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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

Amy Leask: "(...)a learning environment that encourages big questions creates a bond of trust between students and their teachers."

"Hello, my name is Amy Leask and I'm a philosopher!" - this is how Amy introduces herself at her ted talk (tedxmilton). I met Amy and her project RedTKids on Twitter. 

Amy Leask is an author, educator, and children’s interactive media producer. She’s the founder of Red T Media in Ontario, Canada, and delights in finding new ways to reach curious little minds. 




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

I heard about philosophy of childhood while I was an undergraduate, but nothing about philosophy for children until I was teaching at the college level. There were a lot of intelligent young adults in my philosophy classes who had never really put together an argument of their own, and who didn’t realize they were allowed to disagree, or think critically about the ideas presented to them. Like most P4C advocates, I thought philosophy needed to be introduced at a younger age, and when I looked into it further, I found I wasn’t alone. There was a growing community of philosophers who wanted to bring a new kind of thinking to a younger audience.


How did you started working with p4c?

While I was teaching philosophy to big kids, I started writing material that presented philosophical ideas to children. I wanted to create something fun and entertaining that they could read to themselves, but that also encouraged them to ask questions, and to embrace logic and reason. Over the years, my original manuscript has turned into a number of books, as well as cartoons, games, apps, and teacher materials. Presently, I run an independent multimedia company that focuses almost exclusively on P4C, in interactive formats.  


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

21st century learning is founded on thinking practices that, ironically, have been around for millennia in philosophy. Children today may be digital natives, but they still need low-tech skills like critical thinking, problem solving, communication and creativity in order to successfully navigate school, the working world, and their personal life.

I see P4C as an effort to teach children survival skills, but also to empower them, and to engage them in a practice that’s shared by all humans. Beyond the necessary parts, children really enjoy asking big questions, and it’s actually fun for them to engage in discussion. Why not make the most of what comes naturally to them?


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

It’s expected that teachers cover things like critical thinking and problem solving in their curriculum, but both are fairly difficult things to teach, especially in a crowded classroom, with limited time and resources. P4C enables teachers to reach so many learning objectives. What’s more, I think a learning environment that encourages big questions creates a bond of trust between students and their teachers. If a child knows his or her teacher isn’t afraid to dive into inquiry, he or she will feel more supported and comfortable going beneath the surface of ideas.

P4C has cross-curricular applications, and is helpful in supporting children’s mental health, anti-bullying programs, and an appreciation of diversity. It works wonders, both inside and outside the classroom, and it helps children become well-rounded thinkers.


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

I think most philosophical questions have a “why” component to them. We have to use different lines of thinking to answer them, different than we would use to answer a scientific question. I’d say a philosophical question is one that has more than one answer, although some answers are still better than others. Philosophical questions are about our place in the universe, our relationships with other beings, and about ourselves.

The beautiful thing about P4C is that children seem especially adept at asking these kinds of questions (and taking their parents by surprise in doing so). It’s a privilege and a pleasure to help them reason their way through them.


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

Philosophy itself is in need of rebranding. It has a reputation of being for adults, and for belonging only in the academy. Most grown-ups, let alone children, don’t know much about it, and those who do know about it are often intimidated by it. The challenge lies in extending the reach of philosophy and making it part of people’s everyday lives. It needs to be mainstream, and people need to know how helpful, how interesting, and how much fun it is. We need to find ways to demonstrate that it really is for everyone.


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

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know. As adults, we fear that in admitting this, we’ll be letting our children down, that they’ll no longer have confidence in us. However, it’s actually quite liberating, and being vulnerable in front of a child like this can encourage trust. What could be more enriching than exploring a problem together, and learning together? 

Besides that, it’s important to recognize that children do philosophy differently. They might only want to ponder big questions for short periods of time, and they often do so through art projects, science experiments, or dramatic role-play. Philosophy is still philosophy, even when it’s done with toys, books, and games.


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

I’m always surprised by questions children ask. They seem to get right at the heart of the matter, wondering why we exist, how they’re supposed to behave, and who decides what’s fair. Their answers surprise me even more. I once did a workshop in which an older child brought his preschool-aged sister. She spent most of the time running in circles, doodling with crayons, and giggling, and we assumed she wasn’t listening. But when we posed the question “What makes a human?” she blurted out “Love makes us human, silly!” and then went back to running and playing, like it was nothing. It took the discussion in a totally different direction, and it reminded me that even very young children can surprise us with their insights.

ecos do 3º congresso internacional de filosofia



"o que viemos fazer aqui?" - perguntou o professor José Rosa, na conferência de abertura do Congresso. e, agora que já terminaram os trabalhos, estou em condições de responder: vim até à UBI, na Covilhã, para me deixar encantar pelo azul do céu e o ar da montanha e, sobretudo, para partilhar e colocar a filosofia em prática.


o painel de filosofia aplicada

há uns meses recebi um e-mail do Pepe Barrientos-Rastrojo no sentido de propormos um painel de filosofia aplicada no 3º Congresso Internacional de Filosofia, organizado pela Sociedade Portuguesa de Filosofia.

desse painel também fizeram parte a Magda Costa Carvalho, a Maria Teresa Santos e a Dina Mendonça. falámos de filosofia, de filosofia aplicada, bem como de como são "velhas" as novas práticas filosóficas. a filosofia para/com crianças foi um dos pontos de ordem deste painel, onde apresentámos pontos de vista diferentes:

- o Pepe falou-nos de como é possível transformar a filosofia de Rorty em espaços de oficinas, onde crianças, jovens e adultos podem trabalhar e desenvolver as competências do pensamento crítico, criativo, colaborativo e cuidativo > "A criação privada do eu e a solidariedade pública com os outros na Filosofia para as Crianças. Uma aproximação à disciplina desde Richard Rorty";

- a Magda apresentou-nos uma reflexão sobre o papel da filosofia para crianças na revitalização da própria filosofia: "A Filosofia para Crianças con-quista a Filosofia";

- a Dina trouxe-nos uma comunicação em que abordou "A Filosofia para Crianças e o aprofundamento dos processos de aprendizagem – o diálogo filosófico e as capacidades argumentativas";

- a Teresa partilhou um trabalho de reflexão de Marta Naussbam sobre o trabalho de Lipman e o modo como o programa age sobre a vivência da democracia; a comunicação intitulava-se "Em defesa das humanidades e da democracia. O elogio de Martha Nussbaum a Matthew Lipman".


Kant e a prática da investigação filosófica

procurei apresentar uma reflexão pessoal em torno de Kant e do Kant que me chegou por via do Lipman. acabei por partilhar um pouco do processo de pensamento e de construção da comunicação, que conheceu avanços e recuos, mudanças justificadas e procura de fundamentos. afinal, o processo de investigação que a comunidade de investigação filosófica possibilita é algo que pratico na minha investigação individual, para a qual convoco as pessoas que me são próximas, como a Gabriela Castro e o Pepe Barrientos, com quem dialoguei via e-mail ou via messenger; além dos textos dos filósofos com os quais dialogo e construo (desconstruo) o meu pensamento.



viagem ao passado e a homenagem, no presente, ao professor Artur Morão

voltar à Covilhã, oito anos depois da minha primeira visita, traduziu-se no (re)encontro com os professores José Rosa e António Amaral, que me acompanharam na licenciatura. houve ainda lugar, durante o congresso, para uma homenagem ao professor Artur Morão, cujas aulas não esqueço, cuja alegria de ser e de estar é contagiante. o motivo da homenagem: as inúmeras obras traduzidas pelo professor que nos permitem dialogar com tantos textos fundamentais da filosofia - e não só!



filosofia fora e dentro da escola

o Alves Jana, do Clube de Filosofia de Abrantes, partilhou uma comunicação sobre os espaços de intervenção da filosofia, fora dos muros da escola: "a sociedade a que pertencemos precisa do contributo da filosofia, mesmo quando não sabe que precisa".


o João Teodósio falou-nos de experiências que aproximam a filosofia das vicências dos alunos e da realidade em que vivem - aprendizagem experiencial da disciplina de filosofia no ensino sedcundário. partilho convosco uma curiosidade: eu e o João Teodósio fizemos parte de um documentário realizado pelo Guilherme e pelo João, no Fundão, sobre filosofia: a sala 13. 


Leila Athaides partilhou um trabalho muito interessante sobre o impulso lúdico em Schiller e a sua aplicação em conteúdos de filosofia, no ensino médio. a Leila veio do Brasil, cruzou o oceano para nos brindar com uma apresentação cuidada e pertinente sobre um trabalho que, a meu ver, pode cruzar muito com as estruturas da filosofia para/com crianças. 



a minha primeira apresentação num encontro da Sociedade Portuguesa de Filosofia data de 2013 e consistiu numa oficina de filosofia pensada e criada com a Celeste Machado. foi com muita honra que voltei a participar num evento da SPF e em tão boa companhia!


ainda sobre a minha apresentação e o início onde resumi algumas das ideias do primeiro dia do Congresso:

Sinto que a filosofia para/com crianças e jovens é um “imperativo categórico”, nos tempos que correm.

Na linha da comunicação da professora Adela Cortina, encaro com seriedade o compromisso de empoderar as crianças e os jovens na defesa dos seus pontos de vista.

Um empoderamento que é [metafísico, ético e] cordial e implica o ser humano na sua inteireza, tal como defendeu Kant na terceira Crítica. O ser humano é inteligência, vontade e afectividade.

M. Luísa Ribeiro Ferreira falou-nos, a propósito do ensino da filosofia no ensino secundário, da necessidade dos alunos pensarem por si próprios. Sublinhou também o papel inquietante e des-instaladorda filosofia, perante os alunos e os professores.

Neves Vicente relatou uma experiência, com ênfase no papel do facilitador enquanto um orientador munido de ferramentas que permitem o trabalho filosófico, independentemente do conteúdo.

Maria João Couto lançou a questão da formação dos formadores da filosofia para crianças, algo que preocupa cada vez mais quem, como eu, está no terreno a desenvolver trabalho e investigação nesta área.


também partilhei algumas ideias no twitter, com as tags #3CIF e #socportfilos


agora é hora de escrever e preparar o artigo para publicação. 




Damon Young: "(...) be honest. Don’t manufacture ideas or feelings. Give kids the benefit of your experiences and education. Oh, and don’t be afraid to laugh at the world and yourself."

Damon Young is an Australian philosopher and author. His eleven books of nonfiction and children’s fiction are published internationally in English and translation. His latest for adults is The Art of Reading. His latest for children is My Mum is a Magician. 

I met Damon on Twitter and I invited him to be a part of these interviews around P4C.

If you want to take a look at all the investigators and facilitators, all around the world, that have been sharing toughts about P4C, just take a look at this blog post

You can check out Damon's work at his website: 


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


Perhaps in around 2005? 


How did you started working with p4c?


I was a research fellow in aesthetics at the University of Melbourne, and part of my brief was working with art museums and galleries. Through this, I was often invited to work with high school students on art education. While the emphasis was on art appreciation, this led quite spontaneously to philosophical discussion: on what art is, for example, and what questions it prompts (e.g. ontological, ethical, political).


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?


Yes, philosophy—as a practice, not as an academic specialisation—is vital for a good life. If we can’t ask basic questions about our existence, how can we live well and ethically? By introducing children to philosophy early, we give them two important things: the ability to ask these questions without being intimidated or muddled, and the ability to enjoy doing this. Philosophy is a means to the end of a better life, but it’s also an end in itself.


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


Schools ought to teach philosophy for the reasons given above. But why schools? Two suggestions. First, because schools can provide a systematic syllabus, taught by professional educators. It might be that good teachers are better at introducing students to philosophy than academic professors. (Not the “might”. I’d like to see some evidence either way.)Teachers are also more likely to be sensitive to the various needs and contexts of students. Second, schools are one way to overcome poverty and marginalisation. Philosophy is often the province of the rich and educated, but schools can help to broaden access.


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


My basic guide is this: will it help a child to question what’s taken-for-granted, with reason, goodwill, and an eye for evidence?


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays? 


For me, the greatest frustration is adults’ need to manage and control kids. Everything, including philosophy, becomes a kind of widget for producing obedient labourers.


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


My only suggestion is to be honest. Don’t manufacture ideas or feelings. Give kids the benefit of your experiences and education. Oh, and don’t be afraid to laugh at the world and yourself.


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


A little boy once asked me if Batman even wanted to be happy, and this struck me as psychologically very observant.

Zoran Kojcic: "Just as well as you train your body, you should train your mind – by reading, thinking, discussing, questioning, philosophizing."

Searchinf for #p4c, on Twitter, has helped me find so many people that dedicate their time doing, studying philsophy for children. The Lipman's program well knowed as P4C has been adapted and used with teenagers and even grown ups. Zoran Kojcic has been applying P4C with teenagers - and that's why I invited him to share some toughts with us.


First of all, a short bio so you can get to know Zoran: 

Zoran Kojcic (1986), philosopher and author, holds MA degrees in Philosophy and Croatian Philology from University of Osijek, Croatia. He is certified Philosophical Counsellor, board member of Petit Philosophy Association and member of Croatian Philosophical Association. Since 2011 Zoran teaches Literature and Ethics in high schools and also works as coordinator on several international projects. Zoran presented papers on more than 15 international conferences and published popular and scientific papers on Philosophy of Education and Philosophical Practice worldwide. Zoran is also the author of philosophical novel 'Walk through…' (Presing Publishing, 2014). He is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Sofia University in Bulgaria, doing a research on philosophical counselling practice.




And now, time for Q & A!



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


I was introduced to P4C when I was studying for my Masters degree in Philosophy, in 2010, by my professor Bruno Curko from Croatia. He and some others have already formed Petit Philosophy, first association for P4C in Croatia and have already started implementing workshops in schools in 2009. In Croatia, students have Philosophy as a subject in high schools, but not in elementary schools, so this concept was really interesting to me at that time.


How did you started working with p4c?


Right after I graduated, in 2011, I started working in high school and also joined Petit Philosophy, which is also where I work until this day. We applied for many different projects and grants, mainly covering ethics and civil education, and we tried to combine philosophy with other subjects in schools. First bigger project I worked on combined philosophy with literature, art, music and film and it offered our students opportunity to explore all those approaches.


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?


We still don't know whether it is necessary, but we have seen in practice that it offers them tools which later help them think for themselves and think more clearly. I can speak from experience that many students which are engaged in some form of P4C show broader understanding of issues in hand and more abilities in recognizing the problem, analyzing the situation and orienting themselves toward solutions, which often tend to be sustainable, empathic and rational. Tools which philosophy uses provide students with interesting skill set for the future and for variety of different professions as well as for more humane interactions with others within society.


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


An individual should develop itself as a whole person. This means development of both body and mind. We can take our kids to play tennis or football, but we should also make sure that they equally develop their minds. Lately, I am working on Foucault's and Ancient Greek concept of taking care of the self – firstly, Socrates spoke of this, Plato also, later Stoics and in contemporary philosophy Foucault reminds us that taking care of the self, of our own self means precisely this – one should work on oneself for his/her entire life and on both ends. Just as well as you train your body, you should train your mind – by reading, thinking, discussing, questioning, philosophizing.


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


Plato famously emphasized those questions which make us wonder as the beginning of philosophy. From children's point of view, majority of the world is still a big mystery, and adults often forget that, we forget how magical some routines are.

How do trains or mobile phones work, why the sky doesn't fall down or what drives the image in our cameras. Usually those questions which are yet to reveal something to us, something unknown or unclear, no matter that they might be obvious to others, those questions could instigate some crucial sparks in us, in what we are yet becoming, especially as children who are yet to grow up.


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?


More locally speaking, in Croatia, we face two big issues. First, religious education and influence of the Church aren't that keen on introducing P4C to schools, just as well as the Government. We tried to offer it as an alternative to religious education in primary schools, but that probably won't ever happen. Second, influence of so called STEM subjects in high schools is big and it threatens to decrease number of humanities subjects, including philosophy.

On a more global level, we need to find better discourse which would introduce philosophy to schools, so that the children could engage in philosophical discussions and dialogue from early age. With right-wing on the rise in US and Europe, this seems really challenging.


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


Never hide your own ignorance. Don't be that person who thinks they know everything. If children ask you a question and you don't know the answer, invite them to figure it out themselves, inspire them to investigate, motivate them to explore. In fact, let's make it as an advice also to politicians – instead of avoiding the answer when they don't know something, they should admit their ignorance. That's not a hard thing to do and people usually appreciate your honesty, just as the children do. Oh, and always motivate children to ask more and more questions!


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

Sure, they do that often. Few years ago I worked in a school, with children with special needs, but not in a really considerate school toward their class and their needs. It was first time for me, and some colleagues told me not to expect anything from them. As it turned out, they were quite interested in ethics. As we talked more and more, one student asked me how does a person become a philosopher. Surely, she asked the question for herself, for some reason she wanted to be a philosopher and to deal with all those questions we examined. It was a hard question for me to answer, knowing that in Croatia from special education class, she most probably couldn't become a philosopher in most regular academic way, not to mention that I was also shocked she even would consider of being one. Later we discussed that not all philosophers went to school, let alone obtained a degree.

When it comes to philosophy, you really don't need any school to tell you you're a philosopher, you can be lover of wisdom no matter what.





Kelly Cowling: "The best way to demystify philosophy is to get people doing philosophy together."

Through Twitter, I found Grey Havens Philosophy and reached out for contact, so that this collaborative work published in this blog could grow with their perspective about P4C. 


kelly ghp office.jpg


Kelly Cowling is the founder and Executive Director of Grey Havens Philosophy, a community philosophy nonprofit based in Longmont, Colorado. Grey Havens Philosophy's free programs include five ongoing philosophy discussion groups for ages 8-18. Our Philosophy in Public Spaces (PiPS) initiative is making intergenerational philosophy discussions part of the life of our community. 


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

I first heard about Philosophy for Children when I took my first class with Ron Reed at Texas Wesleyan University in the early 90s. Up to that point, my experience with education had not been good. I wasn’t particularly interested in becoming an educator back then, but I waspreoccupied with figuring out how education could be better than it had been for me.


How did you started working with p4c?

Through a non-traditional route. In 2010, I started a chapter-by-chapter book discussion group for adults in the back room of a locally-owned bookstore. Over time, it became quite popular and expanded into a network of book groups, a small symposium, and other events. People seemed to get a lot of meaning and fulfilment out of the gatherings. I suspected that it was because I had been facilitating discussions using what I knew of P4C.

In 2013, I and a few others partnered with our local library to establish a weekly philosophy group for 6th-12thgraders. Now, Grey Havens Philosophy is a non-profit organization that partners with our city, libraries throughout the region, other nonprofits, and businesses to bring philosophy to as many public spaces as possible.

I would call what we do P4C-inspired, rather than strictly P4C. We are always learning at the same time as we are teaching volunteers to do what we do.  Our facilitators get together every month to practice their skills with each other and reflect on what goes on in discussions. We involve our young people in this process as well. We don’t know how this will impact how we do things in five, ten, twenty years.


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

I think regular access to a healthy community of inquiry is important if we want our children to thrive. We now have teens who are beginning their fifth year of weekly philosophy discussions, and we have graduates of our programs who always seem to find their way back to our discussions when they are home from school during breaks. Being members of a thinking community has become an important part of their identities. While we are still working to evaluate the long-term impact of our programs using both objective and subjective measures, I can tell you what we see happening.

Our participants bring all of their experiences into discussions, including what they learn at school, at home, from friends, from popular culture, and on the internet. They learn how alike yet different their experiences are from those of their peers. They become proficient in asking questions about their experiences then finding the questions that underlie those questions. They tell us that they do this on their own, with friends and family, and that (with varying degrees of success) they raise philosophical questions in class, but they recognize that they do some of their best thinking when they come together in a community that exists for that purpose.

 Our young people have also become comfortable exploring the same big questions again and again and again. Two weeks after declaring that he would not discuss the nature of human consciousness yet again, a thirteen-year-old participant asked, “What is consciousness, anyway?” That participant is now sixteen and still happily diving into the question of consciousness.

There are several things happening here that we expect to serve our participants as they grow up:

  • An understanding that quality thinking requires the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources and the ability to evaluate sources
  • An understanding that thinking can be most productive and fulfilling when it is done in community
  • An understanding that asking questions can both accomplish what we need it to at any given time and that there are always questions beyond those questions
  • The experience of, as one eleven-year-old participant put it, “watching our minds grow.” Thinking about thinking helps young people to recognize that they are in control of how they learn. It helps them to develop a habit of self-reflection that improves emotional regulation and decision-making. It helps them to better evaluate the thinking of others and affords them the joy of marvelling at their own growth.

Our hope is that kids who grow up in thinking communities like ours will become workers who are good at collaborating to solve problems and who find satisfaction in their work because they are able to reflect on why they are doing it. We want them to grow up to be citizens who are able to recognize injustice, who are better at deciphering the statements and intentions of those with power, and who enjoy being engaged and engaging others in democracy. We want them to be individuals and family members who derive more satisfaction from their relationships because they think about the value and meaning of human interactions. There are lots of ways to cultivate these qualities, but philosophy is a comprehensive approach that can be practiced as a way of life.  We advocate introducing children to the philosophical way of life as early as possible.


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

 All of the benefits I have described above are excellent reasons to integrate philosophical thinking in school curricula, but we don’t think we skipped a step by establishing our programs outside of schools. Just as a young person might identify as an athlete, musician, or dancer, because they belong to an organization where they improve their skills through practice, our participants identify as deep thinkers because they are part of an organization where they practice thinking. They get to participate in thinking with people of all generations in many different settings. Our young people are as comfortable thinking with the adults from our local Senior Center as they are thinking with each other. They get to see that adults take their ideas seriously and regard them as co-inquirers.


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

 We train our facilitators to listen closely to what participants are saying so that they can identify the potential for questions related to the branches of philosophy—questions about knowing, being, ethics, power, beauty, and ultimate reality. It’s a skill that they can only develop with guidance and practice.

We encourage our participants to look at external reference points to answer questions then, as the discussion progresses, we typically move to questions that are less and less answerable through external reference points. In one way or another, we often end up asking ourselves if we can really know anything.

 If epistemological questions were the only valid philosophical questions, however, we wouldn’t get very far. Instead, we try to recognize that most questions contain underlying questions that can’t be answered with an external reference point. We enjoy exploring the bigger philosophical questions, but we also appreciate the process of uncovering them. Every question along the way matters because we still have to make practical and ethical decisions even when we question the fundamental nature of reality.

The most important thing is for the group to be able to retrace their steps in a discussion and identify the kinds of questions they were asking and the kinds of thinking they were doing. Participants and facilitators derive satisfaction and pleasure from seeing how the group reasons from the concrete to the abstract. They get good at doing it and at seeing when and how abstract ideas should inform actions. If the goal of a philosophy discussion is to engender some kind of change in thinking and even in action, then it is as important to ask participants about how they are thinking as it is to ask them what they think.


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

I don’t know much about the challenges P4C faces worldwide, but I know that we struggle against perceptions that what we do is only for people with a certain aptitude. That is why outreach is an extremely important part of what we do.

The best way to demystify philosophy is to get people doing philosophy together. It is also vital that we establish our groups as safe, inclusive spaces where young people can be themselves even if they don’t feel welcome in other places. This requires continuous attention and care.

Non-profit organizations like ours also live and die by the funds we can raise. Our biggest supporters are those who have directly benefited from our work, either as individuals or families. Our challenge as we grow will be to show those who have not directly benefited that “thinking about thinking” is a marketable skill that will measurably improve the lives of our participants and the life of society.


Can you give the teachers and the parents some kid of advice to help them deal with the children’s questions?  Accept influence from children. Let go of the idea that you are supposed to have answers. Let go of any preconceived ideas you have about the kinds of questions children are capable of exploring. Let kids see your own curiosity. The beauty of philosophy discussions is that a facilitator is also a participant. Make sure they know that you are all in this together.

I also suggest encouraging children to identify all of the kinds of information they would need to truly answer a question to their satisfaction then heading off in the direction that interests everyone the most. Give the kids responsibility for making sure this process is a democratic one.

 Thinking about a question such as, “Why do I need to study math?” might begin with easy answers such as “to manage your money,” or “to qualify for a career in a STEM field,” but it can lead to lots of fascinating questions about things like economic models, the value and meaning of technology, why society values some jobs more than others, what math and poetry might have in common in describing the universe, knowledge for the sake of knowledge, the relationship between models and reality, and whether or not numbers are real. Often the question you start with will lead back to other questions that were raised in the beginning.

Help the group pay attention to how the discussion progresses, and retrace your steps when necessary. Don’t worry if the discussion doesn’t address every potential question that comes up. If you have these discussions regularly, you will find that questions will come up again and again, giving the group opportunities to think about them in new ways.


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

We went into this believing that children are deep thinkers so, while I can say that their questions have delighted me, I can’t say that they have surprised me. In our early days, I did experience more anxiety than I do now about participants who speak up less frequently or rarely at all. Not only have we noticed that most participants speak up more as time goes on, we have found that their fiction, poetry, drawings, and notes indicate that they had been thinking with us all along. We check in with participants and their family members at individual conferences so we often get to see how families become their own communities of inquiry. We are very privileged to remain connected to these families over the years. I suppose we never stop being surprised by how our kids grow into their roles as philosophers. You would think we would have learned by now!




o final do ano lectivo também é um momento de recomeço



foi um ano lectivo cheio de filosofices: oficinas regulares em dois jardins de infância, com três grupos (entre os 3 e os 5 anos) e com várias turmas do 1º ciclo. acresce a colaboração com a rádio miúdos e a oficina do platão, em telheiras. 

o balanço é positivo, pois o trabalho de continuidade, o tempo, as relações que o facilitador cria com o grupo e aquelas que o grupo cria entre si.

houve muitas histórias curiosas que partilhei por aqui, no twitter ou no facebook. outras guardo só para mim, pois não há tempo para colocar tudo por escrito e há momentos que são só nossos, que ficam entre quem os viveu.


agora há uma tese para acabar e por isso os próximos tempos serão mais de investigação do que de prática.


vemo-nos por aqui? 



diálogos à volta da amizade



durante a semana passada a filosofia bateu à porta de sete turmas do 1º ciclo, a propósito da "semana dos afectos".

a convite da Verbos Inúmeros, tive a oportunidade de filosofar sobre a amizade, com crianças dos 7 aos 10 anos. 



parece fácil dizer quem é nosso amigo - mais fácil ainda é afirmar o "temos" em vez do "podemos" ser amigos de todos. parece que há aqui uma obrigação... ou será que aquilo que fazemos com os nossos amigos também se aplica aos desconhecidos? por exemplo, ajudar alguém a levantar-se, depois de cair?



houve muitos aspectos interessantes nestes diálogos: o fazer uma pausa na amizade, podemos fazer de conta que somos inimigos e, na verdade, sermos amigos. podemos escolher os amigos e arranjar outros. 



a amizade é um dos temas que tomamos por adquirido: toda a gente sabe o que é. e explicar? e compreender o que pensamos e sentimos face aos nossos amigos?  e partilhar essas ideias com os outros? - foi talvez aquilo que mais agradou à pequenada, poder parar para pensar sobre a amizade. sem julgamentos pessoais, só a partilhar e a trabalhar sobre as nossas ideias.


até breve, pequenos filósofos!




uma pergunta por dia > nem sabe o bem que lhe fazia


depois da minha passagem pela turma da MC (a convite da mãe G.) o professor da turma do 2º ano deu continuidade ao trabalho que tivemos durante a oficina: fazer perguntas.

durante a nossa oficina estivemos a trabalhar com três ferramentas:

- perguntar

- dizer uma coisa

- responder

acresce o famoso PORQUÊ, tão necessário para justificarmos as nossas posições, as nossas escollhas.


a mãe G. partilhou estas perguntas que a MC fez, desafiada pelo professor titular. 

há 10 anos que ando pelo país a largar a semente da filosofia, da curiosidade, do perguntar. estas são as bases do trabalho da filosofia para crianças (para jovens, para adultos e por aí fora). a partir daqui treinamos o pensamento crítico, criativo, cuidativo e colaborativo. 

na filosofia para crianças a pergunta é o ponto de encontro, entre a curiosidade e a vontade de querer saber. 



e não é que o Platão "apareceu" na oficina do Platão?




a oficina do Platão reune de quinze em quinze dias. há filosófos residentes, que já fazem parte do grupo desde o início (em outubro do ano passado) e, de vez em quando, aparece alguém novo.

na última oficina sentei-me com a C., a L., e o G.

"hoje somos só três?"

"sim", respondeu alguém.

perguntei: "então e eu? tornei-me invisível?"

e eis que a pergunta surge e salta "para cima da mesa": o que farias se fosses invisível?" 




Platão (o próprio) conta-nos a história de Giges, rei da Lídia. Giges ascendeu ao poder depois de ter assassinado o monarca anterior. é Platão que narra esta história do anel, no livro II d' A República, para trabalhar o tema da justiça. na oficina do Platão foi colocada esta hipótese: haver um anel que, quando usado de uma certa forma, nos tornaria invisíveis. e o que faríamos, nesta condição de invisibilidade?

entre fazer partidas e assustar pessoas, surgiu a possibilidade de roubar sem ser visto. roubar é sempre mau, mas quando podemos ser vistos e apanhados é pior, pois vamos presos e vamos ter más condições de vida. 

foi uma oficina divertida pois surgiram ideias engraçadas sobre a invisibilidade. a I. (que se juntou a nós a meio do diálogo) acabou por partilhar que a maioria das coisas que fazemos quando somos invisíveis não teriam muita graça, pois ninguém nos ia ver. 


vamos voltar a esta questão, das coisas que podemos fazer quando somos invisíveis - e daquelas que devemos ou não fazer. 





Se eu fizer perguntas a um livro – será que o livro responde?



5 de maio, às 11h, na Livraria Bertrand (Chiado - Lisboa)


Habituamo-nos a procurar respostas em livros: o desafio desta oficina é o de fazer perguntas aos livros. Brincar com o livro, com o que o livro nos diz – e brincar com o nosso pensamento. No mês em que se comemora o Dia Internacional do Brincar vamos descobrir:  há lá coisa mais séria do que o brincar?


"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.

Duração: 45 a 60 minutos |  Para crianças dos 6 aos 10 anos

Máximo: 8 inscritos | Valor inscrição: 10 €

Inscrições na livraria até 2 dias antes do evento

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. (Joana Rita Sousa)

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