Laura D'Olimpio talked to me about Professor Gilbert Burgh and his work related to philosophy for children (p4c). I wanted to know a little more about it, so I asked some questions - asking questions is always my favorite part @ p4c.
Dr. Gilbert Burgh is Senior Lecturer - School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry - The University of Queensland (Australia).
Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)?
In 1989, I graduated from the University of Queensland with a double major in Philosophy and I was writing a co-authored paper for a student journal on making philosophy accessible to everyone. I had an interest in ideas of philosophy as a subject in schools, but was not aware that Philosophy for Children existed. The Head of the Philosophy Department, Graham Priest, informed me that Lyn English, a professor of Mathematics in the Centre for Mathematics and Science Education at the Queensland University of Technology, had attended a residential teacher training workshop in Lorne, Victoria, on Philosophy for Children.
How did you start working with p4c?
I contacted Lyn and she invited me to attend the regular meetings she organised. In 1991, I enrolled as an honours student in Philosophy at the University of Queensland and was offered a contract teaching position as a tutor in the Division of Education at Griffith University.
I attended a Two-day program in Philosophy for Children, conducted by Laurance Splitter and Clive Lindop, held at the Centre for Mathematics and Science Education on 21–22 Jan 1991. In 1992, I received a three-year Australian Postgraduate Research Award to enroll in PhD study in Philosophy.
I was invited by Laurance to attend a Philosophy for Children Teacher Education program in Geelong, Victoria, organised by the Centre of Philosophy for Children at the Australian Council for Educational Research/Federation of Australasian Philosophy for Children Associations, held on 1–9 Feb 1992. Ann Margaret Sharp from the Institute for the Advancement for Philosophy for Children (IAPC) at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Ron Reed from Texas were teacher trainers. Ann offered me a fellowship to participate in an International Training Workshop, held at Mendham in New Jersey, 8–18 Jan 1993.
By 1994 I became the inaugural president of the Queensland Philosophy for Children Association, and we began to conduct regular teacher training.
Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?
What is known as Philosophy for Children (P4C) started as the curriculum developed at the IAPC, which was implemented in the classroom using the community of inquiry method of teaching developed by Matthew Lipman and Ann Sharp, based on the ideas of John Dewey, Charles Peirce, George Herbert Mead and Lev Vygotsky. It has, around the world, developed in diverse directions, known by other names such as philosophy with children, philosophy in schools, philosophical inquiry in the classroom and collaborative philosophical inquiry.
Many countries have chosen to not use the IAPC curriculum materials, but have adapted or developed their own materials or used existing children’s stories, picture book or other stimulus material. What these theorists and practitioners have in common is the use of the community of inquiry as the method for engaging in philosophical inquiry with students. In this sense, students collaboratively engage in inquiry that explores questions that come from their own puzzlement about the world to follow their arguments where they lead in purposeful critical and creative discourse and reflection that can lead to self-correction, to construct personal meaning and confirm mutual understanding.
Engaging in such inquiry allows children to question what would otherwise not be seen as contestable concepts, which provide the foundations and knowledge underpinning the disciplines that inform other school subjects mandated in the curriculum. This develops inquisitive minds, which is necessary for children’s development as active and informed citizens.
Nowadays children (@ Portugal) have a lot of activities at school and after school. Why should we take philosophy to schools?
I’ve indirectly addressed this question in response to your previous question. However, I would like to add that philosophy is vital to effective citizenship education or what I call democratic education. Democratic education refers to the view that schools should embody deliberative and decision-making structures in classroom dialogue, as well as provide opportunities for experimenting with students’ political judgments coming out of student dialogue, to facilitate and foster meaningful participation to other aspects of social life by all members of the school community.
By contrast, what I call education for democracy has as its primary goal the achievement of an educated citizenry competent to participate in democratic societies. I argue that education for democracy tends to serve political leaders who have a vested interest in maintaining the current economic and political structures to provide a means for enabling individuals, organisations, and nations to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive world to the neglect of involving people in a continuing process of education aimed as self-actualisation and a learning society.
Philosophy as collaborative inquiry emphasises the primacy of deliberative democracy (i.e., the development of deliberative and communicative relationships) and focusses on the radical conception of citizenship as a learning process (i.e., citizenship is experienced as a practice that connects individuals to their society, sustained through social reconstruction).
What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?
Philosophical questions are open to examination and lead to further questioning and inquiry. They question the very meaning of meaning itself, or taken for granted concepts such as truth, reality, knowledge, value, beauty, justice and so forth that underpin our cultural practices, laws, political systems, religious beliefs and moral judgments.
What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?
The biggest challenge is to get philosophy on the National Curriculum either as a separate subject or as a cross curriculum priority that integrates the core subjects included in the curriculum. There have been attempts in Australia to develop a philosophy curriculum and to include philosophy in the National Curriculum, but these have not been successful. Another challenge is to include philosophy as a core component of preservice teacher education programs in Faculties of Education in universities to ensure that all teachers have a grounding in philosophy as a teaching method.
Can you give the teachers and the parents some kind of advice to help them deal with the children’s questions?
Don’t answer questions, but keep the discussion open. Both children and adults – including the teacher - need to maintain an attitude of fallibilism about their worldview; to acknowledge that their beliefs can be mistaken and to explore disagreement arising from differences in beliefs. To this end, teachers need to be facilitators of classroom dialogue as well as co-inquirers with students.
As co-inquirers teachers need to draw on their expertise as members of the teaching profession with interests in subject areas. Students come to understand that teachers have subject knowledge, but teachers need to be aware of their own limitations brought about by the contested nature of the knowledge in the discipline that informs their subject expertise, and they must also convey or model this limitation in their role as co-inquirer. In this sense, teachers need to assume the position of what is often referred to as ‘scholarly ignorance’, but they should be careful not to feign ignorance, lest students become sceptical and suspect that such ignorance is not genuine. As co-inquirers, teachers need to assume a position of genuine doubt to prompt students into their own states of genuine doubt, which ideally leads to collective doubt and collaborative inquiry.
Did the children ever surprise you with a question? Can you share that question with us?
I’m never surprised by children’s questions. I’ve learnt over the years that children who share a sense of curiosity or wonder are inclined to ask questions that seem so natural to them. Many adults, on the other hand, fail to ask such questions, or lack enthusiasm for exploring ideas prompted by children’s questions. What these adults fail to recognise is the role of imagination in the critical and creative exploration of ideas that such questions can prompt. This is vital for the reconstruction of knowledge and cultural practices when dealing with social and political issues in a democratic society.
Can you recall the first time you heard about Philosophy for Children (P4C)? "It was while working on my doctoral thesis at Oxford in the late 1990s, I think. I joined the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain and started to meet people with an interest in P4C at PESGB events and conferences. Some of them were sympathetic to P4C, others fairly hostile."
Do you think P4C is necessary to children? Why? "I certainly think philosophy should form a part of every child’s education. There are problems and questions all human beings encounter in their everyday lives that cannot be adequately addressed without some acquaintance with philosophy. I’m thinking in particular of problems and questions in the areas of morality, politics and religion. I’m not wedded to the P4C approach to teaching philosophy, though. I think the community of inquiry model can be very effective, but there are other ways of teaching philosophy too."
From your point of view, why should we take philosophy to schools – kindergarten and early years?
"Education must equip children for life, and life throws up problems it is very difficult to solve without the aid of philosophy. That’s why philosophy belongs on the school curriculum. And it’s never too early to get started. As with other school subjects, there are ways to make philosophy accessible and enjoyable even for five-year-olds."
What makes an everyday question a philosophical question? "Most everyday questions are not philosophical, of course, but some certainly are. The ones I’m most interested in are questions about the justification of moral, political and religious norms. Why should I be a vegetarian, or vote Labour, or worship God? You can’t think seriously about questions like that without entering the realm of philosophy."
What’s the biggest challenge philosophy faces, nowadays? "I don’t know if it’s the biggest challenge philosophy faces, but I think important work in ethics struggles to get a public hearing because of a prevailing suspicion that norms and values are beyond the reach of reason. People accept that factual disputes can be settled rationally, by collecting and analysing relevant data, but they doubt that rational progress can be made with disagreements about values. So the arguments of ethicists are ignored, or dismissed as rationalisations of subjective preferences. I think that’s a serious problem for philosophy, at least insofar as it aspires to inform real-world decision making and policy formation."
And what about P4C? What are the biggest challenges that P4C faces, nowadays?
"I think the biggest challenge for all advocates of philosophy in schools, whether they favour the P4C approach or not, is persuading governments and policy-makers of its educational value. Why should room be made for philosophy in an already overcrowded curriculum? We have to provide a compelling answer to that question. In the next issue of the open access Journal of Philosophy in Schools, due out later this year, a group of us try to meet that challenge.
Michael, Laura, Pete and Angie Hobbs will be discussing "Why should philosophy be taught in schools?", next July, at the University of Birmingham. Please check out the details below:
Por la presente, les hacemos llegar el número 4 de la Revista Internacional de Filosofía Aplicada HASER. Durante el último año, hemos avanzado en su consolidación académica (siendo incluida en Latindex) y su difusión (alcanzando más de 7000 descargas a través de ISSU, a las que se han de añadir la difusión en papel, en bibliotecas y las descargas por otros medios.
Les informamos que la edición precedente ha contado con la edición invitada de Joan Mendez, presidente de la AFPC, y Juan Carlos Gómez, tesorero de la citada institución; si bien, incluye también una investigación predoctoral de Francisco Barrera y la de Máster de la especialista portuguesa Joana Sousa.
Quedamos abiertos a sus aportaciones en forma de artículos, reseñas o resúmenes de eventos para próximos números.
«Nós por cá celebramos um ano de Revista. A 1ª Revista de Psicologia Digital em Portugal com esta dimensão. O Papel da Psicologia merece um grande destaque nas nossas vidas. Abrangemos três mundos, o mundo académico, o mundo das organizações e o mundo das pessoas. Criamos pontes para o conhecimento, sendo que a partilha deste conhecimento é de sempre a nossa principal prioridade e chegar a todos sempre foi o nosso lema. Queremos agradecer a todos os autores que colaboram desde o 1º minuto deste projecto e a toda a nossa comissão científica. Numa altura de crise disseram-nos vários vezes:" não se metam nisso", " dá muito trabalho!","nesta altura um investimento destes!", entre muitas outras mensagens deste tipo, mas a equipa editorial deste projecto acreditou e com investimento próprio (dos editores) e a ajuda de professores de várias universidades do País, psicólogos de várias áreas, investigadores, cronistas, economistas, médicos-psiquiatras, ensaistas,juízes,procuradores,advogados..., juntos conseguimos que este projecto desse frutos. Aos nossos assinates um grande abraço de agradecimento, agradecemos ainda todos os posts feitos no Facebook sobre este projecto que é de todos. Porque gostamos de pessoas esta revista é para si.
A equipa editorial»
conheça este projecto AQUI e AQUI. no nº 6 podem encontrar um artigo da minha autoria e que se enquadra na investigação por mim realizada na tese de mestrado, que cruza gestão de recursos humanos com filosofia aplicada.
«Descartes inaugura a ideia de método na Modernidade através da sua reflexão epistemológica. Dispor de uma ferramenta básica para realizar o caminho com segurança e certeza, para descobrir “com claridade e distinção” o melhor dos trilhos, constituiu um leitmotiv que nunca abandonou. A Filosofia Aplicada, parafraseando outro racionalista sem comparação, ajuda a orientar-nos na vida. Saber orientar-se, afirmava Ortega y Gasset, requer uma detenção sobre aquilo que somos e sobre o nosso “cicun-mundo” ou a nossa “circun-stância”. As metodologias de Filosofia Aplicada que constituem este livro são um passo mais para que a Filosofia Aplicada se compreenda a si mesma, e uma via para que a luz continue a entrar nas suas fendas eclipsadas.»
ainda durante o ano de 2011 tive oportunidade de ver o projecto de tese (defendido no passado dia 28 de Fevereiro) publicado numa obra editada pelo Professor José Barrientos Rastrojo e da qual constam trabalhos no âmbito da filosofia aplicada.
ontem, no ISLA Lisboa, apresentei (e defendi) a dissertação para a obtenção do grau de Mestre em Gestão em Recursos Humanos; trabalho que teve a orientação do Professor JoseBarrientos Rastrojo (Universidade deSevilha, Espanha). o júri foi composto pelo orientador da investigação, bem como pelo Professor Rocha Machado e o Professor Luís Teixeira.
porque a defesa é pública, considero que os agradecimentos também o podem (devem?) ser. aqui ficam.
«- Estás a pensar outra vez? – perguntou a Duquesa, enterrando mais fundo o queixo bicudo.
- Tenho direito a pensar – ripostou Alice com aspereza porque começava a perder a paciência.»
CAROLL Lewis – As Aventuras de Alice no País das Maravilhas e Alice do Outro Lado do Espelho. – Relógio D’Água: Lisboa, 2000, p. 104
Ao Professor Doutor José Barrientos Rastrojo, por aceitar esta orientação na hora, sem hesitar; pelo incentivo em dar este pequeno passo na Filosofia Aplicada; pelas partilhas, pelo apoio na investigação e na tomada de decisão; e sobretudo pela amizade.
Aos meus professores um muito obrigada pelas noites (por vezes longas) de aulas e de aprendizagem, de partilhas, de questionamento e de bons momentos.
Aos meus colegas de mestrado: companheiros de viagem, «we’ll always have vodka em tubos!»
Em especial, à Isabel, à Vera, à Ana, à Carla e ao Jorge: o melhor do mestrado implica-vos a todos em momentos mais ou menos académicos.
Um obrigada muito especial à Alexandra: ainda bem que me sentei ao teu lado na primeira aula do mestrado; quem diria que essa escolha iria determinar a conquista de uma amizade e de um lugar junto da tua família? Mas como diz o povo, nada acontece por acaso e «às vezes o amor dá chorar» (e a tese também!).
Aos amigos «do coração» pelo apoio incondicional. Nisto, como em tantas outras coisas.
Aos pequenos-grandes Bernardo, Camila e Santiago. A uma «B-ervilhinha» que está a caminho!
À Ana Cila e à Ana Dominguez pela compreensão, pelo apoio bibliográfico e de conteúdo. E pelas mãos dadas nesta «coisa do filosfofar».
À Celeste Machado, com quem partilho outras «guerras» no âmbito da Filosofia Aplicada. E uma amizade «muito enorme».
Ao Tomás Magalhães Carneiro, à Zaza Carneiro de Moura, à Dina Mendonça, à Graça Lopes, pela paixão pela filosofia e pelo trabalho sério que me inspira.
Ao Professor Óscar Brenifier pelos seminários vivos e de profundo questionamento.
Ao Nigel Laurie e à Shlomit Schuster, pelo apoio e partilha de artigos. Thank you very much!
Aos formandos; aos amigos e conhecidos das redes sociais pela generosidade de partilha, pela palavra amiga perante o desabafo. E acreditem que desabafei MUITO.
Obrigada a todos os que me fizeram acreditar que era possível, mesmo que não fosse perfeito.
Obrigada, também, a quem não acreditou neste trabalho. A vossa descrença constituiu-se como um incentivo fundamental.
Ouvi dizer numa das aulas do mestrado que a realização da tese era um processo solitário. Confirmo. E é um processo que promove a ausência de quem por ele passa junto das pessoas mais importantes. A mamãe Sabel (é assim que o mundo a conhece) e o meu irmão, João, são as pessoas que mais sabem como é que se consegue estar presente e ausente ao mesmo tempo. Dedico-lhes este trabalho, como tudo aquilo que faço na minha vida.
A convite do meu orientador da tese de mestrado, Professor Doutor José Barrientos Rastrojo, tive oportunidade de participar neste livro METODOLOGIAS APLICADAS DESDE A FILOSOFIA ESTABELECIMENTOS PRISIONAIS, EMPRESA, ÉTICA, CONSULTORIA E EDUCAÇÃO com um artigo intitulado Filosofia Aplicada nas Empresas e Organizações: aproximações teóricas.
«Why to deny the questioning as a form of communication? However, Socratic dialogue is the communication between two beings: once you start a dialogue, you begin to communicate. Questions simply seek knowledge, understanding of words and links between them. Questions force us to find our knowledge somewhere in our mind, in a collective thinking.»