Year 8 Perse pupils challenged to build a new society on World Philosophy Day
16 Nov 2018
Rebuilding society in the wake of a zombie apocalypse was the tough assignment handed to Year 8 Perse pupils to mark World Philosophy Day.
Sixth Form philosophy students became the undead wandering the school, with the premise that, following the release of a virus, Year 8 were the only survivors of a global zombie takeover. Using political and ethical philosophy as a guide, their task was to find a way for humans to flourish once more.
Pupils worked in small groups to formulate their plans, reflecting on a number of different aspects of how society could work.
They looked at the benefits and drawbacks of different political systems across the spectrum from communism to nationalism as well as how resources should be best allocated. The thoughts of Buddha, the utilitarian thinker John Stuart Mill and Australian philosopher John Finnis, who believes there are seven basic ‘goods’ – life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, sociability of friendship, practical reasonableness and religion – were also studied by Year 8 to create their own value systems for a new society. Groups then presented their visions, with some even designing flags and creating national anthems.
Philosophy, ethics and religion teacher Ed Dickens felt the event had gone well and that pupils had enjoyed taking part.
He said: “It was a chance for Year 8 to try to engage with some different philosophy in a creative way. We are trying to bring some variety to how we teach them and tying this in with World Philosophy Day seemed like a good opportunity to do that.
“The Sixth Formers did a great job of scaring the life out of them as zombies, but also in helping Year 8 work through things and showing where they can go with philosophy. It was a really successful day and they had a lot of fun while really getting engaged with the philosophy.”