The Use of Audio-Visual Media in the Teaching of Philosophy in Secondary Schools

By Leong, Wong Yew; Tan, Charlene | International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, December 2008 | Go to article overview

The Use of Audio-Visual Media in the Teaching of Philosophy in Secondary Schools


Leong, Wong Yew, Tan, Charlene, International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning


Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to discuss how audio-visual media, in particular, films and podcasts, can be used in the teaching and learning of philosophy in secondary education. At its most fundamental level, philosophy involves careful, reflective and self-aware thinking about a range of topics that are central to the question of what it means to be a human being. Through philosophical discussions, students learn to analyse problems and issues, and to provide adequate answers and solutions to these problems and issues. They acquire the ability to examine and evaluate their own reasoning as well as that of others, and in this way become more confident of their own views and actions. However, teaching philosophy in a secondary school context can be very challenging, because the students' thinking skills are still at a developmental stage, whereas philosophy discourse seems to require rather advanced thinking abilities. This essay suggests how films and podcasts can be used to overcome this challenge.

Key words: ICT, multimedia, secondary education, philosophy

Introduction

Traditionally, philosophy is a subject offered only in universities. In recent years, however, philosophy is increasingly found among the list of subjects offered in primary and secondary schools, in Singapore and in various parts of the world, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe, South America and Africa (see UNESCO, 2007). Unfortunately, many teachers involved in primary and secondary education are unsure how best to teach this subject to students whose ability to deal with abstract concepts and arguments is still developing. The purpose of this essay is to discuss how audiovisual media, in particular, films and podcasts, can be used to teach philosophy in secondary schools. (By "secondary school", we mean a school for students who are intermediate in level between primary school and university or college.) But before we begin that discussion, it is useful to first understand what philosophy is and appreciate some of the difficulties teachers face when teaching philosophy to secondary school students.

What is philosophy?

A good place to start when trying to answer the question "What is philosophy?" is to think of philosophy as a subject taught in universities and schools. This subject studies the fundamental issues about what it means to be a human being, for instance: Does God exist? How should we live? Are there universal moral truths? Do we have direct epistemic access to the world around us or is our knowledge of the external world inadvertently coloured by whatever conceptual framework our minds are operating within? What is the mind? Do we have genuine freedom of choice and action? And so on. The range of issues is extremely wide, covering almost every aspect of human existence-just see the range of topics listed in the table of contents of the online encyclopedia of philosophy The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Philosophical discussions can become very abstract very quickly, which explains why it is traditionally taught only in universities. People sometimes complain that these discussions have little or no relevance to the practical concerns of life, that philosophy is a game academics play with one another purely for intellectual gratification. This is a serious misunderstanding of the nature of this subject. Much of everyday life is rooted in some philosophical view or other. Two of the most hotly debated issues in Singapore this year are whether people should be allowed to sell their organs to patients who need them to live, and whether terminally ill patients should be allowed to end their own lives if they wanted to. Until we address the basic philosophical assumptions and convictions we have about morality, these two debates cannot never be fully resolved.

There is therefore a sense in which almost all of us have been engaged in philosophical discussions or deliberation at some point in our lives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Use of Audio-Visual Media in the Teaching of Philosophy in Secondary Schools
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.