Children as Philosophers: Learning through Enquiry and Dialogue in the Primary Classroom

Children as Philosophers: Learning through Enquiry and Dialogue in the Primary Classroom

Children as Philosophers: Learning through Enquiry and Dialogue in the Primary Classroom

Children as Philosophers: Learning through Enquiry and Dialogue in the Primary Classroom

Synopsis

Since the publication of the first edition of Children as Philosophers in 2002 there has been an enormous growth of interest in philosophy with children.

This fully revised second edition suggests ways in which you can introduce philosophical enquiry to your Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship teaching and across the curriculum.

The book demonstrates children's capacities to engage in sophisticated processes of dialogue and enquiry about a wide range of issues and underlines the importance of listening to children's ideas. The author discusses the pleasures and challenges for adults in managing discussion and responding to children's claims to knowledge in the philosophical arena. The author also addresses the well-established Philosophy for Children movement, developed in the USA and Australia and links this to the principles of Every Child Matters.

This fascinating book is an invaluable resource for all teachers and trainees seeking a thoughtful and contextualised introduction to the theory and practice of philosophical enquiry with children, including:

  • expanded discussion on children's voice and participation at school
  • the theory and practice of dialogical approaches to teaching and learning
  • new evidence of the educational impact of philosophy with children in the classroom
  • what should inform the professional choice of resources for teaching philosophy
  • wider international debates about learning styles, skills and intelligence.

New reports are presented from children, teachers, from the fields of Gifted and Talented and Special Needs Education and from international research carried out over the last five years.

Excerpt

Since the publication of the first edition of Children as Philosophers in 2002, interest in philosophy with children has grown enormously. in the uk, such growth has been reflected in the increased demand from schools and local education authorities for training and professional development in this approach to teaching. New undergraduate and postgraduate courses have been created, focusing on teaching thinking, values and communities of enquiry, on dialogue and practical philosophy. There has been a corresponding increase in the number of courses run by sapere trainers (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education, see http://www.sapere.org.uk) and by corresponding Philosophy for Children centres in other countries. Children as Philosophers has been particularly well received by practising teachers, by student teachers and by undergraduate and postgraduate education students and their tutors. To my delight and thanks to the interest and enthusiasm of colleagues in Barcelona, the book was translated into Spanish and published by Paidos Educador in 2004. I have been strongly encouraged by colleagues in the Philosophy for Children network to prepare this updated edition. It has been a pleasure to do so.

The new edition includes an expanded discussion on children’s voice and participation in school and the wider implications of philosophy with children for schools as educational and social communities, as distinctive places where young people think together and engage with the experience of their everyday lives. As a practitioner myself, I am deeply concerned to extend children’s participation in their learning and to pursue the development of reasonableness, a helpfully controversial and problematic concept and one whose interpretation should concern all those who have an interest in the development of deliberative and participatory democracies.

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