14 February 2010

Philosophy for children in NZ

Matthew Lipman's Community of Inquiry approach is being used in NZ schools

"Philosophy for Children is often described as a thinking skills programme or a course in critical and creative thinking. While it is true that philosophy for children does improve students? critical and creative thinking skills, calling it a ?thinking skills? programme does not do it justice. It does much more as well.

Philosophy for children builds on the students? own wonder and curiosity about ideas that are vitally important to them. The subject matter of Philosophy for Children is those common, central and contestable concepts that underpin both our experience of human life and all academic disciplines. Examples of such concepts are:

Truth, reality, knowledge, evidence, freedom, justice, goodness, rights, mind, identity, love, friendship, rules, responsibility, action, logic, language, fairness, reason, existence, possibility, beauty, meaning, self, time, God, infinity, human nature, thought.

The central pedagogical tool and guiding ideal of Philosophy for Children is the community of inquiry. In the community of inquiry, students work together to generate and then answer their own questions about the philosophical issues contained in purpose written materials or a wide range of other resources. Thinking in the community of inquiry is critical, creative, collaborative and caring. "

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