Applying Philosophy for Children to Workshop-Style Environmental Education

Mitsuyo Toyoda
Niigata University
This paper examines possible applications of ideas and methods of Philosophy for Children (P4C) to workshop-style environmental education conducted in Sado, Japan. The theme of the workshop is the preservation of toki (the crested ibis) and the local community development. As a result of the success in new breeding, it was determined that the toki, which once became extinct in Japan, would be released to the natural environment in 2008. In order to achieve its successful settlement, local residents are expected to participate in natural and social restoration. Since children will take over this task in the future, they need to be familiar with this issue and to be equipped with necessary skills to think for themselves what can be done towards the betterment of personal, natural, andsocial well-being. As an approach to children’s education, a series of school workshop has been conducted in Sado. The focuses of this education are to introduce the value of thinking for themselves about the issues of toki, environment, and community, and to provide them with some of the necessary skills. A strict timeframe, however, is a crucial difficulty when applying P4C to the school workshop. The workshop must be conducted in two hours (or less), and can be given only one time at each school. In this paper, I consider how it is possible to incorporate the process of thinking into the school workshop and to examine the value of thinking-oriented environmental education. Based on the responses from the students and the teachers, I argue that the integration of P4C ideas into theschool workshop has been meaningful for providing different and creative learning opportunities for them
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI wcp22200827630
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