Philosophy for Children - Wikipedia

Kindergarten was the first organized early-childhood educational method. As a keen observer of nature and humanity, Froebel approached human education from both a biological and a spiritual perspective. Froebel discovered that brain development is most dramatic between birth and age three, and recognized the importance of beginning education earlier than was then practiced. The number of innovations that Froebel pioneered through his research is startling, and includes multiple intelligences (different learning styles), play-based, child-centered, holistic education, parent involvement/training, educational paperfolding, use of music, games, and movement activities for education.

Are Children Capable of Philosophical Thinking

This belief led to his theory of forms and became an essential part of his philosophy....

PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN – Community Interest …

The educational movement known as Philosophy for Children got itsstart in the early 1970s with the publication of Matthew Lipman’sphilosophical novel for children, Harry Stottlemeier’sDiscovery. In 1970 Harry made its entry into theMontclair Public Schools in New Jersey. By the mid-70s the Institutefor the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) was formally inplace at Montclair State College (now Montclair State University). Themedia quickly picked up on reports of significant improvements in thereading and critical thinking skills of middle school children whowere involved in IAPC programs. Subsequently, IAPC has producedmaterials consisting of Lipman’s children’s novels and, under theleadership of IAPC colleague Ann Margaret Sharp, accompanying teacherworkbooks for the entire K-12 curriculum. Thousands of children in NewJersey, across the United States, and even around the world have beenintroduced to IAPC educational programs.

What is "Philosophy for Children"

An unassuming 96 page novel for middle-school children, HarryStottlemeier’s Discovery features Harry and his 5thgrade classmates. Adults occasionally enter in, but the primaryphilosophical work is the children’s. Harry and his friends discoverseveral basic concepts and rules of Aristotelean logic; and theypuzzle over questions about the nature of thought, mind, causality,reality, knowledge and belief, right and wrong, and fairness andunfairness. The story does not introduce any of the special vocabularyof philosophy (not even the word ‘philosophy’ itself makesan appearance). Philosophical inquiry is initiated by the children inthe story rather than adults.

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The basics of philosophy for children are straightforward

For this to work, it must be possible for children in the classroom toengage in sustained philosophical discussion with others. As alreadynoted, Gareth Matthew’s writings provide ample evidence that manychildren are capable of having interesting, if not profound,philosophical thoughts. Less obvious, however, is children’s abilityto sustain and develop this with others. Anecdotes of young childrenspontaneously sharing a philosophical thought with an observant adultare not sufficient. Matthews’ Dialogues With Childrenprovides good evidence that children can go well beyond this. Examplesof substantial philosophical conversations of children found in Lone(2012), McCall (2009), Pritchard (1996), Shapiro (2012), andWartenberg (2009), among many others, should leave little doubt thatchildren have this ability.

Teaching philosophy to children

Lipman’s hope was that philosophy would acquire a central place in theK-12 curriculum, thus enabling students to develop their criticalthinking skills through philosophical questioning. At the same time,he claimed, philosophy can help students make better sense of theireducational experiences. By seeking to develop comprehensiveperspectives, philosophy attempts to understand connections. Acurriculum that divides students’ education into discrete,self-contained disciplines without encouraging philosophical questionsabout the nature of those disciplines and their relationships to oneanother invites a fragmented view of education. Lipman’s proposedalternative is described in the next section, which describes the K-12program developed by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophyfor Children (IAPC) he founded.

P4C Texas – Philosophy for Children at Texas A&M

The topics discussed above hardly exhaust the philosophy ofchildhood. Thus we have said nothing about, for example,philosophical literature on personhood as it bears on questions aboutthe morality of abortion, or bioethical discussions about when it isappropriate for parents to consent to children's participation inmedical research or refuse medical treatment of their children. Therehas been increasing attention in recent years to questions about theappropriate limits of parental authority over children, about thesource and extent of parents and the state's responsibilities forchildren, and about the moral permissibility of parents devotingsubstantial resources to advancing the life prospects of theirchildren. These and many other topics concerning children may befamiliar to philosophers as they get discussed in othercontexts. Discussing them under the rubric, ‘philosophy ofchildhood,’ as well in the other contexts, may help us seeconnections between them and other philosophical issues concerningchildren.