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From a distance

St Andrews University has created a new distance-learning course for teachers interested in teaching philosophy.

While philosophy is an integral part of the secondary curriculum in Europe, it remains a new addition to the Higher syllabus in Scotland. More and more schools in the UK are introducing the subject, and around 100 secondary schools in Scotland offer it at Higher.

Despite this, there remains a gap in teacher training provision, with no secondary teaching certificate for philosophy as a specialist subject, hence the new online course.

Lisa Jones, director of outreach for the department of philosophy at the university, put the course together after receiving a call for help from a teacher in a local secondary. "We found that teachers were very apprehensive about teaching the subject at Higher level," said Dr Jones.

"We were already engaging with teachers from all over the country and have not just the academic knowledge but the technology in place for online learning. By hosting the programme online, teachers working full-time all over the country can take part."

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