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.
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)
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.
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..
Early in 1982 I decided I needed to get some firsthand experience in the teaching of Pixie. Pixie had been published the previous year and was already in use in a number of school districts. Since I wasn't getting much feedback from the teachers, I decided to offer an abbreviated course in Pixie to some fourth graders. The school I selected was P.S. 87, in Manhattan. The principal, Naomi Hill, was hospitable to the idea, and the classroom teacher, Gloria Goldberg, (...) made me feel quite welcome. I promised to arrive at 9:00 every Thursday, and to stay for 30 or 40 minutes. I knew I could hardly accomplish much in so short a time: Pixie would normally be offered for three 45-minute sessions a week for the entire school year. In all, I was able to manage only twelve sessions, during which time we read the first six chapters and the last episode in the seventh. (shrink)