For centuries, philosophy has been considered as an intellectual activity requiring complex cognitive skills and predispositions related to complex (or critical) thinking. The Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach aims at the development of critical thinking in pupils through philosophical dialogue. Some contest the introduction of P4C in the classroom, suggesting that the discussions it fosters are not philosophical in essence. In this text, we argue that P4C is philosophy.
This research project investigated manifestations of critical thinking in pupils 10 to 12 years of age during their group discussions held in the context of Philosophy for Children Adapted to Mathematics. The objective of the research project was to examine, through the pupils' discussions, the development of dialogical critical thinking processes. The research was conducted during an entire school year. The research method was based on the Grounded Theory approach; the material used consisted of transcripts of verbal exchanges among the (...) pupils. Analysis of the transcripts revealed that: critical thinking appears to the extent that a 'dia-logue' is established among pupils; on the cognitive level, dialogical critical thinking is comprised of four thinking modes: logical, creative, responsible and meta-cognitive; and on the epistemological level, dialogical critical thinking is only manifested in a context where egocentricity of perspective and relativism of beliefs are transcended. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to highlight the fact that the Philosophy for Children Approach can be used to stimulate pupil’s reflection within the framework of school subjects such as mathematics. First we situate P4C within the field of socio-constructivist epistemology. Then, P4C as adapted to mathematics is introduced. Finally, we describe an experiment linked to five types of exchanges, manifested between the beginning and the end of a school year while the pupils were learning to philosophize about mathematics. (...) In the discussion, emphasis is placed on the educational interventions of the teachers who facilitate the P4CM workshops. (shrink)
Matthew Lipman is an American philosopher who conceived, in the 1970s, a method to help children think in an autonomous, critical and reasonable way. This method is a global approach which aims to develop the personal as well as the intellectual, the moral and the social aspects of the person; it is an educative project in the broad sense of the term. This holistic project takes the form of a program of philosophy for students from five to fifteen years old. (...) The philosophical content is adapted to the children's interests and needs and is presented in the form of novels which relate semantic, logic, esthetic and ethic experiences of daily life. (shrink)
In this paper, we study the manifestations of what we call “dialogical critical thinking” in elementary school pupils when they are engaged in philosophical exchanges among peers: What are thecharacteristics of dialogical critical thinking? How does it develop in youngsters? Our research was conducted during an entire school year, with eight groups of pupils from three different cultural contexts: Australia, Mexico and Quebec. Our findings were constructed in an inductive manner, inspired by qualitative analysis as defined by Glaser and Strauss. (...) From our analysis, a grid was developed, illustrating the process by which dialogical critical thinking developed among the pupils involved in our research. This process is manifested via four modes of thinking, which become increasingly complex according to three epistemological perspectives. (shrink)
Since the Fall of 1993, at the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur l'Apprentissage et le D/span>veloppement en /span>ducation of the Universit/span> du Qu/span>bec /span> Montr/span>al, two mathematicians and one philosopher have collaborated to design and develop a research project involving philosophy, mathematics and sciences. Previous observations in the classroom had led the researchers to realize that, within the school curriculum, children like some subject matters and dislike others. Most of them usually succeed in arts, physical education and language arts, but (...) many have difficulties in succeeding in mathematics. Why? On the one hand, as Matthew Lipman advocates, the school curricula are not sufficiently "meaningful" for children. On the other hand, some studies in the field of mathematics suggest that there are myths and prejudices about mathematics in primary schools and that the school system is partly responsible for this. Indeed, the school system does not invite children to express emotions in class about mathematics nor does it favor creativity. It does not allow dialogue among peers about mathematical concepts and problems, nor the construction of mathematical knowledge by the students themselves. (shrink)
Cet article se base sur des résultats d’enquête récents montrant que, chez des adolescents marocains âgés de dix à dix-huit ans, les manifestations de pensée critique dialogique se si-tuent majoritairement dans une « perspective épistémologique » appelée « relativisme » par un modèle développemental élaboré dans les quinze dernières années avec la méthode de la théorie ancrée. Pour comprendre ces résultats de recherche, qui contrastent avec ceux obte-nus auprès d’adolescents québécois et français appartenant aux mêmes groupes d’âge, nous décrivons, dans (...) un premier temps, le modèle développemental dans lequel ils prennent sens. Nous illustrons ensuite les manifestations de « perspective épistémologique relativiste » chez les adolescents marocains à l’aide d’extraits de verbatim. Les élèves ont tendance à se décen-trer de leur vécu personnel, à se représenter le point de vue d’autrui en général et à co-construire des points de vue convergents avec les pairs. Dans un deuxième temps, prenant appui sur une approche de la représentation sociale en tant que « scène », et sur la littérature touchant aux rôles des aînés dans les sociétés africaines, nous éclairons ces résultats de re-cherche par l’analyse d’une représentation sociale fréquemment mobilisée par les jeunes Ma-rocains interviewés : celle de la hiérarchie des âges et du devoir d’écoute envers les plus âgés. L’analyse de cette « scène » met en lumière des attitudes sociales inculquées aux adolescents en contexte culturel marocain, susceptibles de favoriser le développement d’une « perspective épistémologique relativiste » en matière de pensée critique dialogique. (shrink)
Illiteracy is a concrete and real problem, which involves nearly one thousand million people in the world. And, according to UNESCO statistics, this number, far from decreasing, keeps increasing in undeveloped countries as well as in the industrialized ones.
One of the fundamental objectives of Philosophy for Children is the cognitive development of elementary and secondary school pupils. In this text, we examine to what extent the age of the children and the number of years of praxis in P4C influence the development of their critical thinking. To do so we used, as an analysis grid, the model of the developmental process of dialogical critical thinking that emerged from the analysis of transcripts of exchanges among pupils aged 4 to (...) 12 years . The content analyzed was the “philosophical” exchanges among pupils. Participants were 13 groups of pupils from preschool to the end of elementary school. These groups originated from two schools, one in Quebec and one in Ontario. At the time the data were collected, the Quebec school groups had one year of P4C praxis, whereas the Ontario school groups had two years of praxis. Results indicate that children’s age and number of years of philosophical praxis are among the factors that influence the developmental process of critical thinking. (shrink)
According to a number of international organizations such as UNESCO, the development of critical thinking is fundamental in youth education. In general, critical thinking is recognized as thinking that doubts and evaluates principles and facts. We define it as essentially dialogical, in other words constructive and responsible. And we maintain that its development is essential to help youngsters make enlightened decisions and adequately face up to the challenges of everyday living. Our recent analyses of exchanges among pupils who benefited from (...) philosophical praxis showed that dialogical critical thinking comprises four thinking modes and six epistemological perspectives that range from the simplest increasing in complexity to the most complex . Relativism merits special focus in that a majority of the pupils’ interventions that we analyzed are situated within this perspective, and in that relativism is charged with both positive and negative meanings. In its positive meaning, it is associated with reflection, plurality and open-mindedness, but in its negative sense, relativism refers to arbitrary decisions, to indifference and the status quo. This is why we maintain that relativism must be transcended. In this respect, we suggest two series of open-ended questions that are designed to provoke a disequilibrium in pupils’ certainties and, by so doing, stimulate their reflection towards inter-subjectivity. These questions are associated with the diversification of thinking modes and the increasing complexity of these modes. (shrink)
In Quebec, a Committee on Teacher's Formation and Improvement suggested to the Ministry of Education, in 1979, that university research be carried out in collaboration with teachers and contribute to the improvement of the quality of teacher formation. The Committee proposed that university and school work together, think together and discuss together problems related to children and education.
At birth, human beings are immature, helpless and dependent on others. Unlike other animals who can survive by themselves after a few hours of life, human babies need adults to help them to learn how to live. Yet, humankind survived and adapted perfectly. This is not solely because it has the ability to think and to communicate; it is also because it has the disposition to cooperate with peers in order to reach common aims and to act for the common (...) good. In fact, the essence of human societies - from the smallest cell to the largest one, is found in cooperative groups. (shrink)
Background: Family members are often required to act as substitute decision-makers when health care or research participation decisions must be made for an incapacitated relative. Yet most families are unable to accurately predict older adult preferences regarding future health care and willingness to engage in research studies. Discussion and documentation of preferences could improve proxies' abilities to decide for their loved ones. This trial assesses the efficacy of an advance planning intervention in improving the accuracy of substitute decision-making and increasing (...) the frequency of documented preferences for health care and research. It also investigates the financial impact on the healthcare system of improving substitute decision-making.Methods/DesignDyads (n = 240) comprising an older adult and his/her self-selected proxy are randomly allocated to the experimental or control group, after stratification for type of designated proxy and self-report of prior documentation of healthcare preferences. At baseline, clinical and research vignettes are used to elicit older adult preferences and assess the ability of their proxy to predict those preferences. Responses are elicited under four health states, ranging from the subject's current health state to severe dementia. For each state, we estimated the public costs of the healthcare services that would typically be provided to a patient under these scenarios. Experimental dyads are visited at home, twice, by a specially trained facilitator who communicates the dyad-specific results of the concordance assessment, helps older adults convey their wishes to their proxies, and offers assistance in completing a guide entitled My Preferences that we designed specifically for that purpose. In between these meetings, experimental dyads attend a group information session about My Preferences. Control dyads attend three monthly workshops aimed at promoting healthy behaviors. Concordance assessments are repeated at the end of the intervention and 6 months later to assess improvement in predictive accuracy and cost savings, if any. Copies of completed guides are made at the time of these assessments.DiscussionThis study will determine whether the tested intervention guides proxies in making decisions that concur with those of older adults, motivates the latter to record their wishes in writing, and yields savings for the healthcare system.Trial RegistrationISRCTN89993391. (shrink)
The relationship between emotion comprehension and social competence from very young ages has been addressed in numerous studies in the field of developmental psychology. Emotion knowledge in childhood seems to have its roots in the conversations and explanations children hear about what emotions are and how to manage them. Given that behavioral interventions often do not achieve medium-term improvements or generalization to other contexts, this study evaluates the results of an intervention using the Thinking Emotions program. This program uses Philosophy (...) for Children as the work format and is based on the idea that reflection and dialogue among peers is one of the most effective ways to interiorize significant knowledge. The program was applied during one school year in two preschool classrooms . Comparisons of the pre- and post-treatment measures of the control and experimental groups show significant improvements in emotion comprehension and social competence in the 5-year-old children and improvements related to social competence in the 4-year-olds. (shrink)
BackgroundSince 2006, the genetic testing company 23andMe has collected biological samples, self-reported information, and consent documents for biobanking and research from more than 1,000,000 individuals, through a direct-to-consumer online genetic-testing service providing a genetic ancestry report and a genetic health report. However, on November 22, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration halted the sale of genetic health testing, on the grounds that 23andMe was not acting in accordance with federal law, by selling tests of undemonstrated reliability as predictive tests for (...) medical risk factors. Consumers could still obtain the genetic ancestry report, but they no longer had access to the genetic health report in the United States. However, this did not prevent the company from continuing its health research, with previously obtained and future samples, provided that consent had been obtained from the consumers concerned, or with health reports for individuals from other countries. Furthermore, 23andMe was granted FDA authorization on February 19, 2015, first to provide reports about Bloom syndrome carrier status, and, more recently, to provide consumers with “carrier status” information for 35 genes known to cause disease.DiscussionIn this Debate, we highlight the likelihood that the primary objective of the company was probably two-fold: promoting itself within the market for predictive testing for human genetic diseases and ancestry at a low cost to consumers, and establishing a high-value database/biobank for research and personal information).SummaryBy dint of this marketing approach, a two-sided market has been established between the consumer and the research laboratories, involving the establishment of a database/DNA biobank for scientific and financial gain. We describe here the profound ethical issues raised by this setup. (shrink)
The intention of this work is to trace in the most archaic human condition the anthropological roots that justify the foundation of an ethics, as conceived by Paul Ricœur in his book Oneself as Another . To do this, first I will try to expose the route that the creative image follows from its genesis in drives to its full semantics in the symbol, according to the dialogue that the author engaged with Freud in his work Freud and Philosophy based (...) on his hermeneutic concerns. Second, considering a critical remark that Ricœur makes about Freud, I will explore the intentional orientation towards “the good life”, whose reflexive sense, “self-esteem”, integrates the symbolic dimension of action and sets the basis for the realization ( épanouissement ) of the human person. (shrink)
En France, les personnes issues des minorités, principalement d'origine extra-européenne , sont susceptibles de connaître la discrimination, la stigmatisation mais aussi l'exclusion. La télévision, en tant que « lieu de reconnaissance », constitue un enjeu important pour ces populations. Cependant, le petit écran semble marginaliser depuis toujours ces minorités visibles non seulement en leur laissant une place limitée à l'antenne mais aussi en leur renvoyant des images majoritairement caricaturales et dévalorisantes d'elles-mêmes. Une enquête qualitative auprès de 43 individus d'origine africaine (...) et antillaise montre que les minorités sont capables de mettre en place des réactions défensives ou stratégies identitaires afin de réduire le décalage certain entre leur identité sociale - souvent dépréciatrice - et leur identité personnelle , prenant les médias comme ressources pour l'action.In France, persons belonging to minorities, mainly non-European origin , are likely to experience discrimination, stigmatization but also exclusion. Television as a "place of recognition," is an important issue for these people. However, the small screen seems to marginalize always visible minorities by giving them not only a limited role in the antenna but also by returning images mostly caricatures and demeaning to themselves. A qualitative survey of 43 individuals of African and Caribbean origin shows that minorities are able to implement defensive reactions or identity strategies to reduce the gap between some social identity - often dépréciatrice - and their personal identity , taking the media as resources for action. (shrink)
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