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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

David Whitney: "(...) I don’t think philosophy is an ‘optional extra’ for a school’s curriculum.  How can learning how to think be optional?" 

David Whitney is a full-time primary school teacher and SMSC leader from Warwickshire in England. He has led bespoke philosophy for children programmes across a federation of schools and is the creator and writer of Delphi Philosophy, an interactive storytelling approach to philosophy for children.

I met David on Twitter and decided to contact him so he can answer my questions.

Thank you, Dave!

 

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Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)?

I first came across philosophy for children when I was researching at university.  I was researching the idea of childhood innocence and trying to find examples of children showing abstract thinking at a young age.  I immediately loved the sound of it – and it debunked the myth that children aren’t capable of complex or abstract reasoning.  I didn’t see it in practise until I tried it for myself many years later.

 

How did you start working with p4c?

It was in my first year of teaching when I started to look into it – the children at my school have extraordinary passion and curiosity for their learning and I just thought they’d love it.  Then I read a book which made it all possible – The If Machine by Peter Worley.  I put the enquiries in that book into a scheme of work and built in some skill development, and away we went.  The impact of that first scheme was amazing.  I taught an enquiry called The Chair in the first lesson and the children were astonished.  They had just never had a lesson like it.  They were literally still talking about that lesson two years later!

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

Absolutely.  The reason is simply because children try to do it anyway.  On the one hand, much of the school curriculum includes skills which are developed by doing philosophy, but are never explicitly taught.  Children need the ability to give reasons, think of examples or change their mind, to give a few examples, in all their lessons – but our maths or English curriculum rarely gives them time to develop these skills. On the other hand, children are also natural philosophers.  I love the line in Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, where Alberto tells Sophie that philosophers have to “regain the faculty of wonder” that they had when they were children.  When you teach children philosophy, it feels like you’re unleashing some natural inner power in them!  Philosophy has the power to really bring out potential.

 

Nowadays children ( @ Portugal) have a lot of activities at school and after school. Why should we take philosophy to schools?

It’s much the same in England – one of the toughest parts of my job has not been persuading teachers that philosophy for children is a good idea – the hard part is finding time for it.  

But I don’t think philosophy is an ‘optional extra’ for a school’s curriculum.  How can learning how to think be optional? Once school leaders and teachers realise that philosophy teaches skills which the children go on to use in all their lessons, then they see the value of it. 

We developed Delphi Philosophy with this in mind – philosophy for children can be so much more than an interesting discussion – it can really develop children’s thinking and reasoning skills in a very clear and measurable way.

 

What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?

One of the funniest things about teaching children philosophical questions is that they have no problems asking them – but saying the word ‘philosophical’ can be a bit of a challenge!  In Delphi Philosophy, we’ve taken to calling them ‘big questions’.  In the story of Delphi the Philosopher, Delphi gets told that a philosophical question is one that doesn’t have a right answer, but you can get better answers by thinking about it. That definition seems to work well in class. 

The best philosophical questions for class discussions are usually simple enough for anyone to access but deep enough to challenge everybody.  A four year old can tell you what “being good” means, while a professional philosopher might know a lot of possible answers, none of them ‘right’. That makes it a philosophical question.

 

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

The challenge comes from all the other competing influences on schools.  I’m a full-time teacher and the vast majority of my time is spent teaching English and maths, planning, marking and assessing.  There are so many pressures on schools in England at the moment, and anxiety about inspection or data scrutiny is deeply ingrained in the system.  The sad reality is that schools end up feeling forced to teach a narrow curriculum based on passing the tests – which of course, isn’t real learning at all. 

In my experience, philosophy sessions are a highlight for the children because they are so refreshingly different from much of the rest of the curriculum.

 

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

Don’t be scared of them!  And don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know, and then ask them what they think. Sometimes a scary sounding question isn’t half as scary as it first sounds!  The most important thing is the conversation, not the answer.

 

Did the children ever surprise you with a question? Can you share that question with us?

The children constantly surprise me – every single day.  Writing the Delphi stories for the children in my school has been such a delight because it’s a reciprocal process – the children’s responses to the stories help me re-write them so that Delphi shows their responses.  One early example in my career was the first time I taught the enquiry about the invisibility ring – and what they would do with it. The first class who did this enquiry with me surprised me by all agreeing they should throw the ring in the river and be rid of the responsibility of using it.  So, I had Delphi do exactly the same thing.  Having a class of children to help me develop these stories is the most extraordinary privilege.

Dalia Toonsi: "(...) we have several challenges [like] the dual hierarchal relationship between the teacher and the learner"

I met Dalia Toonsi through Roger Sutcliffe (Dialogue Works) and I later found Dalia and the project Baseera on twitter. I asked Dalia if she could collaborate with my blog and she accepted to anwer my questions.

This is Dalia's point of view on Philosophy for Children, at Saudi Arabia. 

 

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Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)?

It was in 2008 when I was doing my masters in Cardiff university UK. I was interested academically in developing moral reasoning with children and this took me in a journey where I reached philosophy for children as a mean to achieve my academic goal.

 

How did you started working with p4c?

I came back to Saudi Arabia 2010 with my level 1 certification from SAPERE, I started to gather a small group of children to do the sessions. It wasn’t easy, philosophy is not a popular topic in my country and its banned in schools so I could not call my sessions : P4C, I choose different names to call my sessions anything  from wisdom to critical thinking as long as I don’t say “philosophy”. I started by gaining trust in the community, experience and competence came consequently and now, in 2019 the country is ready to accept new ideas and philosophy is on the table again after centuries of banning

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

Yes I do, first of all, I saw it work with  my children, having adopted the p4c approach at home, it contributed hugely in there holistic wellbeing, I am biased but yes I think P4c is a right to every child.

 

Nowadays children ( @ Portugal) have a lot of activities at school and after school. Why should we take philosophy to schools?

I think its essential for the education systems to adopt the idea of P4c . it doesn’t just make children think, but it also adds to teaching and to the school environment in general a sense of community and meaningful growth

P4C prompts the orientation towards education revolving around the needs of the student more than the academic goals of the teacher. It improves the quality of social communication skills and teamwork and most of all, it prompts values, moral reasoning and individual responsibility.

 

What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?

A good philosophical question is the one that creates tension, a collision between concepts or maybe a sense of contradictory

This power of contestability within the question makes it irresistible to think about and to engage in.

 

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

 I can speak of my country and we have several challenges:

  • The bad reputation of philosophy
  • The challenge of traditional content driven pedagogies
  • And the dual hierarchal relationship between the teacher and the learner

 

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

Just say with all your attention and respect : hmm that’s a great question, I never thought about it before, what do you think?

 

Did the children ever surprised you with a question? Can you share that question with us?

I have a bank of over 700 questions and I cherish them all. I like so many of them but take this one for example:

Why do good thing happen to evil people?

 

 

"o último dia"

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ontem foi o "último dia" de aulas da Pós-Graduação em Filosofia para Crianças e Jovens, na Universidade Católica Portuguesa. 

 

foi uma manhã intensa, de prática, de "trabalhos de pensar". avaliámos o percurso feito até aqui, com um cunho crítico, pois há muito a fazer. temos planos, temos objectivos e vamos arregaçar as mangas para continuar a levar a filosofia às crianças e aos jovens.

 este "último dia" é o começo de tantos outros dias para darmos continuidade a esta prática, a esta investigação.

 

 

seguimos caminho, com objectivos planeados em grupo, pois somos team pensamento colaborativo. 

já disse que foi um privilégio partilhar este caminho na companhia deste grupo de alunos? foi mesmo!

 

a próxima edição da PG já está agendada para Outubro e as inscrições estão abertas.

podem informar-se através do e-mail epgfa@ucp.pt ou telefone: (+351) 217 214 060

 

Oscar Brenifier: "Do not answer the questions of children, unless they first propose themselves an initial hypothesis, or different ones. Teach them to be autonomous, instead of mere consumers."

Oscar Brenifier, holds a Bachelor of biology degree (University of Ottawa) and a PhD in Philosophy (Paris IV – Sorbonne). For many years, in France as well as in the rest of the world, he has been working on the concept of ‘philosophical practice’, both from a theoretical and practical viewpoint. He is one of the main promoters of the project of philosophy in the city, organizing philosophy workshops for children and adults and philosophy cafés, working as a philosophy consultant, etc. He has published about fifty books in this domain, including the ‘Philozenfants’ series (Editions Nathan), which has been translated into over thirty-five languages. He founded the Institut de Pratiques Philosophiques (Institute of philosophical practice), to train practical philosophers and organize philosophy workshops in various places: schools, old people’s homes, prisons, social centers,organizations, etc. He is one of the authors of the UNESCO report: “Philosophy, a school of freedom”. 

 

At the Institut de Pratiques Philosophiques' website there are free books that you can download.

 

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Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)?

I vaguely remember: I was still young at the  time. It  was when I proposed to an  elementary school to hold a philosophy workshop with the children . Until then I was primarily doing workshop with adults. But when later on I heard the coined expression “P4C”, I noticed it often had little to do with philosophy.

  

How did you started working with p4c?

In a regular way, it was when my eldest daughter entered kindergarten. I proposed to the director of the school to hold regular workshops with different classes of children, aged between 3 and 5. I then made different experiments, invented diverse exercises, to make the children think. 

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

No, it is not necessary. No more than art or gymnastics is necessary. Most people live without exercising their body or their mind, and manage quite well to survive. But of course, one might criticize the fact that they are missing on something important.

  

Nowadays children ( @ Portugal) have a lot of activities at school and after school. Why should we take philosophy to schools?

I don’t think we should. There is no foundation for such an obligation. But the good thing about philosophy is precisely that it is a non-activity, in the middle of all these activities.

  

What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view?

Strange presupposition. It implies that there is a specific “p4c point of view”. I did not know. In a more general way, I don’t think there is such a thing as “philosophical questions”, but there are philosophical ways to deal with a question. For example, multiplicity of answers, guidance of reason, argumentation, problematization, etc. In this sense, all questions can be  philosophical.

  

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

To do philosophy, instead of holding cute discussions, going beyond a mere exchange of feelings and opinions. Learning to listen attentively, to analyse, to question rigorously, etc.

 

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

Do not answer the questions of children, unless they first propose themselves an initial hypothesis, or different ones. Teach them to be autonomous, instead of mere consumers.

  

Did the children ever surprised you with a question? Can you share that question with us?

Yes. “Can I go out to the toilet?”. I was surprised, because I naively forgot how much human beings connect to their body more than to their mind.

 

agenda filocriatiVIDAde - março 2019

16 de Fevereiro (sábado)

oficina de filosofia para pais e filhos (10h - crianças 3/5 anos; 11h - crianças 6/10 anos)

na Biblioteca Municipal Manuel Alegre - Águeda

informações através do e-mail biblioteca@cm-agueda.pt

 

 

17 de Março (domingo)

oficina de filosofia para pais e filhos (11h - crianças 6/11 anos)

na Livraria Bertrand Chiado  - Lisboa

informações através do e-mail leitor@bertrand.pt

 

 

24 de Março (domingo)

café filosófico no Café d'Avenida, em Setúbal - às 18h30 

informações através do e-mail frade.mariajoao@gmail.com  ou do telefone 91 70 38 187

 

"a prática filosófica é sofrer tranquilamente" - oscar brenifier

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pensar exige um esforço deliberado, obriga-nos a olhar para coisas que não são agradáveis e que nos deixam inseguros. o trabalho do pensamento crítico passa por parar para pensar e observar cada passo que damos.

o treino que os seminários do Oscar Brenifier proporcionam é, para mim, essencial para o desenvolvimento do meu trabalho enquanto facilitadora (ou dificultadora) de oficinas de filosofia (para crianças e jovens e até para adultos). 

descubro sempre coisas novas. redescubro coisas que vou esquecendo pois a espuma dos dias é espumosa demais e é fácil praticar o "go with the flow". é difícil tomar conta da nossa vida. contrariar isso exige consciência, exige prestar atenção, tratar de uma coisa de cada vez. 

 

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o hipópotamo, um ser autêntico. e praticante da simplicidade: tenho fome, como. tenho sede, bebo água. sem "mas", sem "depende", sem "agora não". sem "neste caso, não". para o hipópotamo há o aqui e agora.

parar para pensar no próprio pensamento é um trabalho de autenticidade, de pessoas se permitem ser hipópotamos. 

 

(sobre)vivi a mais dois dias de seminário de pensamento crítico: dois dias intensos, turbulentos e divertidos. o facto de os ter partilhado com pessoas que estimo e com quem tenho a possibilidade de partilhar as "dores" (e as alegrias) do pensar mais profundamente - isso foi a cereja no topo do bolo.

 

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(fotografia da Elsa Cerqueira, partilhada no facebook. da esquerda para a direita: eu, Alice Santos e Oscar Brenifier)

 

até já, Oscar!

 

 

as oficinas de filosofia estão de volta à livraria bertrand chiado

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"Costumo dizer que estas oficinas equivalem a um treino de ginásio: em vez dos músculos do corpo, trabalhamos os músculos do pensamento"

Joana Rita Sousa, Filósofa, facilitadora e formadora na área de filosofia para crianças e criatividade, desde 2008.

 

 

O que é que acontece numa oficina de filosofia? 

"Aqui nós aprendemos o que as coisas são, o que são as palavras. andamos a ver o que existe, o que é real, explicamos as palavras e as perguntas!" - dizia o Marco, ao avaliar uma das oficinas de filosofia. Estas pretendem ser um espaço e um tempo para parar para pensar, "treinar" o olhar crítico, explorar possibilidades e investigar - em conjunto.



O que é que se aprende?

Costumo dizer que estas oficinas equivalem a um treino de ginásio: em vez dos músculos do corpo, trabalhamos os músculos do pensamento. Fazemos exercícios de resistência – verificamos se a nossa ideia é forte, se há boas razões para a aceitar e se resistem aos argumentos contra – treinamos a flexibilidade – será que eu sou capaz de defender o ponto de vista do outro? E se eu mudar de ideias? – e, sobretudo, trabalhamos com as ideias uns dos outros. Podemos “adoptar” perguntas e ideias dos amigos, oferecer perguntas, explorar hipóteses de respostas, descobrir outros pontos de vista e, sobretudo, construir um espaço de liberdade onde posso dizer aquilo que penso, sem que seja julgada por isso. Podemos testar ideias, avançar, voltar atrás – tudo isso faz parte do processo que nos encaminhará para o aprofundamento filosófico. 

 

informações: leitor@bertrand.pt 

 

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