If you’ve ever taught English at a Japanese school, you’ll likely be familiar with a certain kind of silence — pervasive and tinged with teenage ennui. Authors Alexander Dutson and James Hill want to recommend breaking the ice with philosophy.

Their book, “Thinking Experiments,” presents ready-made lessons that use philosophical concepts to engage students — and incorporating them into lessons is easier than it sounds. The authors suggest that allowing students to prioritize questions over answers can help them develop the ability to think more deeply about what it is they believe in.

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