Dr. Tony Bennett,

I strongly believe Philosophy should be offered as a required subject for elementary though high school students. Any basis for asserting otherwise needs some kind of philosophical justification. It’s a self-negating premise. Of course, like any other subject, lessons must be taught according to their level of understanding.

We have both lived in America long enough to know rational/logical thought is not guaranteed. Without rational thought and understanding as the centre of all areas of study, we have adults who can’t apply what they’ve learned, and perpetuating this generational hostility to the educational system as a whole.

We ask students over and over again “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This isn’t very easy to answer. When we ask a child this question, we’re asking what adult job, that they know very little about, captures their childhood imagination the most. When students become older, we begin to realize this question as more frightening implications. You’re asking high school students “What do you want to do with your life?” How can we possible expect students to examine this question without a forum to ask the big questions about life itself?

Remember what voting was to the women’s right movement?

It’s the right that, once acquired, would open the door to all the others. That’s what I feel about critical thought given to students. Once they can open their eyes and think, everything else will just be a mater of time. As long as we don’t have these classes readily available, we’re churning out irrational thinkers by the generation.

I’m not asking for an elective, I’m asking for a new centre, a new connecting point for ALL areas of study. I firmly believe that as long you have the power to make this readily available, and squander it, you would then be complicit in the existential degradation of the people we’re raising.

 

Without philosophy, there is no “free will.”

I hope this letter will open your mind to the choice you’re now faced with.

Indiana can set a new standard for education like you’ve always wanted.

 

The only question you’re left with is:

“Will it, or will it not?”

 

Thank you.

 

-Daniel Ballow

(I am a student of Ball State University majoring in English Education minoring in Philosophy.

I Graduated from Key Learning Community class of 2010)