When teaching students, many educators feel bewildered how to trigger children’s interest. Some think that if teachers can relate the subject with things happening outside school, students may be more interested in the course. While from my perspective, this approach is not as helpful in cultivating children’s interest as people usually think.
First of all, we all know that interest in a subject is usually influenced by many factors. For subjects with direct, practical applications outside of school, this extracurricular significance may be a huge factor in determining a student's interest in it. In these cases, it would be suitable to teach them about the subject's significance outside of school. For subjects that don't have many practical applications, however, this may not be the case. Take a subject like art for example, teaching students about its significance outside of school may actually have the opposite effect as art has very little practical utility. For those not already inspired by art classes, learning about art's extracurricular significance is probably not going to be the best way to get them excited about it.
The same could applies to philosophy. Philosophy, at least in the Western tradition, used to have practical applications. That was several hundred years ago, back when science still comprised a branch of philosophy. Nowadays, people will reflexively cringe when they hear you have a philosophy degree. Philosophy is almost by definition an airy pursuit - its name comes from the term "philosophia", Greek for "the love of wisdom". Loving wisdom is not an employable skill-set, and in my opinion, teaching students about this lack of practical utility will do little to sway the unconverted. Why should they get excited about a subject with no obvious use?
Aside from the negligible effect of relating subjects with daily life, it is also a great shame if teachers can only make students feel the beauty of those subjects by their practicality. The best way to get students interested in these subjects, however, is not to talk about their grander significance outside of school, but to make them more immediate and personal. Studying Buddhist philosophy helped me to detach myself from a life focused on material gain. Experiencing Mark Rothko's massive color-field paintings gave me personal insight during a difficult period of depression. These are two ways in which more personal encounters can deepen a person's interest in them, and it's far more impactful and longer-lasting than.
Although sometimes examples outside school can assist teachers in imparting knowledge to students, it is still not appropriate to say that it is the best way to arouse students’ interest. Teaching them about a subject's extracurricular significance is important, but under most circumstances, teachers need to do more.