to think and act with
“The word education has its roots both in the latin word educare – which means ‘to train’ – and the latin word educere, which literally means ‘to lead out’. Education should enable us to think and act with genuine autonomy. It should equip us with the skills to scrutinise our world and to change it.”
φιλοσοφία – Love of wisdom
In the simplest terms, as it says on the label, Philosophy is literally the “love of wisdom” (from the Greek, φιλοσοφία).
It is not just the understanding of different arguments, it is not just the history of ideas; it is a subject that interrogates us and our world. It draws the mind and the heart out of clichés and comfortable illusions and invites us to be more fully ourselves.
The pictured triangle is an attempt to illustrate what is going on. At the bottom right of the image is the reader – the self. This is the starting point – our everyday life.
Through a dialogue with the Philosophers, we are drawn away from common sense assumptions about both ourselves and the situation. This movement out of our corner enables us to see the world from a different angle and it enables us to take a critical distance from ourselves.
The space in the middle of the triangle is where Philosophy happens – at first this unfamiliar place can be a challenging zone to find our feet in.
Through a continual ‘trialogue’ with the Philosophers, our world, and our own experiences, we can build up the strength and skills to become autonomous thinkers and agents.
The Climate Academy
Being deeply frustrated and alarmed that older students could graduate from school with only the most superficial awareness of the crisis in sustainability that we face, together with Michael Wadleigh, Birgit van Munster and a group of students, in 2012, I founded the Climate Academy.
The Academy educates 15-18 year-old European students in climate science and the systemic thinking that this provokes. Over a 2 year programme, the young people develop their understanding and skills to transform their civic space.
Literally, under – stand”
I teach Philosophy at the Schola Europaea in Brussels, which is part of a network of educational institutions set up in the European Union’s Member States. They provide children with a multilingual and multicultural education at nursery, primary and secondary levels.
As a Philosophy teacher, I hope to teach my students the values of modesty and openness.
There is something very powerful about these character traits. We are often far too quick to think that we have understood something, when we have hardly taken the time to stand underneath it at all.
When we approach the world, others, the past… everything, with curiosity and a willingness to have our brain rewired, it is remarkable what turns up.
I have been teaching Philosophy to students aged 15-18 for over 20 years. Now my understanding is public.
In 2012, I founded the Climate Academy. Young people need a informed, safe and creative space to respond to the crisis.
Cut carbon emissions. Here’s the science, put together by the experts Birgit van Munster and Michael Wadleigh.