El GrupIREF (Grupo de Innovación e Investigación en la enseñanza de la Filosofía) es una asociación sin ánimo de lucro que tiene como objetivo la traducción y adaptación de los materiales originales del Proyecto Philosophy for Children (que en Catalunya es conocido como FILOSOFIA 3/18) así como también de su difusión, la formación de profesorado, con cursos reconocidos por el Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya, además de la creación de nuevos materiales, siempre en la línea de los creadores de esta propuesta, Matthew Lipman y Ann Margaret Sharp.
GrupIREF es miembro del ICPIC, el International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children y de SOPHIA. Además colabora activamente con otros centros de Philosophy for Children del mundo. Y como tal vez no sea algo conocido por todos, el GrupIREF trabaja con el currículum en catalán, que es la lengua que se habla en Catalunya."
¿Te acuerdas cuando fue la primera vez que oíste hablar de Filosofía para Niños?
Lo recuerdo perfectamente porque ese día cambió mi rumbo profesional para siempre.
Aunque resido en Catalunya desde 2003, soy argentina. Siendo profesora de Filosofía de un Instituto, en 1989 viajé a Barcelona a un Congreso de Pedagogía Operatoria. En ese marco, fui a escuchar la ponencia de Eulàlia Bosch: “Filosofia 6/18”. Escuchándola pensé: “esto es lo que quiero hacer, esto es lo que estaba buscando”. Días después me reuní con ella, quien en aquel momento era la directora del IREF. Me orientó, me dio direcciones de correo postal (¡piensen que estamos hablando de la era preinternet!!!) de Lipman y de personas o centros de FpN en América Latina. Me regaló el Manual de “El descubrimiento de Harry Stottlemeier” y allí empezó mi camino que continuó hasta hoy!
¿Cómo has empezado a trabajar en el área?
Enseguida que regresé a Argentina, me puse a probar con mis alumnas y alumnos y lo primero que vi con claridad fue que las novelas había que adaptarlas. Y me puse a ello. Enseguida que pude, fui a hacer un curso con Catherine Young Silva a Sao Paulo, en el CBFC (Centro Brasilero de Filosofia para Crianças) que Catherine dirigía. Ella misma me puso en contacto con Ann Sharp. El IAPC me dio una beca para hacer la formación en Mendham, donde además de conocer a Matthew Lipman y Ann Sharp, también tuve la suerte de aprender con Teresa de la Garza, Michel Sasseville, Eugenio Echeverría, Ron Reed, entre otros.
La escuela donde trabajaba en aquel momento (Nere Echea de Lanús, Bs. As. Argentina) confió en mí y en el Proyecto que les estaba presentando y me permitió experimentar con maestras y alumnos/as, de modo que trabajé con niñas y niños de educación infantil y primaria durante un año entero y luego formé a las maestras para que ellas continuaran la aplicación en las aulas con mi ayuda. Enseguida comencé a aplicar FpN en otra escuela, el Colegio Jacarandá, también del Gran Buenos Aires, y desde entonces… no paré nunca! La vida me trajo a Catalunya en 2003. Me incorporé enseguida al GrupIREF, gracias a la generosidad de su entonces directora (y aún pilar fundamental) Irene de Puig. Cuando ella se jubiló, asumí yo la dirección.
¿Consideras que FpN es necesaria para los niños y las niñas? ¿Por qué?
Claro que sí, porque todos estos años de experiencia me han demostrado las diferencias entre quienes han pasado un período de tiempo trabajando con FpN y aquellos que no. Y estas diferencias se manifiestan en lo formal (el modo de dialogar, el trato entre quienes participan de una comunidad de indagación, entre otras cosas) pero también en cuestiones de fondo, reconocimiento de buenas razones, profundidad en las ideas, deseos de indagar… Y ese, en definitiva, es el objetivo que perseguimos con FpN, ¿no? ¡Que niñas y niños piensen mejor por ellas y ellos mismos!
Por otra parte, hay muestras más objetivas que mi propia percepción que demuestran que FpN es necesaria. En 2012 el Consejo Superior de Evaluación de Departament d’Ensenyament del gobierno de Catalunya realizó un proceso de evaluación externa del Projecto Filosofia 3/18 y de su aplicación en las aulas de Catalunya a lo largo de 30 años y los resultados fueron más que elocuentes. Pueden consultar el informe en esta página
¿Hoy en día los niños en Portugal, en Catalunya tienen muchísimas actividades en la escuela y fuera de ella. ¿Por qué debemos tener la filosofía en las escuelas?
La FpN debería tener un espacio dentro del horario escolar, como las matemáticas o las ciencias sociales. Es la única manera de conseguir que las habilidades de pensamiento se vayan haciendo hábitos y que aquello que se desarrolla en las sesiones de Filosofía, sea extrapolable al resto de asignaturas o momentos escolares. Esta sería una de las razones, pero en el informe de evaluación que comentaba antes, hay muchas razones más.
¿Qué es lo que hace que una pregunta sea una pregunta filosófica - desde el punto de vista de FpN?
A priori podemos pensar que una pregunta como “¿Qué es la justicia?” es filosófica, pero que, en cambio, “¿Cómo se llama la mamá de Pimi/ Pixie?” no lo es. Sin embargo, la primera puede no generar el más mínimo interés en la comunidad de indagación y la segunda, con un buen plan de diálogo por parte de quien guía, puede derivar en un profundo intercambio filosófico sobre los nombres o la identidad.
Lo que quiero decir con esto es que lo más importante es el deseo de pensar alrededor de algo y, sobre todo, que las preguntas que funcionen como punto de partida de un diálogo partan del interés de niñas y niños. Los planes de diálogo o los ejercicios desarrollados por Lipman y Sharp que tenemos en los Manuales que acompañan las novelas son una caja de herramientas que las docentes pueden utilizar para guiar los diálogos, pero nunca deberían ser utilizados a partir del interés propio, o de pensar que x tema será de interés del grupo… ¿por qué mejor no preguntar a niñas y niños qué les interesa?
¿Cuáles son los mayores desafíos a los que se enfrenta hoy en día FpN?
Pienso que los desafíos de hoy en día son los mismos desde hace años: primero, saber dónde estamos parados, saber de qué hablamos cuando hablamos de FpN. Es verdad que con los años han surgido miradas nuevas o reinvenciones de FpN, pero yo sigo creyendo que el proyecto parido por Lipman y Sharp sigue teniendo una potencia y una fundamentación teórica que no ha sido superada por ninguna de las nuevas propuestas, (aunque el Proyecto Noria es un “hijo” muy poderoso!!) y, por lo tanto, para mí, sigue siendo el faro de referencia.
El segundo gran desafío es la formación de maestras y maestros. Ellxs son la clave del funcionamiento de FpN en las aulas. Diseñar un buen modelo de formación es un enorme reto. A pesar de los años que estamos trabajando con FpN en Catalunya, seguimos intentando mejorar el diseño de formación inicial y de profundización y seguimiento. Es verdad que uno de los grandes problemas es la falta de recursos económicos que permita que el profesorado se forme y se capacite de manera gratuita o subvencionada…
¿Puede dar algunos consejos a docente, madres y padres para ayudarles a lidiar con las preguntas de los niños y niñas?
Cuando me hacen esta pregunta, siempre respondo lo mismo: las personas adultas debemos escuchar más y hablar menos… Si generamos espacios y momentos para conversar con nuestros alumnos o nuestras hijas, sobrinos o nietas abriremos la puerta al diálogo y al pensamiento compartido. Y si en lugar de responder a las preguntas que nos hacen, les devolvemos con otra pregunta, seguramente estaremos invitando a pensar… ¡No olvidemos que las preguntas abren y las respuestas cierran!
¿Alguna vez has sido sorprendido con una pregunta de un niño o niña? ¿Puedes compartir con nosotros la pregunta?
Hace pocos días estuvimos filmando sesiones de FpN para un prestigioso programa de la televisión catalana y allí tuvimos oportunidad de presenciar construcciones de pizarras de preguntas de niñas y niños de muchas edades absolutamente fascinantes. Pero si tengo que elegir me quedaría con un par de una pizarra pensada por un grupo de 6º año de primaria a partir del trabajo con las obras de teatro finales de Pimi (traducción al catalán de Pixie):
¿De dónde vienen las ideas? (Raúl)
Si alguien desaparece, ¿también desaparecen sus ideas? (Roser)
Preguntas que les generó la necesidad de definir idea y de buscar ejemplos, entre muchas otras habilidades de pensamiento, además de verlos disfrutar en el diálogo. Un verdadero regalo.
Pueden ver los programas La Filo 1 y La Filo 2 (en catalán, aunque en breve los tendremos subtitulados al español)
I met Grace on SOPHIA networking meeting @ Aveiro. On twitter, we can find her by the handle @thinking_space_ and I'm sure I've already RT some of her work. So, let me introduce Grace for you!
Grace is the Founder and Managing Director of Thinking Space, a social enterprise comprised of philosophically trained educators. Her work over the last ten years has been characterized by creative collaborations with prominent educational and arts organisations among them SAPERE, the Philosophy Foundation, CapeUK, Creativity, Culture & Education, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Grace is a SAPERE trainer, a board member of SOPHIA and a member of the Philosophy in Education Project.
Grace has also taught philosophy in an academic capacity for a decade specialising in ethics and aesthetics. Now as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds she runs ‘Leeds Philosophy Exchange’ - a project that brings together philosophy students, teachers and children in weekly PwC and incorporates an undergraduate module on philosophy with children. Leeds Philosophy Exchange also has a sister project at Bristol University. Grace and her Thinking Space colleagues recently organised an international conference on philosophical enquiry in schools at The University of Leeds.
Having previously obtained a first class Degree and Masters in philosophy, Grace is currently studying for a PhD in Philosophy of Education at UCL Institute of Education having been awarded a scholarship on merit by the ESRC. Grace has published articles and book chapters on a range of issues concerning philosophy and education. Through workshops, paper presentations and training, she has shared her academic thinking and her philosophy practice nationally and internationally. Somewhere in the middle of things, she is mama to Otto and married to Joe. They live together in Sheffield with their dog Darwin.
Grace, can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)? "I became interested in philosophy with children when I was barely out of childhood (and barely into philosophy) myself. At the time, in my late teens, I thought I’d invented idea of working philosophically in the community. I remember being at a party late one night and telling a fellow philosophy student that that I planned to set up an organisation that would create opportunities for people to think philosophically together. Like all good ideas, someone had already thought of it, and once I discovered the work of colleagues around the world I realised that this idea – though not original – was at least possible. That was thirteen years ago and I have spent the intervening years dedicated to this project though both academic and community work. That imaginary company became a real company Thinking Space. Thankfully, I’m now joined by other entrepreneurial philosophers who share by obsessions."
How did you started working with p4c? "My first experiments with philosophical enquiry were in 2004 as part of summer schools for gifted children. During these sessions we talked very freely about philosophical stories, problems and paradoxes. At the time I had no pedagogy in mind besides the view that children should be actively doing philosophy and not simply studying it. However then – as now – I was also keen to find opportunities for the history of ideas to find a place I the work we were doing. These sessions weren’t didactic but they were connected to the wider philosophical landscape, drawing on key thinkers, texts and ideas. The work of Thinking Space began in 2007 with more creative work. I drew on the experience of educators I respected from drama, music and the visual arts. This was a time of generous funding for arts education in the UK (something we desperately miss) and this allowed me to do a great many exciting and innovative projects including collaborations with professional theatre makers in which we devised immersive theatre pieces based on philosophical thought experiments among them Nozick’s Experience Machine. This work brought philosophical enquiry to life in ways that I never thought possible and gave me an enthusiasm for philosophical enquiry with the public that has never waned."
Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?
"When we do philosophy, no matter who we are, we focus on the fundamental concepts that shape our understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us. In doing so, we hone intellectual, emotional and social skills that help us to think and to communicate our thinking more clearly. What aim for education is there than this?
I really do think a philosophical education is a necessity and not a luxury."
Nowadays children ( @ Portugal) have a lot of activities at school and after school. Why should we take philosophy to schools? "Philosophy is foundational, it sits under all of the school subjects asking questions about their key concepts but also their nature, purpose and value. So philosophy can complement what is already there.
It can also compete with other school subjects and extra-curricular activities. Children enjoy and benefit from the challenge of thinking and philosophy is the only subject dedicated to thinking well.
How is P4C developing in your country? "Philosophy is flourishing in the UK with the help of tens of philosophers and academic departments; hundreds of schools and educational organisations; thousands of teachers and practitioners; and tens of thousands of children and young people.
The main problem we face here in the UK is the government. There has been a very politicised shift in focus towards a so-called ‘knowledge-based curriculum’ with an emphasis on traditional academic subjects to the neglect of the arts and humanities. Philosophy is not part of the traditional curriculum – which is not necessarily a problem – but it is also not part of the educational vision of some politicians. This is a great shame but I look forward to more enlightened times."
What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?
"On the most part, it’s what you do with a question that counts. If you subject a question to decent philosophical methodology you’re on the right track. (For example, if you construct arguments, analyse concepts, give examples, draw distinctions, make comparisons, imagine possibilities, identify contradictions, consider implications etc).
However some questions are more philosophically promising than others. Questions that are concerned with rich concepts that connect to our concerns and about which we don’t agree are a good starting point. In philosophy with young children, we often talk about questions that no one can answer for us. Unlike the questions of science, logic or maths.
I also find that very open questions such as ‘What is nature?’ are tantalising but also sometimes paralysing. Narrower questions such as ‘Is music natural?’ are a more manageable way of getting at the bigger issues."
What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?
"I often feel pulled in two directions when I think about the future of P4C: I want as many people to enjoy and benefit from philosophising, but I also want them to get the best possible taste of philosophy. Sometimes these things are not compatible, as one of the ways P4C spreads is by word of mouth, and this mechanism results is well-meaning poor practice as well as much-needed enthusiasm.
The key I think, is for all of us involved in P4C, to see this as a long-term project in creating philosophical teachers as well philosophical students. Just as a class doesn't transform their thinking after two lessons, nor does a teacher transform their teaching after two days of INSET (the typical structure of training here in the UK)
It takes time and practice to make philosophy work in schools. I have been doing this my whole career and there is so much still to learn.
I used to suggest that teachers read up on (or listened to) philosophy following links like those below. But the reality is we are all so busy with personal and professional life that there are rarely enough hours in the day. Now I simply suggest that teachers use the time set aside for P4C in their class to do philosophy too. Not to join in as a participant influencing or interfering in the class discussion, but to quietly listen and to inwardly consider the positions offered as well as one’s own view.
This is much easier when teachers choose philosophical starting points that they are genuinely perplexed by rather than matters that seem obvious, or issues on which they expect the children to give certain responses. This allows you to listen to what the children actually say rather than listening out for certain answers you expect to hear or know to be true.
By doing this, one is more likely to develop as a philosopher as well as a P4C facilitator. Perhaps this will go some way towards addressing the issue of the dilution of P4C."
Can you give the teachers and the parents some kind of advice to help them deal with the children’s questions?
"Treat them seriously and enjoy taking about them together.
My child is one and just learning to speak. I will be so incredibly excited when the day comes that he asks a philosophical question for the first time. Poor thing!"
Did the children ever surprised you with a question? Can you share that question with us? "Because I am already convinced that young people can philosophise, I am rarely surprised when they do. Sometimes the impact of the work we do takes me by surprise. Here for example is a letter from a Y5 child we worked with."
Please take a look at these links, shared by Grace (thank you so much!!!)
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A great place to find expert articles on an array of philosophical issues. https://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html Philosophy Bites: Podcasts of top philosophers interviewed on bite-sized topics. http://philosophybites.com/ Michael Sandell the Pubic Philosopher: Radio Four Series: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nmlh2
Philosophy Now: A magazine of Ideas https://philosophynow.org/ In Our Time: Radio Four Archive of programs http://www.bbc.co.uk/inourtimeprototype/
The Partially Examined Life: A podcast on Philosophy, philosophers and philosophical texts http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/
The History of Philosophy without any Gaps: A series of podcasts http://historyofphilosophy.net/
Aeon: Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture. https://aeon.co/partners/oxford-uehiro
Practical Ethics: The he Practical Ethics in the News blog comes from the University of Oxford http://www.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/blog Philosophy Experiments: Interactive philosophy tests and activities designed to tell you what you don't want to know about yourself. http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/
The Sophia Project: An online collection of original articles, primary source texts, and commentaries in the fields of philosophy and ethics. http://www.sophia-project.org/
I met Bob House on the internet and from his work at SAPERE. Bob spent 25 years in business and ended up leading a team of management consultants in London. He was chief executive of SAPERE from 2012 – 2016, during which time he tried to introduce a stronger commercial approach to the organisation as a way of promoting P4C. He now remains involved with P4C, mostly internationally and is helping to develop P4C China with an international school group in Shanghai. He is also helping create a charity that will provide accommodation for students and teachers in remote rural areas of Nepal (please take a look at http://www.solukhumbuschoolstrust.org/ ).
One of the thing’s Bob is proudest of from his time at SAPERE is his involvement in setting up the P4C International Community of Enquiry. To know more about this, please check out this two links:
Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)? "The first time I heard about P4C was in 2011. I had just finished a 25 year career in business and was looking for a role in the charity sector. The opportunity came up to become involved with SAPERE. At first the term “Philosophy for Children” sounded a bit elitist to me. But when I discovered that research suggested it had a particularly beneficial effect on less-advantaged children, I became more interested. Over time I think it is fair to say that my interest grew into a passion to see P4C used as a way to tackle disadvantage and unequal opportunity."
How did you start working with p4c? "I originally worked with SAPERE on fundraising and project management. Not long after I started, the position of chief executive became vacant and I took on that role for the next four years. For most of that time I focused on commercial and organisational aspects of P4C in the UK. At one point, though, we desperately needed someone to help with P4C facilitation at the new secondary school in North London. I thought that I could have a go at doing this myself and so I did weekly sessions with two groups of 12-year-old boys there for about six months. With no prior teaching experience it was a much bigger challenge than I expected, especially on behaviour management, but it was also the best learning experience I could possibly have had with P4C. My respect for teachers (most of whom facilitate P4C much better than I ever did) grew enormously as I saw how tough their job can be."
Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?
"I don't think I would say that P4C is strictly necessary for children but I do think it is extremely helpful. I think it has an unusually strong capacity to help children develop personally, socially and intellectually at the same time. The benefits in terms of reasoning, communication, collaboration and exploration of values are substantial. I think a really talented teacher can do all of these things without the need for P4C, but for the great majority of teachers it provides a wonderful framework to achieve these benefits with their classes.
Right now, in the UK and in much of the western world, I see a particularly important role for P4C in helping to tackle extremism. It is well established that young people become vulnerable to radicalisation if they are marginalised in society and if they do not have the capacity to question and reason well. Through the community of enquiry, P4C has a special ability to tackle these challenges. Even if P4C conferred no other benefits, for this reason alone, I would strongly advocate that all young people should have the opportunity to experience philosophical enquiries, all the way through both primary and secondary school levels."
How is P4C developing in your country? "I think it is fair to say that the UK now has the most developed presence of P4C in the world. I would estimate that over 30,000 teachers have had P4C training in the UK. Over the last 25 years, driven by an inspired group of founders, SAPERE has managed to create an extraordinarily strong network of trainers and teachers who are both skilled in and passionate about P4C. Whilst there have been periods of tension over SAPERE’s history, the ethos of collaboration has generally remained strong. There has been a clear sense that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, a willingness to accept different views and a sense that SAPERE is more of a movement than just an organisation. If I had to single out the two most important factors they would be these:
the acknowledgement that P4C can never become widespread unless it is made accessible for ordinary teachers; and
the recognition that you need a really well managed process of trainer development and quality assurance.
The standard of SAPERE’s training, and the way its network of trainers is managed, is of outstandingly high quality. I think SAPERE’s unique achievement has been to keep both of those things in place as it has grown. Recently this has been rewarded by some very well publicised EEF research in the UK and its impact on educational attainment. This has resonated around the world and is certainly helping to drive higher and higher levels of interest in P4C.
What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?
In my view there are two types of philosophical question:
The first type are questions that have to do with what it is that makes life worth living; in other words they are to do with values;
The second set are questions that are stimulate the process of thinking and reasoning; in other words ones that lead towards metacognition.
The interesting thing about this definition is that almost any question can be considered philosophical, if the ensuing enquiry is handled in a philosophical way. I therefore tend to think that it is the facilitation and discussion that determines whether a P4C session is philosophical, rather than the specific question that the group chooses to focus on. Sometimes I think there is a little too much emphasis and even concern about the type of question the children come up with, and perhaps not quite enough on whether the group dealt with the question philosophically."
What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?
"Without question the biggest challenge is time availability: both time availability for teachers to be able to do the necessary training in P4C and availability on the timetable for the children to be able to practice it. The curriculum is overly focused on the acquisition of knowledge and insufficiently focused on ways of thinking about the implications and consequences of that knowledge."
Can you give the teachers and the parents some kid of advice to help them deal with the children’s questions?
"For me the most important thing is to surface the concepts behind the question. By doing this explicitly, the questions become richer and the children have better hooks to use in their enquiry into the question. I found that a useful technique was to ask each student to identify a single concept from the stimulus and then to write them all up on a whiteboard. You can then ask the students to include at least one of these concept words in their proposed question. A second useful technique is then to group these questions on Phil Cam’s question quadrant, and to ask how the group could adapt the questions to make them more philosophical. You wouldn't want to do this every time as it can take up quite a lot of the session, but it is a useful technique to develop in some sessions."
Did the children ever surprise you with a question? Can you share that question with us? "Yes they did, and by most standards you would not call it a philosophical question. I used a stimulus about video gaming hoping that the question might look at issues of actual versus virtual reality. However the question that came up was: “Which is better? The Xbox or a PlayStation 4?
I thought the session was likely to be a disaster until we started to enquire into ways in which the class could make a judgement about the question. This led to a consideration of the criteria on which one could make that judgement and the evidence and information that would be needed to do the assessment. In my view, that was a great example of metacognition.
There was no doubt that for that particular group of boys, this question did indeed prove central, common and contestable. According to the definitions that SAPERE offers in its training, that made it a philosophical question. Unsurprisingly the class never reached a consensus on the answer – although a few on the boys did waver on their original convictions."
"A relevância da Filosofia para Crianças, num mundo contemporâneo onde tudo parece questionável, é o ponto de partida desta conferência. O seu objectivo é colocar em debate várias temáticas e posições acerca do desbravar do questionamento filosófico por parte das crianças e jovens. A especificidade da Filosofia, articulada com a pergunta filosófica e o desenvolvimento cognitivo, ético e social da criança, são as preocupações que guiam a organização deste encontro."
"Do desenvolvimento pessoal à relação com os outros e com a comunidade, passando pela relação com o planeta, os temas marcam o culminar de um processo participativo que está a decorrer desde 22 Abril e no qual todas as escolas e outras entidades que trabalham com crianças e jovens foram convidadas a participar.
“Já recebemos o contributo de mais de 20 escolas e associações que trabalham com crianças e jovens e, no dia 10, vamos ter 140 crianças e jovens reunidos na Assembleia para dizerem aos nossos deputados o que querem para o país e para o mundo”, explica à Renascença a escritora Sara Rodi, co-responsável da ANC.
A iniciativa acontece no âmbito do Fórum Terra, um projecto dedicado ao tema “Portugal a Cuidar da Casa Comum”, que decorre até 22 de Maio, com actividades em diversos pontos do país.
“Esta é uma oportunidade de ouro para que as crianças e jovens possam mostrar que têm ideias e opiniões muito concretas sobre o futuro do país e do planeta e é uma grande felicidade que a Assembleia da República lhes dedique uma manhã, para que a sua voz seja ouvida”, acrescenta Sara Rodi."