Critical thinking is in vogue - in colleges and universities as well as in elementary and secondary schools. This fact alone is enough to give us pause: seldom do shifts in academic fashion happen concurrently at all educational levels.
Word of the inauguration of a newsletter on the program in Analytical Thinking that is based in the School of Education at Texas Wesleyan College is indeed welcome. Knowing the energy and expertise of the two administrators of the program, Dean Joe Mitchell and Professor Ronald Reed, I have no doubt that the newsletter will be a success, and I shall look forward to receiving every issue.
The aim of philosophy for children (P4C) is to stimulate children to think carefully, to develop better reasoning and judgments, and to engage in the analysis of some general but ill-defined concepts. A different sort of approach is exemplified by Gareth Matthews, who demonstrates how adults attuned to philosophy can engage children in conversations that disclose and enlarge upon the philosophical dimension of children’s thinking. There are still other approaches. In this essay, I outline many of the highlights in the (...) development of philosophy for children of the last twenty years, and conclude with comments about a philosophy of childhood. (shrink)
Non-indoctrinational moral education involves teaching children to engage in ethical inquiry. This means that, since ethical inquiry has the status of a craft, the students will be apprentices in that craft. The classroom becomes, for this purpose, a community of ethical inquiry - an ethical atelier where students learn the tools, methods, practices and procedures which craftsmen associated with that tradition customarily utilize. It is only when one is adept at the generic procedures of reasoning that one can be adept (...) at specifically moral reasoning, but to make the transition possible, the generic procedures should be taught within the humanistic and critical context of philosophy, and within the setting of a community of ethical inquiry. (shrink)
We generally have a dim view of educating the emotions. Our reasons are presumably these: we think we don't choose our emotions; they just happen to us. Therefore, we believe we have no control over them, and would be unable to learn such control even if we wanted to; we are ignorant of any feasible scheme for emotional education; and any likely scheme promises to be more difficult than it would be worth.
For Lipman, philosophy needs to approximate human interests by being dramatized, as proposed here with a new viewpoint: to reveal life is to reveal drama. The life of a philosopher is revitalized in a comprehensive re-telling, in the philosophical question and the reflective concerns of wh..