighting Man
  • The Dying Man
  • The Believing Man
  • The Loving Man
  • The Creating Man




B.Compulsory & optional

- compulsory in final year

- optional –depends on choice of school

- optional for internal matura exam

C. compulsory with 3 lessons per week & 99 per year

Optional with 2 lessons per week & 72 per year

D.Oral Exam & Written Exam

E. -Introduction into philosophical thinking & disciplines of philosophy,

antic philosophy ,

medieval philosophy ,

new age philosophy ,

modern  philosophy ,

philosophy of 20 century



A. Yes, two subject called: Ethics  / Identity and philosophy of life

B. COMPULSORY (In the University of Guadalajara, which is composed of both colleges and about seventy high schools.)

C. 3 lessons pr week in 3rd /final  year of high school (Each course has a duration of six months, in fifth grade and sixth grade students study philosophy).

D. Oral exam and  Written exam (determined by each school), (Writing an essay)

E. Fifth grade, name: Identity and philosophy of life.

Topics and content:

Overview of Philosophy

Meaning of life

Sixth grade, name: Ethics.

Topics and content:

ethical problems



A. Yes, there are three subjects: Philosophy, Ethics and Logic, but only in classical high schools (Gymnasia). There is no Philosophy in other high schools.

B. Philosophy – Compulsory; Logic and Ethics – Optional

C. Philosophy – 2 lessons per week, 64 per year, in 4th grade;

Logic – 2 lessons per week, 64 per year, if it is chosen in 4th grade and 70 lessons per year if it is chosen in 3rd grade;

Ethics – 2 lessons per week, 64 per year in 4th grade.

Particularly, classical high school In Montenegro lasts 4 years.

Professional Ethics is also taught in some vocational schools.

D. Each teacher gives final grade according to student’s work during the school year (oral questioning, dialogue, tests, essays, projects, individual and team work etc.)  There is no final exam, except if student chooses Philosophy as one of Optional Subjects at Matura Exam – then, the exam is oral, organized by National Examinational Centre and schools. It is a bit complicated to explain even in my native language, because National Matura Exam should have been written, but it is still in experimental phase and this year it is oral. Next year it should be written – in form of test, prepared by National Examinational Centre. If student chooses Philosophy for Matura Exam, he (or she) needs to attend Logic and Ethics classes as well as Philosophy.

E. Curriculum is given by Bureau of Education and Ministry of Education, but it is made by school teachers under the tutorial of trainers from Bureau.

Fields of Philosophy:

1. Introduction into philosophical thinking

2. Ontology: historical and problematic preview of ontological concepts from antique to contemporary philosophy

3. Epistemology: historical and problematic preview of epistemological concepts from the ancients times until today

4. Practical philosophy: historical and problematic preview of concepts and schools of ethics, anthropology, axiology, philosophy of history and philosophy of politics

5. Aesthetics

6. Optional Theme

Fields of Ethics:

1.Introduction to Ethics, fields of Ethics, basic issues – historical and problematic preview

2. Basic ethical questions

3. Basic ethical standings (teleological (virtue) ethics, consequentialism, deontologism; egoism, altruism, formalism) and terminological distinctions (immoralism; determinism, indeterminism, compatibilism, libertarianism; autonomy, heteronomy;  morality and happiness)

4. Religious Ethics (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism compared to Philosophical Ethics)

5. Applied Ethics

6. Moral Dilemmas

7. Optional Theme

Fields of Logic:

1. Introduction to Logic, history of Logic, fields of Logic

2. Logic and knowledge; consistency, validity and truth; reasoning and language

3.  Notion, proposition, argument; deductive and inductive reasoning; logical fallacies

4. Methodology and scientific method

5. Optional Theme



A. Yes, but not in all schools.

B. Optional.

C. 4th grade pre-university: 2 lessons a week

5th grade pre-university: 3 lessons a week

6th grade pre-university: 3 lessons a week

4th grade pre-higher education: 2,5 lessons a week

5th grade pre-higher education: 3 lessons a week

D. Written.

E. Pre-university level has five “domains”: 1) Skills (writing, analysis, dialogue, etc.); 2) Philosophical Anthropology; 3) Epistemology; 4) Ethics; 5) Philosophy of Science. One of these domains is selected for the state exam for a period of four years, the other domains are taught and shaped by the teachers themselves. There is a basic curriculum provided by the state, but a lot of freedom for the teacher in constructing the curriculum and determining the focus and materials.

Pre-higher education level has four “domains”: 1) Skills (writing, analysis, dialogue, etc.); 2) Philosophical Anthropology; 3) Social Philosophy; 4) Ethics. One of these domains is selected for the state exam for a period of four years, the other domains are taught and shaped by the teachers themselves. There is a basic curriculum provided by the state, but a lot of freedom for the teacher in constructing the curriculum and determining the focus and materials.

F. 180.



A. We do not teach philosophy in the secondary schools in Nigeria, not even as part of the content in other courses



A. Yes, in a subject called HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY

B. Optional

C. 5 lessons pr week in 2nd year and 3rd /final  year of high school. Possible to do the 2nd year course only.

D. Oral exam (organized by each school) possible in 2nd and 3rd year/grade. Written exam (organized by central state authorities) possible in 3rd year/grade.

E. Basic outline given by state educational authority (soon to be revised) – First year (2nd grade): Chronological overview of history and philosophy from pre-historic times until late 19th century. Main philosophers: Socrates-Plato-Aristotle-stoics-Augustin-Machiavelli-scientific rev.-empiricism-Kant-Burke-liberalism-Mill-Marx-chinese philosophy.

Second year(3rd grade); 20th century: Modernity – Science – Existence and meaning (Kierkegaard/Nietzsche/Heidegger/Sartre/de Beauvoir) – Economics/environment/animal rights/forms of communication – Poltical ideologies (communism/revisionism&social democracy/anarchism/conservatism /liberalism/feminism/nationalism/fascism) – The use of history/history as science



A. Yes, in a subject called philosophy.

B. Compulsory in all kinds of high schools (10th and 11th grades). Optional In the 12th grade. In vocational schools, however, philosophy is not offered.

C. 3 hours per week, about 30 weeks per year

D.  Written national exam.

E. First year: Introduction to philosophy; philosophy of action; axiology; ethics; social and political philosophy; aesthetics or philosophy of religion (optional); problems of the contemporary world.

Second year: Logic; argumentation and democracy; philosophy, truth and being; gnosiology and phenomenology; epistemology; problems of scientific and technological culture.

Third year (optional): full reading and analysis of 3 philosophical works, from 3 different periods (optional philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Anselm, Picco della Mirandola, Francisco Sanches, Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, Kant, Hegel, Karl Marx, Stuart Mill, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Bertrand Russell).



A. Yes, philosophy is in the middle of humanistic topics in Serbian schools very important and, depending on teacher’s personality, potentially likeable, important for the student’s development both in moral and educational sphere. This is the topic that is the base for interdisciplinary approach and understanding of contemporary science art and religion and also society we are living in.

B. In Serbia there is still very good situation concerning philosophy. It is a compulsory subject for all high schools. For grammar schools, gymnasium and low and economic schools there is even 2 years of philosophy. For other schools philosophy is at IV grade also compulsory.

C. In grammar schools, gymnasium and low and economic schools there is philosophy in the form of logic and methodology at the III grade 2 lessons a week, 76 lessons per year.

At the IV grade there is even 3 lessons per week for language and general course  96 per year, and 2 lessons for scientific and mathematician, 74 per year

At the IV grade in technical and vocational schools there is 2 lessons per week, 74 per year.

D. Students have oral exams. In Serbia we don’t have external graduation exams.  Philosophy can also be the subject for graduation exams optionally. The paper is written and orally defended.

E. Firstly, on the III grade, there is logic and methodology that can be combine with introduction to philosophy and some problems from contemporary philosophy. It begins with Aristotelian logic with concepts, judgments and conclusions, and then in second semester basic philosophical methods like analytical, dialectical, phenomenological and hermeneutical are tough. Scientific research, facts, hypothesis, theory, system are also the topic for III grade. Teachers have a lot of freedom to change curriculum adding 30% of specific content, for example, exploring problematic approach in the topic like art, science and religion, or ancient and modern concept of science etc.

At IV grade it is introduction to philosophy, and then history of philosophy from Tales to Poststructuralism. Curriculum is now modified more for problem approach



A. Yes.

B. For all students in general gymnasium compulsory

Optional for art, technical etc high schools

Optional for a matura exam

C. Compulsory: 2/3 lessons pr week in  3rd or 4th grade (70 and 105 lessons per year)

For matura exam additional 210 lessons in 4th year

D. For compulsory phil. there is no exam, but it is recommended by a curriculum to end the course by an essay. Usually teachers do the oral examination as well.

The matura exam is written and organized by The State Exam’s Center.

It consist of 3 parts:

a) an extended essay (internally assessed by a mentor) (20%)

b) a commentary  (35%) to Plato’s  Republic

or Aristoteles’s N. ethics

or Descartes’s Meditation

or Kant’s Critics of practical reason

or Nietzsche’s  Genealogy of morals

c) an essay (45%) on ontology

or epistemology

or ethics

or political phil

or phil. of religion.

B and c are externally assessed, texts and themes are optional, one for each part of the exam. Teachers are free to choose texts in problems for each theme. The most popular are The Republic and ethics. There is aprox. 200-240 students choosing philosophy for matura exam.

E. Compulsory curriculum for all gymnasiums students (mostly 2 hours per week; 70 per year). Basic outline is given by Ministery of educational. For matura exam the curriculum is stated above.

  1. What is philosophy? (10 lessons on history, subject, methods, comparison to science, religion and art)
  2. What can I know? (20 lessons on epistemology)

3.  What should I do? (20 lessons on ethics)

4. Optional them. (10)



A. Since 2008 (L.O.E. of 18th June 2008, teaching of Philosophy is stated for high-school students in two different educational cycles. The concept of ‘High-school student’ comprises in Spain a wide spectrum of ages from 12 (1º E.S.O) to 18 (Segundo de Bachillerato). Philosophy is taught in 4º E.S.O. (that is, students with an age of 16) as Ethics. For seventeen-year-old and eighteen-year-old students (Primero de Bachillerato y Segundo de Bachillerato – this is precollege), there is properly ‘Philosophy’.

B. It is always compulsory (materia común)

C. As shown in Annex III of the attached document (p. 117-ff.), 3 hours per week in Primero de Bachillerato and 3 hours per week in Segundo de Bachillerato.

D. It is unusual to have oral exams. They are written, in order to prepare (specially in Segundo de Bachillerato) the Final Exam or Selectividad, before –and to- they are accepted and can attend University.

E. As for the students at Primero and Segundo de Bachillerato, the CV is made out of ‘Filosofía y ciudadanía’ (Philosophy and Citizenship, vid. p.12-ff.) and ‘Historia de la Filosofía’ in Segundo de Bachillerato (History of Philosophy, vid. p.17-ff.)




  1. Yes
  2. Philosophy  is compulsory
Classes Subject Hours per week Type
11thMath/Sciences Philosophy 2 compulsory
11th Literature Theory of Knowlede 2 optional
Philosophy 2 compulsory
History of Philosophy 2
Logic 2
Sociology 2
12 th Literature Theory of Knowledge 2 optional
10th Psychology 2
8th Thinking Education 1
7th 1
6th 1


  1. We have  3 written exams in a semester. Student’s performans is evaluated by the teacher as an oral exam.
  2. Curriculun:
  • Introduction into Philosophy
  • Ontology
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Sciences
  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Esthetic




There are no national or even state required philosophy courses taught in high schools in the USA. There are some philosophy and ethics courses taught in some high schools across the country, but they are created and taught by particular schools.

Two examples of schools in which philosophy and ethics courses are taught are the following.

Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey and

Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York

There are, however, groups or associations that have as their mission to create and / or promote philosophy and / or ethics courses or clubs for high schools. Here is a very brief list of some of them.

The American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy and PLATO-Pre-college Philosophy, a facebook page:

The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State University in New Jersey

The Squire Family Foundation, Advancing Philosophy Education


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