Informing and Supporting the Delivery of Philosophy in Pre-Tertiary Education (REF2014)

Impact: Educational Impact (Beyond St Andrews)

Who is affected

Teachers of philosophy in primary and secondary education


The published research of University of St Andrews philosophers has been used to inform, support, and develop the work of teachers of philosophy in primary and secondary education, principally within Scotland where the teaching of philosophy has doubled in the last 10 years. There are two elements to the impact.
(1) Colleagues’ world-leading research into philosophical topics and authors covered by school syllabi has been made accessible to secondary-school teachers and their pupils, via ‘introductory’ publications, via events and personal contacts in St Andrews and in schools, and via a formal programme of continuing professional development. To date, teachers from one-third of all Scottish centres (schools/colleges) delivering Philosophy Higher have received accredited philosophy training via this St Andrews programme – this is significant insofar as it is not currently possible for teachers to complete a course of Initial Teacher Education in Philosophy in Scotland, meaning teachers must gain philosophy training and support elsewhere.
(2) Berys Gaut’s novel philosophical work on creativity has had an impact on the teaching of philosophy to very young children, mediated both through a book for teachers co-authored by Gaut with a nursery-school teacher, and by events and personal contacts as detailed below.
Both elements of impact have been coordinated by Dr Lisa Jones, under the auspices of a philosophy-in-schools programme (POPS)
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactEducational Impact (Beyond St Andrews)


  • REF2014 case study