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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

de volta à escola

back_to_school

estudar, aprender, investigar: estes são alguns dos verbos que pratico constantemente, de modo mais ou menos formal. de tal forma que, uma vez, a minha afilhada (agora com 15 anos, na altura com uns 6 ou 7) me perguntou se eu algum dia ia deixar de ir à escola. disse-lhe prontamente que tinha dúvidas que isso acontecesse, pois gosto mesmo de estudar e de aprender.

também gosto de partilhar o que aprendo e o que investigo; ao partilhar isso com os outros, crio uma oportunidade de diálogo, de crítica, de olhar para outras perspectivas que até então não tinha considerado.

2018 é o ano em que comemoro 10 anos de filocriatiVIDAde no mundo e o ano em que regresso à casa onde materializei o meu amor pela filosofia, ingressando na licenciatura que mudou a minha vida. na altura desconhecia que, um dia, ia estar ligada à filosofia aplicada e, sobretudo, à filosofia para crianças e jovens.

este regresso à Universidade Católica, como docente na Pós Graduação em Filosofia para Crianças e Jovens tem um sabor especial, pois traz memórias e também a confiança no futuro da filosofia para crianças e jovens em Portugal. há muito para fazer, nesta área e este é um contributo sólido e estruturado, a par de outros como o mestrado em Filosofia para Crianças na Universidade dos Açores. e por falar nisso, já vos contei que a tese foi submetida? e que em 2019 haverá lugar a provas públicas? 

 

a-filosofia

e já que estamos a falar de filosofia, recordo-vos que novembro é o mês em que se assinala o dia mundial da filosofia. este ano volto a marcar presença no festival de filosofia de Abrantes, onde vou orientar oficinas de filosofia com a pequenada. o programa é muito rico e inclui café filosófico e vários momentos de diálogo que acontecem pela cidade, junto das pessoas. 

 

 

 

 

da aldeia para o mundo: comunicação apresentada no III CICA

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nos dias 25, 26 e 27 de Outubro realizou-se em Ponta Delgada, na Universidade dos Açores (UAc), o III CICA (Congresso Internacional Interdisciplinar da Criança e do Adolescente). 

a minha relação com os Açores sempre foi muito filosófica: foi no Faial que comecei a dar formação de filosofia para crianças e criatividade, em 2008, já estive em Angra do Heroísmo para comunicar num Encontro organizado pela UAc, fui (e ainda sou!) aluna do mestrado de filosofia para crianças. 

em 2016 participei no I CICA e, tendo falhado no ano passado, este ano apresentei proposta de comunicação sobre a minha experiência na Rádio Miúdos, com o programa Filosofia é Coisa para Miúdos. não podendo estar fisicamente em Ponta Delgada, fiz a minha apresentação via zoom.

 

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esta semana que passou foi intensa: entreguei (FINALMENTE!) a tese de mestrado e preparei-me para esta comunicação que, olhando para a tese, foi ligeira e até serviu para descontrair um pouco.

o mês de Novembro traz consigo o Festival de Filosofia de Abrantes para o qual fui convidada para dinamizar as oficinas de filosofia, para crianças (junto das escolas do concelho) e também para famílias.

vai ser um mês em cheio, com muita filosofia! 

 

 

 

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. 

 

amy-leask

 

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.

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: www.damonyoung.com.au 

 

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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.

 

zoran

 

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. 

 

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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!

 

 

 

Sabine Yang: "Wonder should be the core capacity that we human should always treasure."

I met Sabine Yang on facebook. Social media has been such a great tool to find and to talk about P4C with investigators, teachers, facilitators all over the world. Yang Yanlu (Sabine Yang) is from China; she's a Ph.D candidate from the department of Philosophy at ZheJiang University, major in German Philosophy. From 2013 till now, Sabine Yang is doing P4C at Kindergarten, Primary School, Bookstores, Libraries and other public places.

 

sabine_yang

 

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

I was a little bit astonished and at the same time very curious about it. At that time I was doing my Master of Philosophy and I encountered a Chinese book about p4c, then I got to know there was a thing called p4c and started to practice it.

 

How did you started working with p4c?

It was not easy to carry out this programm, since I was only a student and it was hard for me to find the kids. But later with the help of the community near my home, I organized a non-profit activity of p4c in my community. Even though there were few kids,maybe 3 or 4 at that time, we started to read the picturebook of Arnold Lobel, that was Frog and Toad, very dramatical story. The theme we discussed  was Bravery. Kids were very fascinated with the story and after reading the story they began to share their experience of bravery. Then we went to some deeper question, like should the bravery be afraid of nothing, what is bravery on the earth? That was my first p4c class, it was very interesting experience.

 

Do you think p4c is necessary to children? Why?

Definitely. We are facing the Artificial Intelligence Age, many people’s job will be later replaced by the machines. I was always wondering what could not be replace by AI. Yet the power of Wonder and the capacity to raise question belongs to human mind. P4C encourage children to raise their own questions and let them wonder about all the things they feel interested. As Aristotle once said: Man is desired to know. Wonder should be the core capacity that we human should always treasure.

 

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

Philosophy at schools are probably good to the reform of curriculum. In traditional classes, children have not so much freedom to raise their own questions and mostly they have to answer the question which they may be not so interested in. If a class of Math can combine some p4c elements, then the children could be better motivated to find the question and figure out by cooperation. Besides inter-curriculum, the sole p4c class is also benefit to the children, since they are quite relaxing in such kind of atmosphere, staying in circle and enjoying the place of intellectural and emotional safety.

 

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

A philosophical question is a big question which could not be answered in the framework of science or any empirical study. Such question have no final answer and only a temporary reply. A philosophical question is open to all the people,no matter how old they are. Everyone has the right to think about it and find the meaning of their own.

 

What’s the biggest challenge p4c faces, nowadays?

I recognized the biggest question lying in the training of teachers. We’ve seen lot of teachers willing to change their pedagogical methods when the way of teacing are  implanted by p4c. But it’s still hard to make this change since we face the stress of established teaching objectivities and other rules in school. P4C pursuits the uncertainty of answer, which will be a conflict to a world, which is based on right answer  in the exam-oriented education.

 

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

When you hear about children’s question,you don’t have to reply at once. You should first examine the question: Is it a question that we could find the answer from google or any other books? Then just help them to  find them. If you realised that it was a big question like philosophical question, you can encourage the children to anwer first and then you discuss with them. Children’s questions are very diversed,sometimes adults would feel at a loss or embarrassed, sometimes even annoyed, but that’s quite normal. We can’t answer all the questions and not all the questions has the ultimate answer.

 

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

Yes, they surprise me all the time. For example, last Friday when we talked about “Share”, a young boy asked the whole class: Shall we share the death? Then one of the  student answered: I’d like to share, but I don’t wanna die! I also don’t wanna you die! Then replied the young boy: But we have to die. That question did make stress to us, and the students I observed were not happy anymore. Maybe it’s the time to deal with the thinking of death next class.

Carlos Carvalho: "(...) é necessário haver um espaço no qual a criança aprenda a refletir."

O Carlos foi um dos meus companheiros de viagem no 1º ano do mestrado de Filosofia para Crianças e Jovens, na Universidade dos Açores (na altura Pós-Graduação, ainda). 

É licenciado em Filosofia, Ramo Educacional, Mestre em Psicologia (Contextos Educativos), e pós-graduado em Filosofia para Crianças, pela Universidade dos Açores.

Possui vasta experiência no ensino, quer profissional, quer regular, desde a leccionação e coordenação, passando, igualmente, pela Direcção Técnico-Pedagógica, enquanto Director Pedagógico, em 2005-2006, na Escola Profissional Monsenhor João Maurício de Amaral Ferreira. Tem também experiência acumulada em diversos Programas de Ensino, tendo como público-alvo adolescentes e adultos, tais como Profij (II e IV) e Reativar, incluindo leccionação no Estabelecimento Prisional de Ponta Delgada, e coordenação do Programa Erasmus +.

O Carlos vive rodeado de azul e verde, de ilha em ilha, no magnífico arquipélago dos Açores. Foi precisamente neste contexto, da Pós-Graduação, que o Carlos teve a sua primeira experiência enquanto facilitador. 

 

carlos_carvalho

 

 

Lembras-te da primeira vez que ouviste falar de filosofia para crianças?

Não exactamente. Provavelmente, com consciência, há volta de 10 anos…. 2007, 2008.

 

Como é que começaste a trabalhar nesta àrea?

 A primeira sessão conduzida por mim foi no âmbito da Pós-Graduação que fiz, na Universidade dos Açores, em “Filosofia para Crianças”.

 

Consideras que a fpc é necessária para as crianças? Porquê?

Sim, muito importante. Provavelmente a minha resposta não traz nada de novo perante o que as autoridades na matéria dizem, mas defendo que é importante porque é necessário haver um espaço no qual a criança aprenda a refletir. As tecnologias trouxeram fontes infinitas de informação, em quantidades que eram inimagináveis nos meus tempos de criança. No entanto, essa informação não é tratada, mas sim tratada de uma forma descartável: “play”, “vejo”, “termino”, carrego imediatamente “num próximo play”. Aliás, esta é uma sequência comportamental que é já um padrão da educação das nossas crianças, sem qualquer momento de análise.

 

Hoje em dia as crianças, em Portugal, têm muitas actividades na escolar e depois da escola. Por que havemos de levar a filosofia para as escolas?

Devemos levar a Filosofia para as escolas pela razão que acima apresentei. Mas é uma questão que, em termos práticos, não é fácil de materializar. De facto, as crianças têm muitas atividades, na escola, e depois da escola. Parece que é um mal socialmente reconhecido, assente, não havendo tempo para o chamado “tempo para ser criança”. Por outro, quando ouvimos os professores de cada área correspondente a essas atividades, parece que faz todo o sentido incluir essas atividades…… O mesmo se passará com a Filosofia.

 

O que faz com que uma pergunta seja uma questão filosófica – do ponto de vista da fpc?

Em relação à Filosofia para Crianças, não creio que haja, ou não creio que deva haver, diferença ou cedência de requisitos para que uma questão seja Filosófica. Tal como na “Filosofia Adulta”, as questões filosóficas na “FPC” também deverão ser “existenciais e valorativas”; “não podem ter solução científica ou técnica”; “não podem ser questões de facto” e “devem ultrapassar o domínio da legalidade”.

 

Quais são os maiores desasfios que a Fpc enfrenta, nos nossos dias?

Enfrenta o preconceito generalizado que as pessoas e o sistema de educação têm em relação à Filosofia: a Filosofia não serve para nada.

 

Podes dar alguns conselhos aos professores e aos pais para os ajudar a lidar com as perguntas das crianças?

1º) Nunca ignorar as questões das crianças;

2º) Dar valor a cada questão formulada.

 

Alguma vez foste surpreendido com uma pergunta de uma criança? Podes partilhar connosco que pergunta foi essa?

 Provavelmente sim, mas, depois de pensar muito nessa questão, não há nenhuma em particular que me ocorra.

 

 

verão | summer 2018

 

3º Congresso Internacional de Filosofia - SPF

iii-congresso-filosofia-spf-2.jpg

 

a SPF - Sociedade Portuguesa de Filosofia organiza o 3º Congresso Internacional de Filosofia, nos dias 6 e 7 de Setembro. o evento é acolhido na UBI (Universidade da Beira Interior), na Covilhã.

 

irei marcar presença na companhia do Jose Barrientos-Rastrojo, da Magda Costa Carvalho e da Dina Mendonça, para partilharmos experiências e perspectivas sobre a filosofia para crianças.

 

podem visitar o site da SPF, caso tenham interesse em participar no congresso ou pedir informações através do e-mail spffilosofia@gmail.com 

 

 

 

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