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13 December 2013 / LOVE OF WISDOM AND THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH

What is truth? What is education? Do we have a moral obligation to seek human genetic excellence? Huge questions, but according to Truro High School staff pondering these and similar questions is invaluable for underpinning academic studies and aiding personal development.

To help the school's most gifted students debate and consider these subjects, internationally acclaimed philosopher, theologian and author, Dr Peter Vardy, was invited to the Truro High to inform, engage and guide the girls through discussion.

Organised by Sarah Brown, Head of Classics and the Scholars Programme, it was the first event for academic scholars in a schedule aimed at stretching the most able students.

"I invited Dr Vardy to give a lecture, not based on any exam specification, but designed to stimulate and enthuse bright minds and talk about education in its broadest sense," explained Mrs Brown.

"Philosophy literally means love of wisdom and search for truth. During his lecture Dr Vardy covered three main topics, truth, education and genetic engineering, providing a whistle-stop tour of the development of western civilisation and making the key point that philosophy is at the centre of, and underpins, education. It was an extremely illuminating event reinforcing all aspects of the girls' studies."

Dr Vardy covered controversial topics intended to inspire thought and sometimes to shock. The girls listened intently and made astute, incisive comments when invited - naturally questioning the facts put before them.

Following the lecture Dr Vardy said: "The ability to think laterally is very important because we all need a broader view of what matters. The idea today was not to tell the girls what to think - just encourage them to think independently and to question culture, parents, everything. The world is a very challenging place and education, at the moment, is impoverished."

He went on to say how much he supported Truro High School's attitude towards encouraging the girls to think freely and to develop their own opinions.

"It was intense, but really thought provoking, interesting and definitely beneficial," said Sixth Form student, Ellen Rodda. "I definitely agree that education needs to broaden and we need to take learning beyond the text book. It was an amazing opportunity listening to Dr Vardy - he puts across the points without revealing his own opinion and really made us think for ourselves!"

 


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