Introducing primary school children to philosophical conversations can help to raise their IQ levels and improve their concentration, according to one expert.
Teacher Ciara Williams told the Irish Times how a pilot scheme designed to engage youngsters in "thinking time" has been part of the weekly curriculum at St Benedict's school in Ongar, Dublin, for the past 12 months.
According to the educator, encouraging five and six-year-olds to discuss abstract topics can help to improve "higher order thinking skills" and accept each other's view points.
"Thinking time gives the children the space to have different opinions and for that to be okay among their peers," Ms Williams remarked.
Dr Philomena Donnelly, lecturer in early childhood education at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, claimed people who do well in school are those who good abstract thinkers and so it is important to encourage critical discussions among youngsters.
According to the Philosophy Foundation, critical thinking helps children to become more thoughtful and reflective, which are skills needed to allow them to participate in society more independently.