EXAMINING SECONDARY STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCES WITH ENGAGEMENT, AUTONOMY, AND EMPATHY THROUGH INTEGRATING ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy is not widely taught in Canadian high schools, although research surrounding its benefits to secondary students—critical thinking, open-mindedness, interest, curiosity, and autonomy—is significant. This study examines an interdisciplinary high school program that integrates English Language Arts (ELA) and Philosophy (ELAP). Not only does ELAP create connectivity across subjects, but it has the potential to engage students in new ways by offering the strengths of ELA’s narrative and creative modes of thinking with the strengths of Philosophy’s paradigmatic or critical modes of thinking. Together, ELA and Philosophy can also lead to more caring thinking. This qualitative research study uses semi-structured interviews with six students who experienced and completed ELAP. This thesis attempts to find out how students’ experiences with ELAP encouraged their engagement, nurtured their autonomy, and/or cultivated their capacity for empathy. Using this study’s findings, the researcher outlines the rationale and benefits of not only integrating ELA and Philosophy curricula, but the value of including Philosophy in Canadian high schools.
Philosophy, Philosophy in Secondary Schools, High School Philosophy, Pre-College Philosophy, English Language Arts, Integrating English Language Arts, Engagement, Engagement in Education, Philosophy and Engagement, Autonomy, Teaching Autonomy, Philosophy and Autonomy, Empathy, Teaching Empathy, Empathy Education, Philosophy and Empathy, Perspective-taking, Interdisciplinary programs, Integrated programs, Educational innovation
Master of Education (M.Ed.)