Philosophy for Children in China:: A Late Preliminary Anti-Report

Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 22 (1):37-49 (2002)
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Abstract

At the very least, even though Chinese schools do not look very different from those in the West, China offers an opportunity for Philosophy for Children to question its basis, its methodology, its aims. It seems to be expressing a different cultural voice, and to be disposed to the kind of dialogue we are more used to claiming than practicing. Both Kunming and Shanghai provide, in their own ways, formidable contexts: the deep, strong and disciplined educators of Railway Station School of Kunming and the scholarly, sophisticated and committed members of the Shanghai institute for Research in the Human Sciences seem determined to take Philosophy for Children, not just beyond their own limits as Chinese, but beyond the limits Philosophy for Children has already established for itself in the West. Philosophy for Children in China, then, looks like a wonderful opportunity to think ourselves--what we are as educators engaged in the practice of philosophy--again. An invitation to think ourselves again. Is this not what dialogue and philosophy are about? It’s up to us to accept the invitation.

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Walter Kohan
Rio de Janeiro State University

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