Reflections on ICPIC & SOPHIA Part II

On deliberation, enquiry based actions and practising philosophy with children without philosophy

By Pieter Mostert

What happens to notes taken during a conference? Usually very little, at least in my case. This time I decided to do it differently – after the ICPIC conference in Madrid and the Sophia Network meeting in Aveiro – and pushed myself to structure and unfold my notes into short essays, representing my ‘inner dialogues’ on a number of topics. Here is the second of 3 blogs on my reflections. You can read the first one here.

You can find some of the presentations that were given at SOPHIA on our resources page for members.

On deliberation

I notice the rise of the word ‘deliberation’, both as an adjective in the coined phrase ‘deliberative democracy’ and as a noun (and noticed that ‘dialogue’ has become less in use). Don’t get tricked by the middle ‘e’ in ‘deliberation’; its meaning is not connected to any ‘liberation’, but to ‘libra’, the pair of scales, used to weigh the different ‘goods’ (that’s why the sign for a UK pound is the £): what was most important, what was most striking, what was lacking, what do we take with us and what do we leave behind?

When Socrates claims in his famous quote, that an unexamined life is not a life for human beings, or positively stated: a human life = an examined life, I read this as a double claim, as the concept of ‘examination’ (or – closer to the Greek word he uses: assessment) includes two aspects or phases: the aspect of enquiry / investigation and the aspect of ‘judging’ or ‘valuing’ what you have enquired / investigated. An exam / assessment leads to a judgement, of a yes / no type (“yes, you qualified as a doctor”) or on a scale (“your performance ranks in the top 20%”) or qualitative (“what you have submitted is a genuine and thorough attempt to grasp …”).

When a philosophy for children session only covers the first part, the enquiry / investigation, we’ve finished too early. The enquiry should lead us to some kind of ‘position’, provisional (as the enquiry could have gone on) and maybe disputed, as some may hold this ‘position’ and others another one. And in some cases we will conclude that we honestly “do not know”, and that is a position too, like a doctor can tell you that after all the tests have been done (s)he has no idea what is the cause of the symptoms. So I feel attracted to the use of ‘deliberation’, as it encourages us to make that second step of ‘coming to terms’: at the end of the enquiry we take some time to decide where we stand, individually or as a group. This conference has made me more aware of the relevance of this second step.

Deliberation is quite different from reflection. Reflection is the process of looking back and into what we have experienced and thought before. As such it is part of the first step of enquiry: collecting all the material that is relevant ‘to be put on the scales’. Deliberation is the specific process of weighing, of daring to say what is more important / puts more weight on the scale than other things. It reminds me of the famous booklet ‘Regula’ by St. Benedict, founder of the Benedict convents. He wrote the booklet for the abbots who struggled with their ‘leadership’, as one would say nowadays. St. Benedict explains that when you need to make a decision as the abbot, make sure that if it is an important issue, all the monks take part in the deliberation (and let the young ones speak first!, he adds), so that everything that should be taken into consideration in the final decision by the abbot is brought forward. This reminds me of the staff meetings of the engineering department of the university for professional education in Rotterdam, which I facilitated for a year in Benedictian style. Good memories.

On enquiry based actions

Is philosophy only thinking / reflection or does it also include action? If so, what kind of ‘actions’ are we talking about?

First of all, we usually consider a certain minimal set of ‘actions’ as required: children should sit in a circle (although this is not always possible and that does not make a philosophical enquiry impossible, as I have experienced), the teacher should take the role of facilitator and enable to students to engage in their enquiry (which means that we don’t want that our enquiries look like Socrates’ dialogues, in which there is no facilitator and one participant behaves in a very dominant manner), and we want that this ‘engagement’ of the students takes place in a fair and respectful manner. These – and similar ones – are ‘actions’ we feel obliged to when doing philosophy for children. But is that it?

A second category of ‘actions’ is a person’s decision to develop philosophical enquiries for specific groups or circumstances: gifted children, who do not feel ‘recognized’ in the standard school system, or for underprivileged or disabled children, for the same reason, exclusion. For most of us it is not irrelevant where we facilitate philosophy for children enquiries. Some settings we consider more relevant than others, because of the contribution (to social change) we want to make. Some have strong preferences to practise philosophy for children outside the school or at least in mixed age groups, others prefer to incorporate it in the teaching of other subject areas, and so on. Fortunately we differ in our considerations, so as a total a wide spectrum is covered.

More complex it becomes for me when I ask myself whether I think that a philosophical enquiry should have ‘consequences’: if children come to some shared conclusions, about what is fair / good, should we support / encourage them in applying these conclusions to and testing them in their direct environment? Example: should an enquiry about health and sustainability lead to changes in what is offered in the school’s cafeteria and vending machines? Or can that only be decided when the whole school has participated in philosophical enquiries on this topic? Which makes it rather unrealistic in most cases. So what should happen / change after the students have finished one or more philosophical enquiries? Nothing? That seems too little. But what should it be?

It sounds awkward to me to do philosophical enquiries for gifted children as a weekly activity in a school which for the rest of the week expects from these children that they behave ‘like normal’ and accept how schooling is done. Feeling recognized / valued / seen is not something which one can restrict to a short time. It is unlikely that a student will feel ‘included’ when most of the time (s)he is ‘excluded’. But at the same time our powers for changing our environment, most directly and a little further away, are limited. Does it mean that we should only do philosophical enquiries if the values underlying these enquiries are shared and practised throughout the whole institution / school? Or should we think that for these students it is better to have at least some opportunity to feel included, instead of refusing them this opportunity because it is too little?

There is something called the ‘political’ dimension of P4C. Personally I would not have chosen that word, ‘political’, but I can understand when people do so. It’s about the question that I took with me to the ICPIC conference: If in P4C we enquire ‘the good life’, shouldn’t part of P4C be the practising of ‘a good life’, or at least an attempt to do so, and what counts as a ‘good’ attempt? How far should this go? Is it only within the space of the philosophy enquiry (make sure that the enquiry is done in a good, respectful, democratic, inclusive, etc. way)? Or should we support (or even encourage) children to engage in some kind of social action, as an act of persecution of the outcomes of their enquiry?

This question is not to be answered with a simple Yes or No. It is about to what degree / extent and with what aim? One of the PhD students at the ICPIC conference told about an initiative to take the P4C class outside the school to the community and involve adult members of the community in the enquiries. The students discovered that the adults seemed to be quite reluctant to share their thoughts and at the same time that the adults found it quite rather difficult to really listen to what the students had to say. The students were disappointed by this experience, but at the same time they learned about the world outside the classroom, the real world and how it is ‘to be in the world’.

On practicing ‘philosophy for children’ without philosophy

I myself come from both an educational and a philosophical background. In my biography there is not a first and a second, and I have always felt privileged by what was given to me. Conversations at the ICPIC conference have convinced me that I need to accept the reality as it is and will remain, namely that philosophy for children is mainly practised by school teachers with little knowledge of philosophy. So I set myself the task to think more and clearer about a concept / description of what philosophy in ‘philosophy for children’ is, which meets this reality and does not presuppose knowledge of philosophy.

I do not know yet whether it is possible, but I would like to come to a description of philosophy for children in which the philosophical dimension / content is present, but in such a way that it can be understood and identified by a person who is not familiar with (the academic tradition of) philosophy. This would not be a first attempt. It has been tried before, for example in telling teachers that they must distinguish between empirical and philosophical questions. But this is an example of an attempt which does not work nor help; it confuses and makes teachers reject very useful questions for philosophical enquiries. Two of my favourites: “Can music get wet?” and “What if our knees would bend the other way?”.

Reflections on ICPIC & SOPHIA 2017 Part 1

On empirical questions, exposition and voting 

By Pieter Mostert

What happens to notes taken during a conference? Usually very little, at least in my case. This time I decided to do it differently – after the ICPIC conference in Madrid and the Sophia Network meeting in Aveiro – and pushed myself to structure and unfold my notes into short essays, representing my ‘inner dialogues’ on a number of topics. Here is the first of 3 blogs on my reflections.

You can find some of the presentations that were given at SOPHIA on our resources page for members.

On empirical questions

Are there empirical questions? I doubt that. I doubt whether the ‘empirical’ is in the question. It’s more likely that how we plan to deal with a certain question determines whether it is ‘empirical’. Example: there are religious communities which deal with the question whether God is good as an empirical question: can we see that God is good? There answer is: yes, because look at …. Personally, I would not consider this an empirical, but a highly philosophical question, but that’s not a dispute about the nature of the question. The question is what it is, the difference is between me and this particular religious community.

It is not necessary to draw a sharp distinction between empirical and philosophical questions / questioning. In some cases, it is evident which way to take the question (“Which way is Central Station?”), in other cases it is more of a mix, where we participants can decide which way to take the question, or how to combine both ways. There is no reason why one could deal with a particular question (like: ‘How many colours do you see here?’) only in one way, either empirical or philosophical. One can do both, in the same enquiry. And the sequence is open. It is not necessary to start empirical and then turn philosophical.

‘Empirical’ does not mean that one needs to do empirical research to answer such a question. When we do a Socratic dialogue on the question whether what X did was an act of bravery or of foolishness, we consider a large number of empirical ‘facts’. Without a thorough enquiry of ‘what actually happened’ such a dialogue would remain empty. But the empirical facts don’t decide for us, we have to do that. Example: in the case of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is considered to be the capital, but this is a title without any meaning, because the government (and the king) reside in The Hague.

Enquiring empirical questions is an established didactic method of making students aware of their knowledge, its quality, its gaps, its inconsistencies, etc. I can ask students questions like “Why is it that when it’s winter on the northern hemisphere, it’s summer on the southern one?” or “You’ve all heard about the invention of the printing press, what was actually invented?”. Such an enquiry is a critical examination of what we think we know, which – quite Socratic – may lead us to the conclusion that actually we know very little. The argument that there is only one correct answer to these questions and that that very fact makes these questions un-philosophical is short sighted, because the philosophical enquiry is not about finding “the only one correct answer”, but to assess the quality of our circumstantial knowledge (and of our knowledge in general). Empirical questions are most beneficial for such assessments.

On exposition

In Socrates’ dialogues exposition plays a major role. In some of them, like ‘Symposion’, it is the only thing that happens: seven speeches in praise of love. Nevertheless, we experience little hesitation to call this dialogue philosophical. So, exposition and enquiry are not in opposition, similar to a point I’ve made previously at several occasions, that debate and enquiry are not in opposition. In a fruitful debate both sides challenge each other and give space to be challenged – and that keeps the enquiry going.

In the German tradition of Socratic dialogues, as initiated by Leonard Nelson one of the rules is that participants are not allowed to deliver such expositions. I’ve always appreciated that rule: it encourages the participants to thinking instead of lecturing and to speak briefly, not at great length. But how about the facilitator? Should (she) refrain from exposition, from telling the participants: “now listen, I’ll explain a few things first, because I’m sure you can make great use of them in your enquiry on the question we’ve selected”. It reminds me of the day when I observed a Socratic dialogue among adults and saw + felt how the participants were struggling. The facilitator noticed the same and decided to say: “it looks like you are confusing ‘equal’ and ‘equivalent’; I recommend to use this distinction”. Within minutes the agitation reached a new height, when the participants turned to the facilitator: there was no confusion, just disagreement + such a distinction would complicate matters even more, while they were looking for an answer with some simplicity. A long tea break did help. The participants decided to return to the enquiry at the point where they left it, before the exposition by the facilitator.

One experience is no proof, but afterwards the facilitator told the participants that he had seriously underestimated the complexity of the relation and communication between facilitator and participants. It’s delicate, to say the least.

But there are more considerations a facilitator should take into account – whether it is with adults or with children – before deciding to ‘help’ the participants in their enquiry by delivering some kind of exposition.

First, teachers are tempted to overestimate the impact of their expositions, no matter how clear they are, no matter how often they have asked the students “is this clear now?”. In the language of a Bloomian taxonomist the exposition should be followed by a variety of ‘exercises’ in which the students can experiment, try and learn to apply the content of the exposition. These exercises must be carefully constructed and the teacher must give clear feedback to the students about their performance. This cannot be properly done as a part of an enquiry, because it would turn the enquiry into a teacher-led exercise. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with a teacher-led activity within philosophy for children, but it’s simply something else.

Secondly, when the teacher takes the role of a facilitator, (s)he is not one of the participants. Should the facilitator step in at a particular moment and say ‘wait a moment, there’s an important philosophical distinction or argument that I want to explain and I think it is very relevant for what we’re enquiring now’, it’s like the referee joining the playing of the game. “No, I just want to show it to you, and then I’ll be back in my facilitator’s chair”. Well, it does not work like that. Some students will apply what has been explained to them in an incorrect way, others miss the relevance because they’re within their own thoughts and some will love it and run away with it. The facilitator will focus more on the effects of his / her intervention than on facilitating the enquiry as a whole.

As mentioned above, there are ‘teacher-led dialogues’, which serve as a tool of instruction. Whether as a teacher one feels comfortable with a questioning / dialogical style of instruction and whether students like it is something else, but it is an established way of teaching, which in no way is less efficient nor effective than ‘exposition’.

Theoretically, teacher-led dialogical instructions are quite distinct from teacher-facilitated enquiries. In the dialogical instruction the questioning is done by the teacher – in a rather primitive form this is what happens in that famous section of Plato’s “Meno”, in which the slave figures out how to double the area of a square – the students follow. In contrast, in a teacher-facilitated enquiry the students do the questioning, ideally at least. The daily reality, however, is different, I noticed, when I saw extracts from transcripts at the ICPIC conference: teachers in their role as facilitators tend to ask most of the questions, quite often guiding questions, like questions in which they draw inferences (“but does that mean …”), generalize what has been said (“so all … are …?), make implicit or incomplete arguments explicit /complete or relate them to other arguments (“… made a similar point, but …”), summarize what has been said so far, and so on. Here the distinction between facilitation and instruction blurs. Facilitation becomes an implicit and indirect way of instruction. I recommend keeping them separate: when a teacher decides to instruct, please do so but be explicit about it. Don’t hide it behind a veil of doing something else.

Thirdly, a facilitator has many opportunities to introduce philosophical concepts, distinctions and arguments without having to go into the mode of exposition, opportunities which harmonize better with the enquiry-style as practised in philosophy for children. Let me give three examples:

  • Matthew Lipman designed “Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery” (novel + manual) as a textbook, which would keep the students busy at least for a full year. Nowadays very few teachers use it this way, in the early years quite a few did. Section by section the students worked through it, in an enquiry style;
  • Pete Worley showed us in “The Philosophy Shop” how knowledge of philosophy helps to design ‘settings’ (in a narrative style) which guide the students in their philosophical enquiries. A teacher who takes the students through the Philosophy Shop day by day, at the same time takes them through philosophy, both historically and systematically;
  • Thought experiments have been used by philosophers throughout the ages, because they enable them to ‘torture’ a specific concept, argument or distinction until it collapses. Robert Nozick’s “Experience Machine” is – in my words – designed to ‘torture’ the commonly accepted view that happiness is a feeling (in that sense: an experience). Thought experiments need little adaptation to make them suitable for enquiries by the students themselves.

In conclusion, for me the basic rule for a facilitator remains the following: observe the content (of the enquiry by the students) closely, but guide the students through interventions in the process (of their enquiry), not through interventions in the content.

On voting

The general problem with voting, it seems to me, is that it comes too early, in the perception of those who are going to vote. The Brexit referendum is a good example – only afterwards people started to realize things they should have considered and ‘weighed’ before they went to vote. And the Dutch – me included – who voted on March 15th are still without a coalition cabinet which takes responsibility for governing the country.

The same is true for all those enquiries in which students are asked to vote for a particular question, so that the enquiry can start. But only through participating in such an enquiry one gradually grasps a certain understanding of these questions. So how can one vote for or against a question without having explored it first? I have never understood this strategy and never applied it myself. It is my ‘ceterum censeo’ in whatever I think or say about philosophy for children: no matter what we’re discussing, I want to state that I don’t think voting is a good idea.

I had a similar experience in one of the workshops in which I had to raise or turn down my thumb in order to indicate whether I was for / against, in agreement or disagreement, in preference of A or B, etc. I felt like in a psychological test in which I have to produce judgements at a pretty high speed. It’s like Adam having to decide which animal gets which name, let’s say at the speed of 10 seconds per animal, 6 in a minute, 360 in an hour, 3000 in a day. What a job!

Such a practice of voting in an enquiry gives me the feeling that I have to dig my heels in the sand and take a firm stance. But that is not why I am in an enquiry. I am there to suspend my judgement, consider options I haven’t considered before, try out arguments or positions I have not tried out before. An enquiry is an exploration. Yes, it is more than just that, but the first part is explorative, it is a ‘lateral’ activity, as Eduard de Bono would say. It is about what we tell each other when we look at a one of those triptych paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. We point at different scenes, draw attention to some spectacular creatures, have a closer look at the faces, detect hilarious scenes, wonder about the freshness of the colours and are baffled by the contrast between the triptych and the painting which is displayed when the triptych is closed. Any judgment – thumbs up or down – would come too early. It would distract us from observing, from taking into account the multitude and diversity of what is displayed. Foster the exploration, especially when the question is controversial, like 12-year olds about “Are your parents your best friends?”.

Welcoming Talk Crete 2016

SOPHIA: opening remarks

SOPHIA Network Meeting 2nd of September, 2016, Rethymno

Meeting theme: From Ancient Greece to the Modern Curriculum, where does philosophy fit?

Welcoming address:

“Where does philosophy fit?

I’ll begin by saying: philosophy resists ‘fit’. If you look for philosophy you’ll find it where you find, among other things, aporia, confusion, difficulty, paradox. It may not ‘fit’ anywhere, but it has a role. And maybe the role is informed by its lack of ‘fit’. Philosophy is something of an unwelcome guest at a party, an awkward, difficult child in a classroom, an ugly, brutal truth at a wedding.

I prefer to talk about philosophy’s reach. In the beginning ‘philosophy’ captured all learning and included geometry, mathematics, rhetoric, cosmology, physics, metaphysics, biology and more. And though each of these subjects has become, in the classroom anyway, independent of philosophy, philosophy still secures a corner for itself in each despite attempts to shake it off. When an historian asks, ‘What exactly is an historical fact?’ or ‘What exactly is knowledge of the past?’ and ‘What is the past?’ they are asking philosophical questions. Or if a scientist asks, ‘Does the notion of ‘before time’ make sense?’ or ‘How can we represent an object such as an atom if it cannot be observed?’ and ‘Can such a representation be accurate?’ they too are asking philosophical questions. And though they may be an historian or a scientist, they are philosophising. In most if not all subjects, any student of the subject will at some point fall into a ‘philosophical hole’ that the subject has been unable to remove, fill in or cover up. So, philosophy is able to reach within all subjects though it may fit none.

And this leaves us with a question about how it’s done: should philosophy be discrete or integrated? Done in addition to everything else or done within everything else? For my part, I think there is a case for both but I don’t have time to make them here. I’ll finish with a cautionary note: my concern is that philosophy in schools is perhaps made to fit too much. By trimming it, covering its naked truth, sweetening it to better ‘fit the system’ we betray it. If we over-emphasise the collaborative aspect or its democratic allegiance, and under-emphasise its subversiveness, if we sentimentalise its power to better the world, if we reduce it to a ‘no right or wrong’ exchange of opinions, wiping away its evaluative strengths, we castrate it. We must be more careful to present philosophy to children not only as milk; philosophy sometimes has a bitter taste.

Where does philosophy fit? Perhaps its virtue lies in not fitting.”

Peter Worley, President of SOPHIA

Our resources section for 2016 will soon be filled with presentations, papers and workshops from this years presentation. You can see previous years here: SOPHIA Resources

‘Can Children do Philosophy?’

Click  to watch  Can Children Do Philosophy?

Published on 29 Apr 2016, The Battle of Ideas video includes talks from Peter Worley, President of SOPHIA and Catherine C. McCall (former President of SOPHIA). Our aim: to answer the question with “Yes”.

“Philosophy is a venerable university subject, but until recently it was much less common in schools. The ‘Philosophy For Children’ (P4C) movement aims to help children even at primary school to think for themselves using a wide variety of materials to instigate questioning and inquiry. Critics of teaching philosophy in primary schools maintain that philosophy is not just a formal way of inquiry involving dilemmas, reasons, criteria and fallacies. It also has its own tradition, a long quest for truth about the human condition and more, which would-be philosophers must engage with. Supporters of P4C insist children do not need this body of knowledge to philosophise because philosophy teaches reasoning in a conceptual way. But in simplifying philosophy, could P4C be undermining the development of genuine autonomy and creativity?

The speakers are Dr Catherine McCall, director of EPIC (European Philosophical Inquiry Centre), Peter Worley, CEO and co-founder of The Philosophy Foundation, Adam Seldon, co-director of Lauriston Lights, an education charity, and Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, English teacher and PhD researcher in education at the University of Cambridge. The debate is chaired by Toby Marshall, FE lecturer in social theory and PhD researcher in sociology education at UCL Institute of Education.”

(description from The Battle of Ideas)

SOPHIA 2016: Crete

We are delighted to announce that our next meeting is being held at the University of Crete in partnership with the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies at the beginning of September.

The theme this year is:

From Ancient Greece to the Modern Curriculum: where does philosophy fit?

And we currently have a call for proposals open (closing date May 1st) – for more please visit our next meeting page.

As usual we are keeping the price as low as we possibly can to make it easier for people to attend. The Network Meeting is only €15 for the two days – in order to attend you need to be or become a member for our minimum period of a year, this is €35. For more on our membership rates visit our Join Sophia page.

The dates for the meeting have been agreed as Friday 2nd September and Saturday 3rd September.

See you then!

 

Ways into Philosophy

Introduction to SOPHIA Network Meeting 2014, Zagreb Peter Worley, President

“For many, philosophy is impenetrable. It is often thought to be, among other things, dense, difficult and dry. To these detractors the idea of taking something as abstract and difficult as philosophy to children must seem absurd.

One way around this is to redefine philosophy so that it is simply no longer dense, difficult and dry. Something broad like ‘an open-ended discussion’ might be an example of this kind of re-definition.

Alternatively, one may take the so-called ‘dense, difficult and dry’ literature (in other words, the philosophical canon) as the starting point and then attempt to find ‘ways in’ to it. This is my preferred way of tackling the problem of the impenetrability of philosophy and the doing of philosophy with children.

On a personal note, providing young people with a way into philosophy is not just about a way into philosophy but also a way (for me, back) into education. Becoming interested in the problem of the nature of numbers is also becoming interested in maths; becoming interested in the philosophy of religion can lead to an interest in the philosophy of science which can (and did me) spark an interest in science.

One reason why I set up The Philosophy Foundation, and also why I am honoured to take up the presidency of SOPHIA, is because I believe philosophy has the power to bring those who find themselves at a distance from education, or at its edges, back into it. After failing school and subsequently leaving education it was through an interest in literature and through exploring religious questions that I discovered philosophy. My interest in philosophy then brought me back into education and at the age of 24 I went to university to study philosophy.”

In our resources section for members you can read Peter’s full introduction to the weekend, which includes ideas about philosophical controversy, helping a class towards the controversy and assessing progress, as well as seeing the film mentioned in this blog. His workshop on different ways into philosophy includes narrative / storytelling; experience, exercises, games, sci-fi, interactive imagination, poetry, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic sessions, children’s literature (both novels and picture books) Shakespeare, physicalisation and drama which can also be found in this paper.

Our resources section also contains papers / workshops / presentations from workshop leaders in Zagreb. Workshops in Zagreb included:

  • Andy West (England) Kinaesthetic Learners
  • Tina Marasovic (Croatia) Graffiti: Philosophizing in Art
  • Mary Bovill (Scotland) Philosophy in the Secondary Curriculum
  • Laura Blažeti? Faller (Croatia) “Blind Bat” Game
  • Milosh Jeremic (Serbia) Wandering Test
  • Grace Robinson (England) Philosophical Enquiry in Role
  • Ed Weijers (Netherlands) Structure & Dynamics
  • Ilse Daems (Belgium) Philosophy Games
  • Renate Kroschel (Germany) What is a Soul?
  • Peter Worley (England) Many Ways into Philosophy
scarpe hogan outletscarpe hogan outlethogan outlet onlinehogan outlet onlinenike free run pas cherBordeaux 7s for saleBordeaux 7shttp://www.officinedelgelato.com/IT/sitemap.htmlhttp://www.bestscreenwritingbooks.com/nies.phpair jordan pas cheroakley sunglasses cheaplouboutin pas cherchaussures louboutin pas cherair jordan pas cheroutlet hogannike free run pas cherHogan outletnike air jordan pas cherscarpe hogan outletjordan pas cherJordan 7 Bordeauxtn requin pas cherlouboutin homme pas cheroutlet hoganjordan pas chernike tn pas cheroutlet hoganBordeaux 7shogan outlet onlinecheap oakley sunglassesjordan Bordeaux 7sBordeaux 7sscarpe hogan outletoakley sunglasses cheapair jordan pas cherhttp://schallertech.com/wp/chernike tn pas cherhttp://notebookstore.org/pase.phpBordeaux 7schaussures louboutin pas cher

Peter Worley TEDx Talks

How To Be A Rebel

TEDx KCS June 2014 – click here to view on YouTube

 

Plato Not Playdoh

TEDx Goodenough College May 2014, click here to view on YouTube

 

Using Poetry for Philosophical Enquiries

By Peter Worley

When National Poetry Day and World Poetry Day come around each year I like to use poetry for all my philosophy sessions where possible. I usually write some more Thoughtings and a blog. This year I have got a little over-excited about poetry. Because I love it! So this is the second blog on poetry which follows on from my previous blog post ‘Why Poetry? Because it is like the TARDIS…’

Something similar to what follows can be found in the appendices at the back of Thoughtings together with a sample lesson plan around one particular Thoughting. The poems in that collection have been written specifically to do philosophy with, however philosophy can also be done with many other poems not written to do philosophy. With that in mind, I’ve put this together for anyone who wishes to start using poetry as a starting stimulus for doing philosophy but who lacks the confidence (or a procedure) to do so. This is only a guideline so the word to bear in mind is ‘variation’ – play around with this structure to best fit your aims, your class or group and your poem. All the poems mentioned here can be found by following the links in my previous blog ‘Why Poetry?…’

Read more

[Read more…]

A Decade of European Thought

by Goedele De Swaef

As coordinator of the European Socrates-Comenius TAXI project (School Development Project forthe Advancement of Philosophy with Children) I think it would be interesting to present the history of our European Projects, viz. Thought Castle (1995-1998), the 100 Journal (1998-2001) and Taxi (2001-2004) and of course the history of the 100 Journal itself (i.e. the European Philosophy Journal of Children), a journal that was published during all those years.

  1. Sophia

In 1992, in Barcelona, people from different European Centres of Philosophy with Children set up SOPHIA, a European Foundation for Philosophical Inquiry with Children. This foundation was formally registered in Amsterdam in 1993, where it was connected to the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam.

SOPHIA was set up to establish a network within Europe of organizations and persons committed to the implementation of philosophising inside educational institutes. Most of these centres started translating one or more of Lipman’s stories and manuals.

The 100-journal was meant to be one of the first concrete projects of SOPHIA, but it became an independent project called Thought Castle sponsored by the Socrates-Comenius action 1 for primary education.

  1. Socrates-Comenius

Socrates is a European programme for education. Its aim is to promote the European dimension and to improve the quality of education by encouraging cooperation between the participating countries.

The programme sets out to develop a Europe of knowledge and thus to better cater for the major challenges of this new century: to promote lifelong learning, to encourage access to education for everyone, to acquire qualifications and recognised skills.

The overall objectives of Comenius (one of the actions of Socrates) are to enhance the quality and reinforce the European dimension of school education, in particular by encouraging transnational cooperation between schools, by contributing to the improved professional development of staff directly involved in the school education sector, and by promoting the learning of languages and intercultural awareness.

Comenius seeks to help those learning and teaching in schools, to develop a sense of belonging to a broader and outward-looking European community – a community characterised by diverse traditions, cultures and regional identities, but nevertheless rooted in a common history of European development.

Comenius contributes to enhancing the quality of school education and to reinforcing its European dimension by:

  • promoting trans-national cooperation and exchanges between schools and teacher training programmes/institutions;
  • encouraging innovation in pedagogical methods and materials;
  • promoting the trans-national dissemination of “good practice” and innovation in school management;
  • developing and disseminating methods for combating educational exclusion and school failure, for promoting the integration of pupils with special educational needs, and for promoting equal opportunities in all sectors of education;
  • promoting the use of information and communication technology in school education and in the training of staff working in this sector.
  1. The 100 Journal

 The idea for a journal was born at the Sophia meeting in Barcelona. Berrie Heesen from the Dutch Centre of Philosophy with Children came up with the idea of a journal for children philosophising, as a continuation of a journal that once existed in Poland, i.e. the Little Review.

During the twenties this was a journal for children that was set up by Janusz Korczak, who was a Polish pedagogue and director of an orphanage in Warsaw, Poland. The journal, the Little Review, had an editorial board with children aged between 8 and 14. Children from all over Poland every month travelled by train to Warsaw (sometimes more than 500 km) to meet with the editorial board of the Little Review, which would appear every Friday as a supplement to a daily Jewish newsletter called Our Review.

The name ‘100’ was chosen because a number can function as a logo in the different languages. It was complicated to find a word, even a new word, that was acceptable in all these languages, so finally a number was chosen as title. Numbers are, at least in Europe, all written the same but pronounced differently. This seemed to be a good combination of what Europe is: unity in diversity. Of course, children are aware of the great quantity of numbers that exist, so why specifically the number 100? The explanation of the title was printed on the cover of the first issue:

“There is a beautiful story why this journal is called 100. The story is about a man who lived in Poland before World War Two. His name is Janusz Korczak.

Korczak was director of an orphanage in Poland. He was also editor and organizer of a weekly Polish journal for children with a real children’s editorial board. Korczak was convinced that children were not enough respected and appreciated. He was convinced they were not taken seriously. He did not like this. Therefore he started a children’s journal with writings of children themselves. There was a boy called Alexander Ramati, nine yers old, who travelled several times a year a few hundred kilometres by train to be present at the children’s editorial meetings.

But why number 100?

It’s like this. In the orphanage of Korczak existed a tribunal that had to judge about all the problems among children. This tribunal existed of five child judges who were chosen every month by all the children of the orphanage. Korczak said: ‘This tribunal is not justice, but it strives for justice.’ Everybody who thought he or she was treated unfair was able to lay down a charge. And about the judges said Korczak: ‘Judges can make mistakes. They may punish for acts they themselves are guilty of. But it is shameful if a judge consciously hands down an unjust verdict.’ The tribunal just pronounced an article from a list of a thousand articles. The first article said: ‘Charge is withdrawn.’ Article 100 was the dividing line between forgiveness and censure. Article 100 said: ‘Without granting pardon, the court states that you committed the act with which you are charged.’ Children charged even Korczak himself. The worst punishment Korzak ever got from this tribunal was article 100. To keep this story alive of a man who organized a children’s tribunal and a children’s journal, this journal is called: 100. It is a European Doing Philosophy With Children journal.

To download Goedele’s full paper on Ten Years of European Thought go to our Resources page.

scarpe hogan outletscarpe hogan outlethogan outlet onlinehogan outlet onlinenike free run pas cherBordeaux 7s for saleBordeaux 7shttp://www.officinedelgelato.com/IT/sitemap.htmlhttp://www.bestscreenwritingbooks.com/nies.phpair jordan pas cheroakley sunglasses cheaplouboutin pas cherchaussures louboutin pas cherair jordan pas cheroutlet hogannike free run pas cherHogan outletnike air jordan pas cherscarpe hogan outletjordan pas cherJordan 7 Bordeauxtn requin pas cherlouboutin homme pas cheroutlet hoganjordan pas chernike tn pas cheroutlet hoganBordeaux 7shogan outlet onlinecheap oakley sunglassesjordan Bordeaux 7sBordeaux 7sscarpe hogan outletoakley sunglasses cheapair jordan pas cherhttp://schallertech.com/wp/chernike tn pas cherhttp://notebookstore.org/pase.phpBordeaux 7schaussures louboutin pas cher

TES Comment Piece: Philosophy in Schools

Philosophy in SchoolsThe British Educational Newspaper, The TES, has a comment piece by President of SOPHIA, Peter Worley.

Peter argues why philosophy should be taught in schools, and there is a lively discussion afterwards about the role of philosophy, and RE in the development of well-being.

You can read the full article here: TES Comment