Philosophy with children, the stingray and the educative value of disequilibrium

Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):667-685 (2008)
Philosophy with children (P4C) 1 presents significant positive challenges for educators. Its 'community of enquiry' pedagogy assumes not only an epistemological shift in the role of the educator, but also a different ontology of 'child' and balance of power between educator and learner. After a brief historical sketch and an outline of the diversity among P4C practitioners, epistemological uncertainty in teaching P4C is crystallised in a succinct overview of theoretical and practical tensions that are a direct result of the implementation of P4C in mainstream education. These recurring pedagogical tensions in my practice as P4C teacher, teacher educator and mentor of teacher educators cause disequilibrium that opens up rich opportunities for philosophy of education in supporting novice P4Cers. Disequilibrium is a positive force that opens up a space in which educators need to reflect upon their values, their beliefs about learning and teaching, and ultimately encourages educators to rethink their own role. Plato's metaphor of the stingray highlights the role of the P4C teacher educator as model of the P4C teacher in any setting: 'to numb and to be numbed'. The P4C community and its institutions need to address the questions arising from these pedagogical tensions; and this needs to be done with integrity, that is, in communities of enquiry that include children. If not, in the long term, a more instrumental version of P4C may prevail.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2008.00640.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
George Lakoff (1980). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.
Gareth Matthews (2008). The Philosophy of Childhood. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
Matthew Lipman (1992). Thinking in Education. British Journal of Educational Studies 40 (2):187-189.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Richard Smith (2011). The Play of Socratic Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (2):221-233.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #171,744 of 1,925,579 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,223 of 1,925,579 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.