"That's a better idea!" philosophical progress for philosophy for children

Childhood and Philosophy 5 (10):223-269 (2009)
Philosophy for Children is an important educational programme that engages children in philosophical inquiry as the means for them to make sense of the world. A key to its success is that students make progress in their attempts to make sense of the world or, more colloquially, they develop better ideas. Although philosophical progress is essential to the value of Philosophy for Children, there is little written on this concept and what is written tends to be merely suggestive. The result is that teachers and students often find themselves lost in the dialogical, open inquiry of Philosophy for Children where there are no pre-determined end-points or uncontroversial ‘ right ’ answers that they can move towards. This thesis uses philosophical analysis and inquiry to uncover the impediments to progress faced by this educational programme, and to answer the question: What conception of philosophical progress would be efficacious for Philosophy for Children?
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