‘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)

About Catherine McCall

Catherine McCall is former President of SOPHIA (1996-2013) and member of EPIC International - a group of Consultants connected to: England, Indonesia, Latvia, The Netherlands, Scotland, Serbia, and the USA.
She is the author of 17 books including "Transforming Thinking: Philosophical Inquiry in the Primary and Secondary School", trans. as "Anders Denken", the Guided Socratic Discussion curriculum, "Persons, Selves and Human Beings ..." and more.
In 1990 Catherine created the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Inquiry at Glasgow University, where she was the Director of the postgraduate Centre for Philosophical Inquiry. In 2004 she was invited to present her CoPI method to the Scottish Parliament. Her presentation to Parliament on Feb 5th 2005 was filmed for a feature on BBC2 Newsnight.
She has been a Visiting Professor at: the IAPC in Montclair State University (USA); The Sorbonne (France); The Technical University of Barcelona (Spain); The University of South Carolina (USA); The Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland); Malta University (Malta); The Continuing Education University of Iceland (Iceland); The University of Nijmegen (The Netherlands); Strathclyde University (Scotland)