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.
It is a pleasure to be able to thank the editors of Ethik und Sozialwissenschaften for inviting me to write this paper about the Philosophy for Children program, with which I have been associated since it began at the end of the 1960's.
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)
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.