Paulo Freire and Philosophy for Children: A Critical Dialogue

Studies in Philosophy and Education 37 (6):615-629 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper is an attempt to connect the Brazilian Paulo Freire’s well known educational thinking with the “philosophy for children” movement. It considers the relationship between the creator of philosophy for children, Matthew Lipman and Freire through different attempts to establish a relationship between these two educators. The paper shows that the relationship between them is not as close as many supporters of P4C have claimed, especially in Latin America. It also considers the context of Educational Policies in our time and why Freire’s understanding of the politics of education makes it impossible to be Freirean and at the same time be neutral or favorable to the actual status quo. Finally, after presenting Lipman’s understanding of the relationship between philosophy, education and democracy and their connection to capitalism, it proposes ways to begin the political path of philosophizing with children inspired by Paulo Freire’s educational thinking. As a result, a more politically committed path to doing philosophy with children is offered.

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