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filocriatiVIDAde | filosofia e criatividade

oficinas de perguntas, para crianças / para pais e filhos | formação para professores e educadores (CCPFC) | #filocri | #filopenpal

filocriatiVIDAde | filosofia e criatividade

oficinas de perguntas, para crianças / para pais e filhos | formação para professores e educadores (CCPFC) | #filocri | #filopenpal

filosofia para crianças e jovens: formação e-learning

Pensar para Transformar / 25h 

e-learning 

via ClickProfessor.PT 

 

De 9 de maio a 1 de junho 2017

Destinada a professores de qualquer nível de ensino e grupo de recrutamento, incluindo Educação Especial.

 

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Programa, inscrições e informações disponíveis AQUI 

 

ACREDITAÇÃO

Esta ação de formação é acreditada pelo Conselho Científico-Pedagógico de Formação Contínua, em parceria com o Centro de Formação AlmadaForma e com o SINAPE, com 1 crédito para efeitos de progressão na carreira Docente.

 

Luis Alberto: "Los chicos en este caso son los responsables de sus propias preguntas(...)"

Luis Alberto: actual presidente el Centro de filosofía para Niños de España. Es funcionario en la rama de las telecomunicaciones e informática, donde también ha ejercido como formador. Graduado en Educación social, Profesor de Teología y moral Católicas. Es experto en gestión en Instituciones Públicas. Su formación permanente abarca  además de los estrictamente profesional, las ramas de historia, antropología, sociología, moral, ética y filosofía.
Es miembro de número de la Institución de Estudios Complutenses (IECC), de la OFS, de la asociación Alberta, Asociación Fénix de ayuda al drogodependiente a sus familias, Asociación Balcania (ayuda a los Balcanes), Rastrillo solidario, formación del voluntariado…

Miembro fundador y primer secretario de "Rescoldos, revista de diálogo social". Ha publicado en Rescoldos, en la revista Aprender a pensar de Filosofía para niños y en semanarios y periódicos locales. También ha publicado como coautor en algún libro de relatos.
Ha trabajado en el movimiento de FAPAS, en entornos sociales como la drogodependencia, la cárcel, alfabetización, escuela de adultos, talleres de inserción laboral y social, mediación familiar, movimiento de barrios, acogimiento, grupos de crecimiento, formación del voluntariado y como cooperante internacional, talleres de filosofía para niños y en obras sociales de la Iglesia.

 

 

¿Te acuerdas cuando fue la primera vez que oíste hablar de filosofía para niños? “En 1996, después de mi trabajo, ayudaba como voluntario en algunas organizaciones y descubrí que debería prepararme para afrontar con mejor preparación la tarea necesaria para colaborar con los más desfavorecidos de la mejor manera posible. Me matriculé en Educación Social en Alcalá de Henares, dónde conocí la asignatura de “Aprender a Pensar” Filosofía para niños, que impartía el profesor Gonzalo Romero. A través de la asignatura y de la gente que fui conociendo de Filosofía para niños, el programa me fue seduciendo hasta el entusiasmo. Fue en el encuentro de Filosofía para niños en Logroño (Rioja) en 1997 donde decidí incorporarme como socio al centro de filosofía para niños.”

 

¿Cómo has empezado a trabajar en el área? “Empecé trabajando el programa en circunstancias de educación no formal en el mundo de la drogadicción, marginación y pobreza. Y por supuesto en todas las edades. Constaté que era una herramienta muy potente, que hacia participar y aprender, desde un método socrático que fomentaba las habilidades del pensamiento y que no presuponía preparación filosófica previa.”

 

¿Consideras que la FpN es necesaria para los niños? ¿Y por qué? “Considero que aprender a pensar es uno de los mejores programas, sino el mejor, para fomentar en los niños las habilidades del pensamiento, o destrezas cognitivas, las competencias y actitudes filosóficas. Necesarias para poder conseguir el dialogo filosófico. Se puede profundizar en el dialogo filosófico a través de buenas preguntas, que generen una radicalización de la respuesta, en el sentido de implicarse como persona en lo que dices, habiendo escuchado activamente al otro. Todo esto genera metacognición.Y es ese plus de pensamiento, el que es generado con el dialogo filosófico en el aula, el que es necesario para el desarrollo de todo el currículo de la escuela. Por otro lado se reconoce al otro, sea quien sea, como ser humano. Como igual, como persona. Una cosa es la persona y otra es la opinión.”

 

Hoy en día los niños en Portugal tienen muchísimas actividades en la escuela e fuera de ella. ¿Por qué debemos tener la filosofía en las escuelas?

 

“Ya Lipman nos previno contra la escuela que enseña a memorizar muchas cosas, que después de olvidan. Y aprendemos muchas cosas más o menos mecánicamente. No digo que eso sea malo en sí mismo, sino cómo hacerlo. Todo lo que se aprende debe tener una base necesaria e imprescindible para apoyarse, sin los números y las sumas no podremos llegar a las ecuaciones y el cálculo infinitesimal, sin los pentagramas no podemos llegar a Verdi, si la caligrafía no podremos llegar a Cervantes. La filosofía para crea en el colegio unas bases para poder pensar bien, críticamente, para poder pensar juntos en comunidad, para poder pensar creativamente, para poder pensar éticamente, desde el cuidado del pensamiento y el cuidado del otro.Pone encima de la mesa un nivel de exigencia que no es paternalista, es necesario para darse las circunstancias de ciudadanía pensante y cuidante del otro desde la escuela. El dialogo filosófico ayudará a la formación integral de la persona.”

 

¿Qué es lo que hace que una pregunta sea una pregunta filosófica desde el punto de vista de la FpN? “Cuando terminaban mis primeras sesiones con filosofía para niños, después de un buen rato de discusión filosófica, invariablemente me preguntaban y…Profe ¿Cuál es la verdad? ¿Cuál es la respuesta a la pregunta o preguntas? Si ha generado esa inquietud y controversia, si la pregunta se ha quedado sin cerrar después de discutir sobre ella, si ha planteado distintas hipótesis, si esas “maneras de ver o interpretar” se han ido modificando en cada uno a través del dialogo compartido, esa es una pegunta filosófica. Si nos conmueve a expresarnos sobre nuestra manera de interpretar el arte, las emociones, el amor, la belleza, la política, el ser… Nos conmina a aprender y aprehender de los demás, eso es una pregunta filosófica.”

           

¿Cuáles son los mayores desafíos que se enfrenta hoy en día FpN? "Desde mi punto de vista hay varios desafíos importantes, que al final convergen en una misma respuesta negativa. El intento de desaparición de de filosofía del currículo formal, por ser una asignatura poco útil o poco utilitarista (No sirve para nada), hace que surjan muchas respuestas desde la filosofía como la filosofía práctica, donde caben muchas concepciones de hacer filosofía “útil”, y muchos compañeros ven en ese trabajo la solución al problema, sin querer ahondar en ello, existe el peligro de etiquetar al proyecto de Filosofía para niños como “Filosofía práctica”. La desaparición de la asignatura será un hándicap ara poder implementar el programa en la educación formal."

 

¿Puede dar algunos consejos a maestros y padres para ayudarles a lidiar con las preguntas de los niños?

 

"Cuando construimos juntos, la mirada cambia, la manera de preguntar cambia, las preguntas cambian. Los chicos en este caso son los responsables de sus propias preguntas, son justo las que les sirven para su propio aprendizaje y el de los demás. Tienen el modo, el tiempo y la autocorrección adecuados y necesarios para su propia comprensión. Padre, profe, tu tiempo, tu manera y tu velocidad te valen a ti, no a ellos. El profesor debe facilitar el dialogo, ayudarle a hacer buenas preguntas, a respetar a os otros y sus ideas."

 

¿Alguna vez has sido sorprendido con una pregunta de un niño? ¿Puedes compartir con nosotros la pregunta? "Al principio todo eran sorpresas, que comentaba cada noche con mi mujer en casa, pensaba que no me podía sorprender nada, pero el otro día, en una comunidad formada por gente diversa en la que había algunos de los que denominamos discapacitados intelectuales paso la siguiente anécdota. Respondía a una pregunta sobre porque quería participar en un taller de Filosofía para niños con discapacidad intelectual y entre otras cosas dije que quería conocerlos bien…. Una chica con (supuesta) discapacidad intelectual me interrumpió y me dijo que primero me “conociera a mí mismo”… ¿te conoces a ti mismo?"

 

Walter Kohan: "que nunca subestimemos ou pensemos que compreendemos absolutamente uma pergunta de uma criança"

Conheci o trabalho do Walter Kohan através da Rita Pedro - que conheci no II Encontro Sentir Pensamentos | Pensar Sentidos, que eu e a Celeste Machado organizámos em 2013. Tive a oportunidade de estar com o Walter num encontro promovido pela Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Lisboa). Não houve muito tempo para conversarmos mas, mais uma vez, a tecnologia superou a distância e bastou uma mensagem no facebook para o Walter se disponibilizar a participar neste desafio de perguntas & respostas à volta da filosofia para crianças. Tal como o Tomás Magalhães Carneiro, o Walter utiliza a expressão filosofia com crianças. E explica-nos sumariamente o porquê. 

 

*

 

Walter Kohan conheceu a filosofia para crianças em 1992,  na Universidade de Buenos Aires, onde trabalhava, em 1992. Foi um cartaz que convocava uma reunião aos interessados em “filosofia para crianças”que chamou a sua atenção. "Depois dessa reunião fizemos um curso de formação em Buenos Aires e logo organizamos um grupo… já em 1993 Lipman e Sharp visitaram Buenos Aires, estavamos traduzindo o programa, encontrando-nos para fazer experiências, iniciamos um projeto de pesquisa… eramos um grupo entusiasta!", confessa Walter.

Sobre a necessidade da filosofia para crianças nas escolas, Walter alerta para a força da palavra "necessidade", dizendo que “Necessário é uma palavra um pouco forte… se a filosofia funciona bem, acho que pode ser um espaço muito importante na educação das crianças… mas necessário talvez seja exagerado… eu preferiria que esteja a que não esteja, claro…"

 

Por que havemos de levar a filosofia para as escolas? "Por que ela quando praticada com sentido é um espaço que ajuda na experiência de um tempo propriamente infantil, não sujeito tanto ao relógio mas a uma experiência de pensamento que pode ajudar a ter uma relação mais interessante com o que se faz na escola, com os outros colegas e consigo mesmo…"

 

Walter, o que faz com que uma pergunta seja uma questão filosófica – do ponto de vista da fpc? "Eu não sei se há um “ponto de vista de fpc”… até preferia que não houvesse… a filosofia é algo plural e há sempre pontos de vista nela… a partir do meu, penso que a filosofia não está nas perguntas mas na relação que estabelecemos com elas… uma pergunta aparentemente muito filosófica como “o que é o tempo?” pode ser tratada de maneira pouco filosófica e outras aparentemente menos filosóficas podem desencadear um torrente de pensamentos… de modo que a filosofia é algo vivo que se desperta numa relação com as perguntas, com as palavras…" 

 

Filosofia para ou com crianças?

 

"Eu prefiro pensar em filosofar com crianças do que em filosofia para crianças… há muito escrito sobre isto, mas para dize-lo rapidamente: prefiro o verbo e o infinitivo ao substantivo e uma preposição que indica horizontalidade e interioridade ao contrário… um dos principais desafios do filosofar é de fato ser um espaço problematizador dos modos de vidas contemporaneous e abrir possibilidades para novos modos de vida, alternativos… oferecer um tempo para poder problematizar o que estamos sendo…"

Podes dar alguns conselhos aos professores e aos pais para os ajudar a lidar com as perguntas das crianças? "Não sei se são conselhos mas eu diria que a coisa mais interessante que se pode fazer com uma pergunta de uma criança poucas vezes é responde-la… e que nunca subestimemos ou pensemos que compreendemos absolutamente uma pergunta de uma criança… e que nos demos sempre tempo de pensar essa pergunta, a nós e a elas… e que vejamos nelas oportunidades de nos pensar a nos mesmos… e a nossa relação com a infância…"

 Walter confessa que já se surpreendeu muitas vezes com as perguntas dos mais novos: "Tenho escrito sobre várias delas… quando não esperas alguma perguntas em particular toda pergunta te surpreende… acho isso bonito: ser surpreendido… gosto disso e trabalho para isso: a surpresa, como a filosofia, não está nas perguntas mas no que fazemos com elas… então depende muito de nós esperar as perguntas e nos surpreender com elas… acho bonito deixar-se surpreender, eis algo mais que eu diria para “lidar” com as perguntas das crianças…"

 

 

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notas:

as expressões a bold são da minha responsabilidade  

fpc = filosofia para crianças

fcc = filosofia com crianças 

Leslie Cázares Aponte: "Pienso que el vivir con FpN como un proyecto vital, nos va permitiendo estar más conscientes del mundo y de nosotros mismos,"

Conheci a Leslie Cázares Aponte através do instagram. Cedo percebi a sua ligação à filosofia para crianças (filosofia para niños) e fomos mantendo o contacto. A Leslie é a actual Presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Filosofía para Niños A.C., cujo trabalho podem espreitar AQUI. Aqui ficam os ecos mexicanos da filosofia para crianças. Gracias, Leslie! 

 

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¿Te acuerdas cuando fue la primera vez que oiste hablar de filosofía para niños? "Fue exactamente hace 20 años, me fui a vivir a la ciudad de León Guanajuato y mi esposo me preguntó : ¿te gustaría tomar un curso de filosofía para niños que imparte mi tía Teresa de la Garza?. Ahora esa pregunta es extraña, ya que ella además de ser un familiar, se volvió en una de mis maestras más importantes en mi vida. Además de iniciarme en el camino del Diplomado de FpN, Tere asesoró mi tesis de maestría, llamada “el impacto del programa de filosofía para niños en los docentes que la imparten”.

 

¿Como has empezado a trabajar en área? "Hace también 20 años, inicié a trabajar en la Universidad, con la propuesta de dar clases de filosofía para niños a los docentes universitarios de nuevo ingreso. Mi hipótesis era que FpN, ayuda a la docencia en todos sentidos, a generar un ambiente de pensar, a tener reglas de participación, a plantear preguntas de investigación, a dialogar y buscar alternativas para solucionar problemas, y todo eso es muy útil para cualquier clase de nivel Universitario. Claro que años más tarde descubrí que esta hipótesis aplicaba para cualquier nivel educativo."

 

¿Consideras que la fpn és necessaria para los niños? Porquê? "Si, porque para vivir hay que resolver un montón de ideas que se nos presentan en la vida, así como infinidad de toma de decisiones. FpN, nos va preparando para esto y más, a través de la comunidad de investigación, va siendo un ejercicio permanente en la vida, buscar alternativas, plantear preguntas para indagar, elaborar cuestionamientos, detectar inconsistencias lógicas en el mundo loco en el que vivimos. Pienso que el vivir con FpN como un proyecto vital, nos va permitiendo estar más conscientes del mundo y de nosotros mismos."

 

¿Hoy en dia los niños tienen muchissimas actividades en la escuela e fuera de ella. Porquê debemos tener la filosofia en las escuelas? "La escuela es el espacio de socialización, en donde podemos ejercitar la realidad del mundo a través de nuestros profesores, compañeros de estudio y del material informativo que nos rodea. La comunidad de diálogo en las escuelas, se va transformando en un delicioso lugar seguro para crecer y poner nuestras ideas en consideración de nosotros mismos en relación a los demás. Es decir, que las ideas propias, van teniendo un espacio de intercambio social, que a la larga, nos permitirá tener un intercambio social en nuestras vidas, mucho más pensado y pensado en conjunto. Creo que esto solo se puede dar en la escuela. Lo mejor es tener una o dos clases a la semana para filosofar en conjunto, desde la edad más temprana en donde inicia el lenguaje, hasta la edad universitaria.

 

¿Que és lo que hace que una pregunta sea una pregunta filosófica - desde el punto de vIsta de la fpn? "Esto le encanta contestar a dos de mis maestros favoritos del FpN, Eugenio Echeverría de México y Juan Carlos Lago de España, Eugenio dice: Es controversial. No tiene una respuesta cerrada y es importante para nosotros y no hay edad en la q deje de ser importante. Ejemplo. La justicia. La libertad. El sentido de la vida. Juan Carlos Lago dice: Que sea abierta y controvertida, que no tenga una respuesta definitiva, sino que sea válida cuando se emite, pero que puede modificarse ante nuevas evidencias o circunstancias. Otra característica es que la respuesta no está dada ya en un texto, sino que la vamos construyendo desde nuestra experiencia personal o compartida.

Yo Leslie digo, que las preguntas filosóficas son aquellas que nos parecen exquisitas y complejas, difíciles de contestar de manera pronta y precisa, necesitan la exploración de ideas, la búsqueda de fuentes de información, nos mueven a la reflexión inmediatamente. Las preguntas filosóficas hablan sobre temas relacionados con la humanidad, el futuro de las especies, incluyen dilemas éticos, morales y sociales."

 

¿Cuáles son los mayores desafios que se enfrenta hoy en dia fpc? "El crecimiento del proyecto en todos los países, la comunicación de ideas y resultados que ha tenido el programa en las personas, profesores, alumnos, necesitamos saber qué ha pasado en todos los países para reconocer la importancia que ha tenido en las vidas, para que siga creciendo. Es por esto que estoy haciendo una red de comunicación en varios países, desde la Federación Mexicana de Filosofía para Niños, que actualmente encabezo."

 

¿Puede dar algunos consejos a maestros y padres para ayudarles a lidar com las preguntas de los niños?

"Claro:

Asombrarse y explorar las las preguntas, tratarlas de entender junto con ellos ¿qué pregunta la pregunta? ¿por qué te surgió? ¿a quién más le interesaría explorar esa pregunta? ¿qué tipo de pregunta es? ¿se responde con un sí o con un no? ¿podemos pensar en otras preguntas similares?

Evitar asustarse con las preguntas o por el tema o por como están planteadas, una buena actitud educativa es ayudarlos a comprender el orígen de sus dudas y plantearlas de manera en que sean comprendidas por los demás.

Cuando son demasiadas preguntas, puede ser que solo pregunten por preguntar sin un sentido claro, es decir, quizá nos quieran molestar con sus preguntas. En esos casos sugiero preguntarles ¿tu tienes ya una respuesta a la pregunta? ¿por qué quisieras saber la respuesta a esa pregunta? ¿crees que alguien comparte tus dudas?

 

¿Alguna vez has sido sorprendido con una pregunta de un niño? Puedes compartir con nosotros la pergunta?

 "Me han fascinado estas:

 ¿Sabes o crees?

¿Será que la vida es algo que conocemos o que queremos conocer?

 ¿Quién soy? ¿somos parte de todo? ¿todo es parte de nosotros?

 ¿Qué cosas nos hacen felices? ¿Es posible ser felices en la vida sin cosas?

 ¿Por qué las personas no aprendemos de nuestros errores?

 ¿Quién inventó los árboles? ¿para qué se inventaron a los niños? ¿será que el mundo es tan grande como dicen?"

 

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⚠️ o texto a bold é da minha responsabilidade 

brincadeira de criança = investigação científica?

 

"Today, science is torn between accessibility and authority. Crises of replication and claims of data-dredging appear alongside such phrases as ‘studies say’ and ‘what science tells us’. But the secret, well-known to most scientists, is that ‘science’ doesn’t ‘tell us’ anything. Science is a medium – a really effective one – not a message. Dewey saw it this way: science is less what a set of people called scientists say than it is a way of saying things. Science is a style of reasoning. This is what made children ‘little scientists’, at least originally.

The story of how science got identified with one particular method remains to be told. The question, then and now, is how far that method extends and who is capable of using it. Casting children as scientists is not about taking science down a peg. Rather, linking the scientific method and child’s play might help us imagine new ways of putting science to work in the world around us."

 

o artigo completo pode ser lido AQUI

autor: Henry Cowles

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Laurance Splitter: "(...) we need to take their questions seriously, and check with them before assuming we know exactly what they mean."

Laurance Splitter is a reference to me and to all of you who study P4C (philosophy for children). Laurance has been working in this area since 1983/1984 and I'm really used to quote him on my academic work. 

I feel like a real rookie, next to professor Laurance. Laura D'Olimpio encouraged me to write to him, so that my blog could share with you another point of view from someone who practices #p4c, for such a long time. 

Thank you, professor Laurance!

 

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Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)? "I think it was early in 1982. I met Matthew Lipman later that year when I was taking Sabbatical leave in the USA."

 

And how did you start working with p4c? "In early 1983, I contacted the state government at the time, and showed them some of the original p4c materials written by Lipman and Sharp. Their unenthusiastic response taught me that this is the wrong place to start! So I began contacting schools and teachers and arranged to sit down with primary school children in 1984 so I could claim at least some experience of doing philosophy with children, not just talking about it. With several other volunteers, we formed the first national p4c association, based in Sydney, Australia, in 1985, at the first “teacher educator” workshop which I organized. Matthew Lipman and Ann Sharp directed this workshop, and participants included philosophers, principals and teachers from around Australia. These people were instrumental in setting up local associations and networks in their own regions over the next few years, leading to the establishment of a national federation in 1990. One thing I realized early on is that despite my own passion and commitment – indeed, because of them – it was important to set up state and regional organizations which were reasonably democratic and would outlast the particular individuals who served on them. P4c should never be any one person’s “pet” project."

 

In your opinion, what is the most important skill that a P4C teacher must have? "Along with such attitudes as a love of philosophy, a good degree of intellectual humility, and a commitment to teaching young people to think well, I think there are several key skills which are equally important, including: listening carefully, asking appropriate questions at the appropriate time, and developing an “ear” for what constitutes a philosophical direction or focus. Although it is not the teacher’s primary task to provide answers to philosophical questions (even if she thinks she knows them!), this philosophical “ear” usually requires a degree of familiarity with philosophy, so that one has a sense of the great dialogical tradition that children are invited to join. In practice, this is not always possible for classroom teachers, so it helps to have experienced philosophers on hand as well. Conversely, professional philosophers may not be particularly good teachers so, ideally, it is great when teachers and philosophers can work together."

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why? "Interpreting “p4c” broadly to mean “doing philosophy with children and adolescents”, I certainly think it is important. Since many children survive in the world without much – if any – contact with philosophy (especially if their own philosophical musings are ignored), it is too strong to say that p4c is strictly necessary. It is even possible for young people to grow into thoughtful, reasonable and respectful adults without the benefits of philosophy, but this is much more likely if they have had the benefit of being members of a community of philosophical inquiry. I say this because, in my view, such a community empowers children to think conceptually and, thereby, to appreciate the ethical, logical, metaphysical, epistemological and aesthetic dimensions of their experiences."

 

What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view? "We seem always to come back to this “meta” question, partly because it is important, and partly because we keep rethinking the answer! As tempting as it is to refer to such features as openness, having no (universally accepted) answers, etc., I no long favour this approach, just because they are features of any kind of genuine inquiry, whether philosophical or not (scientific or historical, for example). More precisely – since others will point out that scientific questions do or will have accepted or settled answers, at least in the scientific community – I think that a good teacher of inquiry-based learning and thinking knows how to create the sense of openness – even tension – among students that comes from feeling unsettled or puzzled by the questions they explore. Coming back to the question, I tend to fall back on the idea that philosophical questions are those that deal essentially with concepts and their meanings."

 

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays? "I am not sure if there is one universal challenge, as a lot depends on time and circumstance. Still, I am tempted to point to the relatively recent and alarming rise in “populist” thinking that is evidenced by recent political events. Populist thinking tends to downplay such norms as reasonableness, truth and judgment in favour of looking to those who promise quick and easy solutions to problems. As the term suggests, it makes the terrible mistake of assuming that the most popular answer is the best answer, no matter if it is shown to be false or contradictory. In such an environment, many people will simply have no time or patience for the kinds of careful and deep deliberation that philosophy requires, or for the crucial idea that there is nothing noble about absolute certainty. Of course children will still be curious and ask lots of questions, but the adults who govern their lives have the power to deny them the opportunity to do philosophy, by discouraging their questions, demanding unquestioned obedience, and pushing a “dumbed-down” curriculum in schools and classrooms. There is a positive dimension to this issue. IF more children engage in philosophical dialogue and inquiry, the chances are good that they will develop both the skills required to think well, and the dispositions that accompany them, including a concern for the truth (and for telling the truth). Such children are unlikely to become “populists”!"

 

Can you give the teachers and the parents some kind of advice to help them deal with the children’s questions?

"Some questions require, or deserve, straight-forward responses (“Is Grandma coming today?”, “Is it ok to cross the road now?”, for example). But both in philosophy class and in ordinary life, those with a philosophical “ear” (as noted above) can often discern that children’s questions provide great opportunities for thoughtful discussion. In these cases, it is neither necessary nor desirable to simply “answer” their questions. As other writers have pointed out, children’s questions are often “invitations” to “play with” ideas and thoughts. Since most such questions already reflect a good deal of thinking on the child’s part, one good strategy is ask them, in turn, “What makes you ask that?” or “What are you thinking about here?”

More generally, we need to take their questions seriously, and check with them before assuming we know exactly what they mean. As for sharing our own views on substantive issues with children, I think it depends on the extent to which they have mastered or internalized the tools of deliberative inquiry. For example, if they are satisfied with what we say simply because we are the “clever” adults in charge (as teachers or parents), then they are not yet thinking for themselves."

 

This is one of my favourite questions, because I think we all have curious stories related to the children's questions. Laurance, did the children ever surprised you with a question? Can you share that question with us? "This is an empirical question that relies on my having a decent memory – something about which I am no longer so sure! But I will always remember one particular question that came up during a fourth grade class demonstration which was actually being videoed for television. It was one of my very first experiences doing philosophy with 9 year olds and I was quite nervous, particularly because the cameras were rolling throughout the lesson. We read a chapter from Matthew Lipman’s novel Pixie which raises all kinds of metaphysical issues to do with relationships, mind, space and time, etc. At the end of the reading I asked the kids if there was something they found especially interesting or puzzling – and was met with complete silence!

I have learned since then that silence can, indeed, be “golden” but back then every second seemed like an hour, and still the students seemed to have nothing to say. Finally, much to my relief, one child put his hand up. His question: “What’s that funny mark at the bottom of the page?” (pointing to a smudge made by the photocopy machine). What to do with such a blatantly non-philosophical question? Simply answer it? Ask if anyone else can answer it? Ask the questioner what made him ask that question? Fortunately, I opted to take his question seriously and wrote it up on the board with his name next to it. I explained that all questions are welcome and that this was his question which he was kindly giving to the class community. At that point several others raised their hands to ask questions which lead to some great dialogue; but they had been encouraged by that student’s willingness to break the silence and ask the first question.

 

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📷 Laurance Splitter, on facebook

⚠️ bolds are my responsability

 

Jane Yates: "I believe that the ability to wonder is our most important human capacity."

I met Jane on twitter, Jane and her "Philosopher's Backpack". In her website we can read that Jane " has over 20 years of practical experience of P4C with primary school children.  She is a registered SAPERE trainer and has led P4C training for over 1200 primary and secondary teachers from over 200 schools across the UK and also in Spain, Mexico City, Nepal, India, British Virgin Islands and Malawi.  These include: whole school training, comissioned courses and open courses for state, private and international schools." I asked Jane to share her point of view about P4C and she answered so quickly! Thank you so much, Jane. 

 

*

 

Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)? "I heard about P4C in 1993 from a primary geography lecturer called Chris Rowley (one of the founders of P4C in the UK) at the teacher training college, Charlotte Mason College. He did a workshop at a conference that I helped to organise in response to the infamous Rio Earth Summit in 1992 through my work with Cumbria Development Education Centre, which is based at the college."

 

And how did you started working with p4c? "Every few weeks, some of the lecturers at Charlotte Mason College, where I was working(and had trained), would hold a community of enquiry with each other using the Lipman stories as the stimulus. They kindly invited me to take part. As someone in my early 20s, I remember feeling quite daunted practising ‘philosophy’ with all these learned academics as I had come from an educational background where philosophy was certainly never an option. I was like one of those quieter children you sometimes find in P4C sessions in the classroom. I worried I would be laughed at. I worried that I didn’t have the sophisticated vocabulary to articulate my thoughts. Over time, I grew more confident to speak in this group and realised the impact it could therefore have on pupils. It was during these sessions that I learnt the nuts and bolts of reasoning and realised what a rigorous process P4C should be. I was then hugely fortunate to work with some of the lecturers at the college to try out P4C in some local schools and from there many projects developed. I was part of the catalyst for connecting P4C and Global Citizenship way back in 2010. Whatever job I’ve had, I’ve always tried to build in P4C somewhere. For the last five years, I’ve gone back to teaching and have been working with my school to achieve the P4C Gold Award (a new accreditation we have here in the UK). It was an absolute joy to achieve this in 2015. Crickey! That’s over 25 years of P4C!" Jane, that's kind of a lifetime. Congratulations! 

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why? "I think p4c is totally necessary. Young children begin their lives naturally wondering about the world. As babies, they use their hands to manipulate objects to explore and wonder about their immediate world. There’s a lot of research about the link between the brain and the hand and how important brain connections are made when toddlers are stimulated to think through object play. As children begin to develop language, there’s a shift of thinking towards speech. This wondering about the ‘world’ can extend not just to their own world, but to that beyond their own immediate experience. I believe that the ability to wonder is our most important human capacity. Just as we would not hesitate to provide a stimulating environment for babies, we must also provide stimulus for thinking as babies become children and navigate their way to becoming adults. Through thinking, children learn about the world, but they also learn about each other. It helps them develop relationships, judgements and decisions."

 

In Portugal have a lot of activities at school and after school. There's a lot of discussion going on around this.  Why should we take philosophy to schools? "Once children know what is expected from a p4c session, it can transfer to any aspect of school through curriculum lessons and life in school. Some of the best p4c that I see happens naturally in a corridor between individuals. Philosophy, ultimately, should help us to live a better life."

 

What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view? "There’s lots of debate over this. Most of my P4C follows the Lipman tradition by the hugely powerful experience of children developing their own questions. In this case, I would say a philosophical question generated by children needs to include, explicitly or implicitly, a clear concept or two. The way the question is framed needs to have potential to engage everyone in the community. My favourite way of describing a philosophical question is to say that it is one that we are ‘not going to settle easily’ and ‘there might be different opinions and ideas within and outside our community’ and ‘we might need to apply logic and reasoning to test out different examples within our question’."

Sometimes we hear that a philosophical question has no right or wrong. What do you think about this, Jane? "It used to frustrate me that children often get into a habit of saying philosophical questions have ‘no right or wrong answers’. Arguably, the concepts of right and wrong are so huge in themselves that this notion can often reduce the complexity of a philosophical question to something rather more simplistic. And with this, there comes a tendency for relativism. However, I would suggest that sometimes children perceive ‘something’ from their unique individual experience of being part of a philosophical enquiry and jump to the conclusion there is ‘no right or wrong answers’ rather than it being something the facilitator has stated or encouraged. The binary concept of ‘no right or wrong’ is a hugely powerful one for children, especially when their experience of childhood might have very clear boundaries of what is right and wrong! For me, when this situation arises, it makes for a timely opportunity to explore the concept of right and wrong as binaries and as concepts on their own. Having said all this, some of the best enquiries have come when the questions have not been obviously philosophical. Increasingly, I am seeing the importance of involving the children in enquiry around the philosophical value of the questions themselves. I also think there is necessary value in the facilitator bringing questions that are not generated by the children through discussion plans and activities to deepen and further philosophical enquiry."

 

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays? "It’s always challenging giving the time to start something new. People want quick results and P4C is not something that can change things over night. I don’t think you can do p4c half-heartedly with children, as they will know you are doing this and the rich benefits will not be as apparent."

 

What can you say to teachers and parents about P4C, some kind of advice?

"As a teacher, I would use Socratic questions within the context of the enquiry to respond and help them deepen their thinking. I’m more of a facilitator of their thinking without swaying them with my own opinions. As a parent, I would always try and find out their thinking behind the question: What made you ask that question? It’s so easy to make assumptions about the meaning behind our children’s questions. Then I’d ask: What do you think?   I’m more of a co-enquirer with my own children. For example, sometimes I might agree or disagree with what they are saying, through reasoning. Above all, I never tell them they are wrong. My 10 year old son made up a great quote recently: ‘If you say someone’s wrong then you are closing the question, but if you disagree with someone then you are opening it up for more answers.

 

Can you share a question that really surprised you? "I’m never generally surprised by any question but I’ve had many that have really made me think. Once, we had an enquiry around: “If children were in charge of school, then how would school be different?” What interested me most, was their ideas were hugely possible and powerful but called for a very different structure than our current tradition of schooling. We must never underestimate the power of children’s ideas and only see them within the narrow lenses of our own experience."

 

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