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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

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.





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. 



"o que é uma pergunta?"



em roda, sentados no chão, colocámos mãos à obra nesta coisa do "filosofar". 

muita curiosidade para saber o que ia acontecer nesta oficina (humm o que será que se arranja ou conserta por lá?) e depois de algumas perguntas e respostas sobre a oficina e a filosofia, o jogo foi lançado.


o que é uma pergunta? - e um desafio: vamos encontrar critérios para dizer que uma pergunta é uma pergunta.


partilho convosco algumas ideias que registámos e que nos deram algum trabalho aos músculos do pensamento:




1 - ter ? (ponto de interrogação)

2 - ser uma interrogação sobre um tema 

3 - deve ler-se com entoação (no decorrer da conversa percebemos que havia uma ligação entre esta e a 1 - precisamos do ? para ler ou não com entoação)

4 - tem sempre uma resposta (aqui ficámos em dúvida se seria uma ÚNICA resposta ou UMA resposta possível; não resolvemos esta questão)

5 - quando temos uma curiosidade

6 - precisamos de saber alguma coisa 


ficaram perguntas e problemas para resolver (por exemplo, se a curiosidade e o precisar de saber algo aparecem em conjunto ou separados) e a vontade de dialogar foi imensa.


obrigada, andreia, por teres feito a ponte com o espelho do saber! espero voltar a sentar-me no chão para filosofar com esta malta gira, bem disposta e super curiosa! 








mais uma voltinha, mais uma viagem pela filosofia [no jardim de infância]






o natal está à porta e há muitas purpurinas no ar. nas salas há árvores de natal, umas a fingir e outras a sério. 
hoje estivemos a dar voltas no nosso pensamento sobre os coisas que existem "a fingir" e coisas que existem "a sério".
ouvimos e demos ideias, partilhamos dúvidas e até houve momentos em que sentimos alguma confusão. faz parte!
nada como parar para pensar e ouvir os "porquês".

voltamos a filosofar em Janeiro.

boas festas a todos! 

Steven Hoggins: "The reason to introduce philosophy into schools is to give children, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to, the chance to practice thinking well, about ideas involving life, knowledge, meaning, existence, ethics and language."

I met Steve @ Sophia Networking Meeting, last July, @ Aveiro. In this meeting we talked a lot about questions, because the theme was "questioning questioning". Steve shared some of his time answering my questions (than you Steve!!).


steve listening.jpeg




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

 I was in the final month of my university teacher training course. I was in a small, rural school in Devon one lunchtime, leafing through a magazine and I came across an article written by Peter Worley of The Philosophy Foundation. He was describing the reasoning, critical thinking and evaluation of ideas that he thought philosophy could add to a child’s education. I had studied dialogic teaching methods and had combined it with some of my own experimental ‘critical thinking’ exercises but Peter’s stuff seemed like it was way ahead. 6 Months later I was in London, attending his training.


How did you started working with p4c?

After training, there weren’t any opportunities to teach p4c as a full-time job. I instead took a job as a regular classroom teacher. It was 3 years before enough of an opportunity arose for me to leap into the world of p4c. One spring The Philosophy Foundation offered me a contract for a few hours work. I gave up my teaching job in July and moved over to facilitating philosophy sessions as my main job. They were lean years at the beginning but I slowly got better and was offered more work. Now it is my full-time job and I couldn’t think of any better.


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

Hahaha! What a question to ask a philosopher. In the broadest sense, no, philosophy is not essential to life. However, if we think within the sphere of education, where we deem maths and science as necessary subjects of study, then yes, philosophy is as essential as mathematics. The philosophy we do in classes practices good reasoning, argumentation, critical engagement, creative thinking and effective dialogue. These areas do not stand alone either, they underpin how we think in all other subject areas. Also, as the


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

We should take philosophy to children, that is the real aim, but educational institutions can help that (they are full of children!). The reason to introduce philosophy into schools is to give children, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to, the chance to practice thinking well, about ideas involving life, knowledge, meaning, existence, ethics and language. As state education is mandatory here, targeting schools gives us the best chances of getting to all children.


How is P4C developing in your country?

This is the kind of question I am terrible at. I don’t know the general condition of the movement. I am mostly in class teaching philosophy or helping run the charity I work for, The Philosophy Foundation. My colleagues are more involved in the wider picture. I can say that I started this job 5 years ago and at that time we only worked in a few schools. Now we work in over forty schools a week and I have got to know Sapere and Thinking Space, two other p4c charities in the UK


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

This is not something I really considered until a recent SOPHIA meeting in Portugal. The theme was ‘Questioning questioning’ so we thought about questions a great deal. I realised quite quickly that I am not primarily interested in questions. I am, however, interested in the philosophy the children are doing and I will ask whatever question serves to help them think more clearly about the ideas being discussed.

It seems to me that the philosophising doesn’t lie in the question, the philosophising is in how children go about trying to answer questions. So, a question’s ‘philosophicalness’ should be judged by how philosophical it makes the discussion. This is situational too. You can ask ‘in this a chair’ and have lengthy metaphysical discussion with some of my classes but if you ask that question in another context you will get some funny looks and absolutely no philosophy.


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

The biggest challenge is probably something we don’t realise yet. Most challenges or problems that we are aware of and understand, can usually be addressed. It’s the baffling things we didn’t anticipate that posed the greatest challenge (Trumps presidency comes to mind here!).

I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the problems we don’t yet realise or understand is how other people view p4c. I come across many head teachers, professionals and other people who have a different conception of what p4c is and what it is trying to achieve. Some conflate philosophy with psychology, some view p4c as a ‘hippy’ subject, others see any mention of philosophy as elitist or pretentious. There also are many that do understand it, but they are not the people that we should be trying to reach. Challenges to the future of p4c will come from those who misperceive it and I don’t think we know enough about who they are and how they view p4c.


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

If the questions are philosophical then engage with the ideas and be prepared to fumble through a lot of confusion. Most of the time conversation with children is led by adults, which is fine in most cases, we generally know how best to answer everyday questions in a clear direct manner. The adult informs or instructs the child and we move on. We are used to doing this because most questions require that kind of interaction.

Occasionally the question will be something philosophical (‘if I guess the answer, is that lying?’) and then you must shift into an enquiring interaction, where you ask the child what they mean, what they think lying is and what they think is the right thing to do. Their answers will be unclear and probably different from an adult’s but that’s ok, they are working through this complicated issue and should continue to try and makes sense of it for themselves, with your support.


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

As I may have let slip earlier, it’s not their questions that I think are important, it’s children’s responses to them but I did have a session with thirty 8-year-olds on making questions of a different kind. We had looked at a story, based on the Turing test. In brief it suggests that if a human was having a conversation with a computer in ordinary language and the human couldn’t tell if the responses were computer generated or human generated, then the computer could be considered ‘intelligent’ in the same way that humans are. I asked the children what questions they would ask if they were the human performing the test. Several said things along the lines of ‘Ask if it’s a human/when it was born/what it is made of!’. Then, one child said that we should ask “[increasingly] difficult maths sums, then if it got one wrong, they it’s a human”. I was surprised and delighted.




Who is Steve? Steve studied at the University of Wales, Lampeter gaining a BA in philosophy in 2003. Shortly after he began teaching English in both Italy and Portugal, returning to the UK to begin a career as a primary school teacher. Since he first started working within the British education system he has seen a philosophy shaped hole in the core of the curriculum and is striving to find ways for it to be filled, Joining the Philosophy Foundation
His work includes project management, development work in schools, and mentoring and doing philosophy with very small children.

Farzaneh Shahrtash: " Any question can become philosophical as long as our mind is not certain about the answer or even the meaning of the words in the question itself."

I met Farzaneh Shahrtash on YouTube, by watching this video. I left a comment on the video and got a response and the contact of Farzaneh. She is working on Iran and I was curious to know a little more about P4C in this country. 




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

It was exactly 1995 we (my colleagues and I) saw this combination (Philosophy+ Children) in the internet. We started collecting the information by following the linking as far as it was possible, but we couldn’t find any instructional method. We printed every page (almost 2000 pages) and we went through each, one by one. This was our only chance in that time, because we couldn’t order any book from Iran in that time. 


How did you started working with p4c?

I asked everyone in the team to look for methodology in the internet. One day, one of my colleagues found an e-learning teacher training course in Australia which was conducted by a group of educators and teachers in Buranda state school. We wrote an email and asked to join the group. They accepted us and send us a story book and a video. This was our first contact. It was our greatest turning point, because we were able to see the methodology (Community of Inquiry) that we have imagined by reading the different internet materials (more than three years) in the video.

After that course we used Thinking stories 1 by Philip Cam (which was already translated and published in Iran) to run 6 classes in a private elementary school (grade 3, 4 and 5- each of two)

Then we announced the result of our practical work in the P4C panel in a world congress of philosophy in Iran in May 2002.


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

Yes. P4C is claimed (if it is done properly) to support a system of beliefs in every mankind which is justified by critical, creative and caring thinking in order to make good judgment in his/her personal life and the society which s/he lives in.


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

It depends on what kind of activities or approaches you have in your school or after that.

In 1969 when P4C was introduced to American society, no communal inquiry nor critical and creative thinking skills was part of their national curriculum. However, these skills are now integrated in national curriculum in both United stated and Canada and many other countries. Maybe that is why P4C was not very popular in United States schools in the past few decades.

Even now the methodology of “community of inquiry” (COI) which was once used and defined in a particular way in P4C is modified and practiced in other subject matters as well.

So I think the only reason that P4C should still go to schools is its ethical inquiry and inquiry about other philosophical concepts, which are rarely found in other subject matters.

In my country P4C should go to our school system because our educational approach is not community of inquiry and not even inquiry itself. Critical and creative thinking skills are not integrated in our national curriculum yet (it is only on paper) so our students can gain a lot by P4C in our schools.



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

 Any question can become philosophical as long as our mind is not certain about the answer or even the meaning of the words in the question itself.


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

The teacher training is the biggest challenge. Teacher trainers are very few. However, to become a successful P4C teacher is a very hardworking practice and is different from becoming a mathematic or science teacher. There should be a seed of “philosophy” in both your mind and in your heart in order to become a good P4C teacher.


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

If you can make the child’s question your own question, you can help the child to deal with his/her question, otherwise you are not part of a communal inquiry and you are not helping the child in a P4C way.


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

Last week when I was trying to teach them to make a question with why, a three years old boy asked, why the ladies have to wear scarf and men don’t (in Iran)?


How is P4C developing in your country?

P4C was mainly introduced by Iranian reports and publishers, when the educational system and the university faculties had not even heard about it. Eventually the graduate students translate the related papers of this field for writing their thesis in education departments.

It was approximately in 2012 that the “Thinking series” was inserted as separated contexts in the national curriculum for grades 6-9. The suggested methodology in these classes was very close to “community of inquiry”. However, there are still no formal and widely accepted training courses for these classes. Each teacher is using different materials and different instruction in his/ her class.

Now after 20 years, we have some written and translated books, papers, interested graduate students and faculties, and many parents who are looking for P4C classes in city centres and schools all over the country.





Please follow Farzaneh's work on facebook




Ilse Daems: "(...) if they can think for themselves, they are able to deal with the ‘certainty of uncertainty."

I met Ilse at Sophia Network Meeting, last july @ Aveiro. Ilse had a hard time answering my questions, but I think we can all understand Ilse's words and thoughts about P4C. 

Who is Ilse? Ilse is 60 years old and lives in Antwerp | Belgium.  Left home when she was 12, did not study, has no diploma. Has worked in an advertising agency, the zoo, the trade union, politics. She is copywriter & gamedevil, a lifetime Legofanatic, extreme allergic to fish, seafood and schoolish methods and an expert in colouring way outside the lines.




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

 It was five years ago. I had worked 20 years behind the scenes in politics [socialist party]. In 2012 my boss, the former mayor of Antwerp, lost the elections. So I lost my job. I was then 55 years old without any diploma and thought: ‘what the hell am I going to do the rest of my life?’ Those days I had to organize in the margins of a colloquium the child care. I did not want that this was a kind of ‘babysitting’. I did not want the kids to be ‘entertained’. I wanted them to work on the same themes as the adults, but from their angle and perspective. I asked a guy from Gent, Alex Klijn, who was recommended to me, to come and to philosophize with the children. I was thunderstruck and over the moon about what he did. He told me there was a training ‘philosophizing with children and youngsters’. I read the description of that course and thought: if I could have invented a training for myself, it would have been something like this…. So my decision was made and I lent the money to do this training because it was insuperable expensive. I asked to be admitted. That was not evident because I did not have the required bachelor diploma. They hesitated but finally agreed. I am still very grateful they gave me that chance. It was a solid and sound training with awesome, competent teachers. I followed this intensive course a year long, did my teaching practice, wrote my final papers and got the certificate. This was the most important junction in my life and has changed it completely.


How did you started working with p4c?

After the training I ran a few workshops and then two schools asked me if I would want to philosophize with their children. In the first school the headmistress, Judith, wants to integrate p4c in all classes and in the curriculum of her nursery and primary school. In the second one a lot of parents wanted their children ‘released’ from ‘religion’ and ‘social science’. They now get p4c and yoga instead. Those schools have no budget for p4c. So I don’t get paid. I do it as a volunteer. With pleasure. And satisfaction.


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

I think it’s very necessary. Because p4c teachs and trains them to think for themselves. And if they can think for themselves, they are able to deal with the ‘certainty of uncertainty’. To be able to cope with uncertainty, that’s the greatest gift ánd weapon we can offer them.


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

 For two good reasons:

1. At school they learn a lot of ‘knowledge’. Nothing wrong with that. Knowledge can be useful. But they don’t learn the skill of the thinking process itself. They learn thougths, but they do not learn to think. Isn’t that sheer madness? Schools are nuts. They have a screw loose and have lost their marbles. P4c can help them to find those marbles again.

2. P4c is not just another umpteenth ‘activity’. It’s a free space. And that’s why children do like it so much. Their heads and agenda’s are already full. They desperately need free space.



How is P4C developing in your country?


Much too slow.

A lot of practioners want to change first the whole education department before they are willing to make a single p4c move.

They just sit, wait and ‘lobby.’ They lobby year in year out. That’s not my cup of tea. Think we should do the opposite and make p4c big by ‘just doing it.’ Then the education department will have to follow.

And if they are not smart enough to see and to realize that, we will have to be and stay the rebels. Rebels wíth a cause….



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

A philosophical question from a p4c point of view is: short, crystal-clear and ‘triggers’.

The answer may not be obvious but has to be inquired.

And the question may not be too big, general or vague.

‘Can music become wet ?’ might be a better question for a philisophical inquiry with children than the ultimate and deadly heavy ‘what is the meaning of life?’



What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

To beat and defeat the highly fashionable ‘p4c light’.

Some people want to do p4c because ‘kids are sooooo cute, soooooo spontaneous and sooooo creative’.

They think that it’s enough to put kids in a circle and to have a vague talk about love, friendschip, the meaning of life, bullying….that kind of stuff.

They do not know the difference between a group discussion and p4c. 

They are glad with every ‘opinion’ and haven not or seldom heard the word ‘argument’ yet.

And they feel giddy and faint when a child says something ‘cute’.

For them those cuteness is the ultimate ‘mission accomplished’ signal. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

To take p4c serious is to take children serious and to let them think for themselves.

They are able to do it.



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


A very simple one: talk with children and just don’t give answers all the time.

A lot of parents and teachers only talk with their children if those kids have done something naugthy.

And if children ask questions they are convinced that they have to give the answers.

If a child shows you his latest drawing and asks ‘Do you like it? Do you think its beautiful?’ ask him what he thinks.

And start a conversation about what he has drawn.

‘What is it?’

‘A boat.’

Does it look like a boat?


Why not?....


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


They surprise me all the time. That is their core business  But the one that surprised me the most was Aki’s question. It happened at the annual school party. Out of the blue Aki dropped in on me and said:

‘I have played enough, Ilse, for now I desperately need to philosophize a while and my question is: what is the oposite of time?‘

So we talked about the fact that we talk about time ‘all the time’ although we don’t know very well what time is.We have difficulties to define it.According to Aki we cannot say that we have time.In his eyes we are time.‘Time is all there is’ he said. And then his eyes started to shine: ‘If time is everything, than I know the opposite: nothing! And after a while: ‘But is nothing not also something?’ That’s for the next time, he said. And ran away to play.








Maya Levanon: "Remain open and in fact encouraging, never think any question is "stupid," "silly" or "irrelevant"

Can you recall the first time you heard about philosophy for children (p4c)? "On 2000 I was giving a series of workshops on at a local college in Israel, something I thought was revolutionary... philosophizing with day the department chair came to me and said: someone named Anne Sharp is coming to Israel for a conference, I want you to go and meet her. Since then my life had changed."


How did you started working with p4c? "So I met Anne and it was a "click of first sight" – she told me I reminded her of herself many years earlier, and told me about the EdD program and suggested I will apply. I didn’t think much of it, as I just completed my MA in philosophy and wanted to chill out from school. But something resonated. I submitted my application, letters, interview and language exam and a year later, 3 weeks before September 11th I landed in Montclair for the EdD program. There I began practicing the original program in Edgemont, with David Kennedy as well as in the Gifted and Talented program at MSU over the weekend. At that point a couple of mothers approached me asking if I can work with their children privately, as a philosophical mentor, and of course I did."


Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?


"Yes. Absolutely. With the right facilitator it is a safe space to explore one's ideas and believes. This is in addition to Lipman's and Sharp's claims regarding the importance of developing the 3 C (Critical, Creative and Caring Thinking) through philosophizing. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is a powerful way to provide meaningful learning experience, i.e. one that is based on the learners' interests and curiosities, as well as enabling working both for one self (introvertly) as well as with others (extrovertly) and by that emphasizing these two necessary aspect of thinking."


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

"Well, first there is no "should" – I think it is really depends on the context, at the end of the day. If the schedule is too busy then perhaps adding yet another activity can be overwhelming and subsequently counter productive. Philosophy is an activity that has to take place in an atmosphere of leisure in terms of time, i.e. no pressure, deadline and business.

As for the question: I think philosophy (not necessarily P4C as a © program) is the founding father of humanity, and these days that everyone goes corporate, it is crucial that we sustain the cradle of human thinking and continue nurture this aspect within our children.

With that said, I do think that doing it only as an intellectual activity is a mistake.

Children are already – at least in some countries – occupied with an increasing number of hours of academic, while subjects like music and art are disappearing from school. So having philosophy right – in my view – is about encouraging thinking through dialogue (inner and with others), exploring options and alternative, but that can – and should – happen through additional ways to intellectual conversations."


How is P4C developing in your country, Israel? "I know some practitioners are doing philosophy – again, not necessary P4c, but versions of it on Judaic texts (Jen Glazer, Talia Birkan). Unfortunately we still didn't get the chance working together as we all so busy in Israel….also, I read at the paper a couple of years ago that the ministry of education is planning on implementing philosophy in all school, but like everything with politician and administrators. None of this has happened – yes. 


What makes a question a philosophical question – from a p4c point of view? "A question that has no one "right" answer, a question that has no answer within the text, a question that invites one to explore new realms of thinking and spectrum of ideas, a question that in a way dialogue with the fundamental philosophical triad (the True, The Good and the Beauty) and everything that stems of it."


What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

"Like all "adds on" program, I think its threat and challenge is to enter schools that are so busy with academics and standardized governmental texts. I also think that in some countries (I worked in the US for many year, didn’t experience this issue as I do in Israel) is an anti-intellectual mentality among teachers. Another challenge – again, cultural one – is that at least in Israel we experience a lot of "disciplinary" difficulties in super packed (over 33 students) classroom in which at least 33% are on Ritalin or super wild (as in breaking door or tossing chair on a teacher). That is of course not always the case, but when it is, it is a challenge to conduct a peaceful conversation in a class with no place to sit in a circle…."


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

"Remain open and in fact encouraging, never think any question is "stupid," "silly" or "irrelevant" – even if it’s a question about the illustration or the font size. Furthermore, if the child doesn’t ask, ask her yourself. And I think most importantly is not sticking to our own way of thinking, as "books are the number 1 tool to develop curiosity among children" – wrong! Computers games can be great tool also! Any game, and day trip with the family can become a narrative. And of course eating diners together…"


Did the children ever surprised you with a question? Can you share that question with us? "It happens to me with my own children every day, cant really think of one example right now."





Dr. Sheinbein-Levanon is Lecturer at BBC's Department of Education. A large piece of this position includes mentoring pre-service teachers during their last year as students. She is also a Program Developer at the Teacher Leadership Project at the college's Center for Professional Development, Merkaz Keshet. Prior to this position Dr. Sheinbein-Levanon was an instructor at a Graduate teachers' program at National Louis Univesity's interdisciplinary studies in curriculum and assessment, a unique program that aims at teachers finding their unique voice through action research. Her expertise include but not limited to Community of Learning, Learning Circle, Dialogical Pedagogies, Philosophical Education with both children and educators, and Journaling. Dr. Sheinbein-Levanon is an experienced instructor in both face-to-face model as well as in online learning, with pre-service, in service teachers, and children. She appeared in multiple international conferences, where she presented her own work as served as a committee reviewer as well. 


[bolds are my responsability]

11th SOPHIA meeting - 3 e 4 de Julho, em Aveiro


Screenshot 2017-04-04 15.13.40.png


Nos dias 3 e 4 de Julho, filósofos, académicos e profissionais relacionados com a educação irão reunir-se em Aveiro, no Colégio D. José I, para a 11ª Reunião Anual SOPHIA: The European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children.


Filosofia para Crianças é um termo geral que abrange diferentes metodologias para envolver as crianças em diálogos de grupo, sobre tópicos filosóficos. Desde que foi criada, em 1993, a rede SOPHIA comprometeu-se a promover e a sustentar, de forma solidária, o desenvolvimento da filosofia nas escolas, pela Europa. Todos os anos, a fundação organiza uma reunião numa cidade europeia, com o objectivo de trabalhar o desenvolvimento da filosofia nas escolas, naquele país, partilhando as boas práticas com facilitadores de toda a Europa.


A reunião desde ano terá lugar no Colégio D. José I, em Aveiro, tendo sido acolhida por Joana Rita Sousa e Celeste Machado, do projecto filocriatiVIDAde | filosofia e criatividade, Será possível aos participantes participar em oficinas e ouvir conferências levadas a cabo por académicos reconhecidos e facilitadores com prática no terreno, incluindo Catherine McCall, uma das fundadoras da SOPHIA.


O tema da reunião é “Questioning questioning”. As conferências e as oficinas irão explorar o tema do questionamento relativamente a tópicos como a liberdade de expressão; serão abordados aspectos metodológicos relacionados com o tipo de questões que os professores poderão utilizar em ambiente de sala de aula.


Emma Worley, co-CEO da The Philosophy Foundation e membro dos quadros da SOPHIA afirmou que “SOPHIA é uma organização que visa trazer uma atitude plural para a filosofia nas escolas. A reunião é uma excelente oportunidade para o treino de professores, bem como para aprender sobre práticas filosóficas na sala de aula.”


Joana Rita Sousa e Celeste Machado consideram que "o acolhimento da reunião em Portugal permitirá o diálogo entre os facilitadores e investigadores; constituindo-se como um momento de partilha essencial para o desenvolvimento das práticas, em torno da filosofia para crianças." Ambas as investigadoras têm vindo a realizar encontros nesta área, desde 2011: Sentir Pensamentos | Pensar Sentidos. "Consideramos que a presença da rede SOPHIA em Portugal é uma oportunidade única para reforçar o diálogo entre  os professores e educadores que estão a trabalhar nesta área, em Portugal e não só." 


A participação na reunião está sujeita a inscrição prévia, através do link:


Nota: as comunicações serão realizadas na língua inglesa. 




11th SOPHIA meeting

Colégio D. José I, em Aveiro

3 e 4 de Julho de 2017



Colégio D. José I

filocriatiVIDAde | filosofia e criatividade






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?"


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