The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children 9781317537489, 1317537483

This rich and diverse collection offers a range of perspectives and practices of Philosophy for Children (P4C). P4C has

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The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children
 9781317537489, 1317537483

Table of contents :
The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children- Front Cover
The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children
Title Page
Copyright Page
About the editors
List of contributors
Editorial introduction
A rich and diverse field of scholarship
A narrative history of the Philosophy for Children movement
Recurring concepts and questions: connections between and across
PART I: The democratic nature of Philosophy for Children
Chapter 1: The community of philosophical inquiry (P4C): a pedagogical proposal for advancing democracy
In what ways is the Community of Philosophical Inquiry democratic?
The philosophical position of the Community of Philosophical Inquiry
Thinking into practice
Conclusion: what this means for democratic education
Chapter 2: ‘No go areas’: Racism and discomfort in the community of inquiry
Example 1: Darren
Example 2: Judith
Ways forward
Chapter 3: A citizen’s education: the Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i approach to deliberative pedagogy
From civics to a citizen’s education
The p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy
Research methodology
Respectful and ethical civic relationships
Distributing power and accessing multiple perspectives
Dialogue, deliberation, inquiry, and action
Strengths, limitations and directions for future research
Concluding thoughts
Chapter 4: Authority, democracy and philosophy: the nature and role of authority in a community of philosophical inquiry
Authority in education
The concept of authority in P4C
Conclusion: how the model of shared authority helps make sense of our own authority inside CPI
PART II: Children and childhood in Philosophy for Children
Chapter 5: Philosophy for Children and developmental psychology: a historical review
Philosophy for Children and Piaget’s developmental theory
Philosophy for Children and Vygotsky’s developmental theory
Philosophy for Children and Feuerstein’s theory of intellectual development
Chapter 6: Childhood, education and philosophy: a matter of time
Two beginnings for childhood
Childhood: majoritarian and minoritarian views
New beginnings for philosophy
Chapter 7: Philosophical play in the early years classroom
‘And the walls became the world all around’
Challenges and barriers
PART III: What is philosophical about Philosophy for Children?
Chapter 8: Getting better ideas: a framework for understanding epistemic philosophical progress in Philosophy for Children
The starting point
The epistemic aim (the theoretical destination)
The epistemic aim in practice (the practical destination)
The direction of inquiry (the paths we can take)
The milestones along the path
Chapter 9: Questioning the question: a hermeneutical perspective on the ‘art of questioning’ in a community of philosophical inquiry
Existing theories and practices on the facilitation of questions within a CPI
Hans-Georg Gadamer on the ‘philosophical attitude’: the question as the departure into an adventure
Cultivating a ‘philosophical attitude’: Maybe more than a ‘method’?
Chapter 10: Back to basics: a philosophical analysis of philosophy in Philosophy with Children
Chapter 11: Dimensions of the sumphilosopheîn: the community of philosophical inquiry as a palimpsest
Aristotle’s philosophical friendship: the classical layer
Inquiry as social life: the pragmatist layer
Concluding remarks: Lipman and Sharp’s synthesis
PART IV: The community of inquiry in action: epistemology and pedagogy
Chapter 12: Philosophy for/with Children and the development of epistemically virtuous agents
Epistemic virtues and reasonableness
VE’s contribution to P4C: epistemic goods and epistemic ends
P4C’s contribution to VE: metacognition, philosophy and the development of a virtuous character
Chapter 13: Pragmatist epistemology, inquiry values and education for thinking
The epistemic heritage of P4C
Epistemology and pedagogy
The place of inquiry values in P4C pedagogy
Conclusion: methodological pragmatism
Chapter 14: Changing minds: the professional learning of teachers in a classroom community of inquiry
Changing teachers’ minds
Denying the dichotomy: managing pedagogical tensions
Chapter 15: Thinking as a community: reasonableness and emotions
Reasonableness is thinking as a community
Reasonableness is feeling emotions about emotions
Reasonableness is acting as a self-regulated we
PART V: The aesthetics of Philosophy for Children: bodies and spaces
Chapter 16: Guernica comes to school: art, philosophy and life
Art as experience
Pervasive qualities and aesthetic experience
Encountering Guernica, a vignette: philosophy as an art form
Chapter 17: Drama, gestures and philosophy in the classroom: playing with philosophy to support an education for life
Chapter 18: Curating an aesthetic space for inquiry
The power of inquiry: current research context
Reorienting the erotic: towards a more nuanced understanding
Aspirational eros: the energy of wanting to grow up
Curating aspirational eros: facilitator challenges and dispositions
PART VI: Philosophical texts and Philosophy for Children
Chapter 19: From Harry to Philosophy Park: the development of Philosophy for Children materials in Australia
Philosophical stories-as-text for children
Australian adaptation: the early years
What lessons have we learnt?
Chapter 20: Readings and readers of texts in Philosophy for Children
The Philosophy for Children curriculum as philosophical text
Offshoots of the P4C curriculum
Implied and actual readers in philosophy and literacy
Doing justice to philosophizing
Chapter 21: Education, identity construction and cultural renewal: the case of philosophical inquiry with Jewish Bible
Education, identity construction and cultural renewal
Religious education and Philosophy for Children
Hermeneutics and Jewish education
Philosophical inquiry with Bible
PART VII: Philosophy in schools
Chapter 22: Philosophizing with children in science and mathematics classes
Promoting creativity through philosophizing: a case study in biology
Enhancing understanding in chemistry through discussions in the style of P4C/PmKJ
Using the CoI approach for collaborative problem-solving in mathematics
Concluding remarks
Chapter 23: Teaching philosophy and philosophical teaching
Four models of Philosophy for Children
Encouraging more philosophical teaching across the whole curriculum
Chapter 24: What’s philosophy got to do with it? Achieving synergy between philosophy and education in teacher preparation
Initial obstacles to teacher preparation in philosophical inquiry
Achieving synergy between philosophy and education
Implications for future direction in teacher preparation in P4C
PART VIII: Research directions and methods in Philosophy for Children
Chapter 25: Who talks? Who listens? Taking ‘positionality’ seriously in Philosophy for Children
Why positionality matters in P4C
Avenues for future research on race/ethnicity and P4C
Chapter 26: Empowering global P4C research and practice through self-study: the Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i International Journaling and Self-Study Project
Background and theoretical framework
Research questions
Data sources
Data analysis
Professional development: what did we learn?
Connections to P4C literature
Significance to future research in P4C
Chapter 27: Dialogical critical thinking in kindergarten and elementary school: studies on the impact of philosophical praxis in pupils
Critical thinking
Empirical research
Appendix: operational model of the developmental process of DCT
Chapter 28: Reconstruction of thinking across the curriculum through the community of inquiry
Chapter 29: Philosophy for teachers: between ignorance, invention and improvisation
An ignorant teacher
An inventive teacher
Teaching between ignorance and invention

Citation preview


This rich and diverse collection offers a range of perspectives and practices of Philosophy for Children (P4C). P4C has become a significant educational and philosophical movement with growing impact on schools and educational policy. Its community of inquiry pedagogy has been taken up in community, adult, higher, further and informal educational settings around the world. The internationally sourced chapters offer research findings as well as insights into debates provoked by bringing children’s voices into moral and political arenas and to philosophy and the broader educational issues this raises, for example: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

historical perspectives on the field democratic participation and epistemic, pedagogical and political relationships philosophy as a subject and philosophy as a practice philosophical teaching across the curriculum embodied enquiry, emotions and space knowledge, truth and philosophical progress resources and texts for philosophical inquiry ethos and values of P4C practice and research.

The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children will spark new discussions and identify emerging questions and themes in this diverse and controversial field. It is an accessible, engaging and provocative read for all students, researchers, academics and educators who have an interest in Philosophy for Children, its educational philosophy and its pedagogy. Maughn Rollins Gregory is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University, USA. Joanna Haynes is Associate Professor in Education Studies at Plymouth University Institute of Education, UK. Karin Murris is Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

The Routledge International Handbook Series The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children Edited by Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris The Routledge International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research Edited by Pamela Burnard, Elizabeth MacKinlay and Kimberly Powell The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care Edited by Tricia David, Kathy Goouch and Sacha Powell The Routledge International Handbook of Early Childhood Education Edited by Tony Bertram, John Bennett, Philip Gammage and Christine Pascal The Routledge International Handbook of Educational Effectiveness and Improvement Edited by Christopher Chapman, Daniel Muijs, David Reynolds, Pam Sammons and Charles Teddlie The Routledge International Handbook of Research on Teaching Thinking Edited by Rupert Wegerif, James Kaufman and Li Li The Routledge International Handbook of Social Psychology of the Classroom Edited by Christine Rubie-Davies, Jason Stephens, and Penelope Watson International Handbook of E-learning,Volume 2: Implementation and Case Studies Edited by Mohamed Ally and Badrul H. Khan International Handbook of E-learning,Volume 1:Theoretical Perspectives and Research Edited by Badrul H. Khan and Mohamed Ally The Routledge International Handbook of the Arts and Education Edited by Mike Fleming, John O’Toole and Loira Bresler The Routledge International Handbook of Dyscalculia and Mathematical Learning Difficulties Edited by Steve Chinn The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding Edited by Sue Robson and Suzanne Flannery Quinn The Routledge International Handbook of Education, Religion and Values Edited by James Arthur and Terence Lovat The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning Edited by Julian Sefton Green, Pat Thomson, Ken Jones and Liora Bresler The Routledge International Handbook of Teacher and School Development Edited by Christopher Day


Edited by Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris

First published 2017 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2017 selection and editorial matter, M.R. Gregory,   J. Haynes and K. Murris; individual chapters, the contributors The right of the editors to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Names: Gregory, Maughn, editor. | Haynes, Joanna, 1953- editor. | Murris, Karin, editor. Title: The Routledge international handbook of philosophy for children / edited by Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris. Other titles: International handbook of philosophy for children Description: New York, NY: Routledge, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2016029006| ISBN 9781138847675 (hardback) | ISBN 9781315726625 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Children and philosophy. Classification: LCC B105.C45 R68 2017 | DDC 108.3–dc23 LC record available at ISBN: 978-1-138-84767-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-72662-5 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo Std by Swales & Willis Ltd, Exeter, Devon, UK

This volume is dedicated to the pioneers of the Philosophy for Children movement, our late colleagues Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp and Gareth Matthews.


About the editors xi List of contributors xii Editorial introduction xxi Acknowledgements xxxii PART I

The democratic nature of Philosophy for Children


  1 The community of philosophical inquiry (P4C): a pedagogical proposal for advancing democracy Eugenio Echeverria and Patricia Hannam


  2 ‘No go areas’: Racism and discomfort in the community of inquiry Darren Chetty and Judith Suissa


  3 A citizen’s education: the Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i approach to deliberative pedagogy Amber Strong Makaiau


  4 Authority, democracy and philosophy: the nature and role of authority in a community of philosophical inquiry Olivier Michaud and Riku Välitalo



Children and childhood in Philosophy for Children


  5 Philosophy for Children and developmental psychology: a historical review Lena Green




  6 Childhood, education and philosophy: a matter of time David Kennedy and Walter Omar Kohan


  7 Philosophical play in the early years classroom Sara Stanley and Sue Lyle



What is philosophical about Philosophy for Children?


  8 Getting better ideas: a framework for understanding epistemic philosophical progress in Philosophy for Children Clinton Golding


  9 Questioning the question: a hermeneutical perspective on the ‘art of questioning’ in a community of philosophical inquiry Barbara Weber and Arthur Wolf


10 Back to basics: a philosophical analysis of philosophy in Philosophy with Children Catherine C. McCall and Ed Weijers


11 Dimensions of the sumphilosopheîn: the community of philosophical inquiry as a palimpsest Stefano Oliverio



The community of inquiry in action: epistemology and pedagogy


12 Philosophy for/with Children and the development of epistemically virtuous agents Renia Gasparatou


13 Pragmatist epistemology, inquiry values and education for thinking Peter Ellerton 14 Changing minds: the professional learning of teachers in a classroom community of inquiry Vivienne Marie Baumfield 15 Thinking as a community: reasonableness and emotions Magda Costa-Carvalho and Dina Mendonça



119 127

Contents PART V

The aesthetics of Philosophy for Children: bodies and spaces


16 Guernica comes to school: art, philosophy and life May Leckey


17 Drama, gestures and philosophy in the classroom: playing with philosophy to support an education for life Laura D’Olimpio and Christoph Teschers 18 Curating an aesthetic space for inquiry Natalie M. Fletcher and Joseph M. Oyler PART VI

145 153

Philosophical texts and Philosophy for Children


19 From Harry to Philosophy Park: the development of Philosophy for Children materials in Australia Gilbert Burgh and Simone Thornton


20 Readings and readers of texts in Philosophy for Children Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris 21 Education, identity construction and cultural renewal: the case of philosophical inquiry with Jewish Bible Jennifer Glaser and Maughn Rollins Gregory PART VII



Philosophy in schools


22 Philosophizing with children in science and mathematics classes Kristina Calvert, Matthias Förster, Anna Hausberg, Diana Meerwaldt, Patricia Nevers, Stefanie Paarmann and Tim Sprod


23 Teaching philosophy and philosophical teaching Lizzy Lewis and Roger Sutcliffe


24 What’s philosophy got to do with it? Achieving synergy between philosophy and education in teacher preparation Sarah Davey Chesters and Lynne Hinton



Contents PART VIII

Research directions and methods in Philosophy for Children


25 Who talks? Who listens? Taking ‘positionality’ seriously in Philosophy for Children Amy Reed-Sandoval and Alain Carmen Sykes


26 Empowering global P4C research and practice through self-study: the Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i International Journaling and Self-Study Project Amber Strong Makaiau, Jessica Ching-Sze Wang, Karen Ragoonaden and Lu Leng


27 Dialogical critical thinking in kindergarten and elementary school: studies on the impact of philosophical praxis in pupils Marie-France Daniel, Mathieu Gagnon and Emmanuèle Auriac-Slusarczyk


28 Reconstruction of thinking across the curriculum through the community of inquiry Kim Nichols, Gilbert Burgh and Liz Fynes-Clinton


29 Philosophy for teachers: between ignorance, invention and improvisation Walter Omar Kohan, Marina Santi and Jason Thomas Wozniak





Maughn Rollins Gregory is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (USA), where he succeeded Matthew Lipman as the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) in 2001. He holds a JD and a PhD in philosophy. He publishes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children, pragma­tism, gender, Socratic pedagogy and contemplative pedagogy. He has edited a number of special journal issues on Philosophy for Children. Joanna Haynes holds a PhD in Philosophy for Children and is Associate Professor in Education Studies at Plymouth University Institute of Education (UK). Her research interests include democratic and community education. She is author of Children as Philosophers (2002; 2008), which has been published in Spanish, Greek and Korean, and co-edited (with S. Gibson) Engaging Education: Perspectives on Participation and Inclusion (2009). She co-authored (with K.  Murris) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012) and (with K. Gale and M. Parker) Philosophy and Education: An Introduction to Key Questions and Themes (2014). Karin Murris holds a PhD in Philosophy with Children and is Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town (South Africa), where she convened the 16th ICPIC Conference in 2013. She studied with Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp in the US, is currently president of ICPIC and leads the Southern African P4C network. Karin is the author of Teaching Philosophy with Picture Books (1992), The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (2016) and (with J. Haynes) Storywise: Thinking through Stories (2002) and Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012).



Emmanuèle Auriac-Slusarczyk is Full Professor of Psychology of Education at the University of Clermont Ferrand (France) and has worked in the field of teacher education for twenty years. She is a researcher at the Laboratory ACTE (Activity, Knowledge, Transmission and Education), where she studies oral and written interactions between teachers and students. She is interested in researching the pedagogical experiences of Philosophy for Children at schools to identify good factors to improve students’ reasoning and reflection. Vivienne Marie Baumfield is Professor of Professional Learning and co-leader of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning at the University of Exeter (UK). She holds a PhD in Political Science and studied with Matthew Lipman whilst directing the Thinking Skills Research Centre at the University of Newcastle. Her research focuses on the role of inquiry in professional learning and the creation of pedagogical knowledge in school-university research partnerships. She is the co-author (with C. McLaughlin, P. Cordingley and R. Mclellan) of Making a Difference: Turning Teacher Learning Inside Out (2015) and Action Research in Education (2012). Gilbert Burgh holds a PhD in Philosophy. He is a senior lecturer in Philosophy in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland (Australia), where he teaches political philosophy, philosophy and education, environmental philosophy, and philosophy as a way of life. His interests include democratic education and citizenship, community of inquiry in educational discourse, and the theory and practice of collaborative inquiry-based philosophy. He is co-author (with M. Freakley and L. Tilt MacSporran) of Values Education in Schools (2008), Ethics and the Community of Inquiry (2006), and Engaging with Ethics (2000). Kristina Calvert holds a PhD in education and is a freelance educational consultant and author. She trains teachers in Philosophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen (PmKJ/P4C) and Philosophizing with Children about Nature (PhiNa) at the state teachers’ training institute in Hamburg, Germany. She also trains artists, pre-school teachers and educators in theatre and museum pedagogy in Germany and Switzerland. A significant book publication in addition to those listed in her contribution is (with C. Solzbacher): ‘Ich schaff das schon.’ Wie Kinder Selbstkompetenz entwickeln können (2014). xii


Darren Chetty is a doctoral researcher at the Institute of Education, University College London (UK). He taught in London primary schools for almost 20 years, integrating Philosophy for Children into his classroom practice. His research interests include Philosophy for Children, racism and education, children’s literature, hip-hop education, and teacher identity. He won the Biennial Award for Excellence in Interpreting Philosophy for Children from the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children in 2013. Magda Costa-Carvalho holds a PhD in Philosophy and teaches at the University of the Azores (Portugal). She coordinates a post-graduate course in Philosophy for Children and offers Philosophy for Children sessions in a private school. She holds Levels 1 and 2 of P4C certification from the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE) in the UK. Presently, her main research focuses on the ethical dimension of Philosophy for Children, as well as on Environmental Philosophy. Marie-France Daniel is a philosopher of education and Full Professor at the University of Montréal (Canada). She is a member of the Research Group on Ethics in Education and Educative Ethics (GRÉÉ). Her research focuses on critical and dialogical thinking and her research projects are regularly financed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and disseminated in Québec, Europe and the USA. Sarah Davey Chesters is a Lecturer in Education at Queensland University of Technology (Australia). She holds a PhD from the University of Queensland. Her research interests include Socratic pedagogy, multi-dimensional thinking and kindness education. She is the author of The Socratic Classroom: Reflective Thinking through Collaborative Inquiry (2012) and (with L. FynesClinton, L. Hinton and R. Scholl) Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry in the Middle Years and Beyond (2013). Laura D’Olimpio is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame (Australia). She completed her PhD, The Moral Possibilities of Mass Art, at The University of Western Australia. Laura has published in aesthetics and ethics, philosophy, and education, and is a regular contributor to The Conversation and Radio National’s Philosopher’s Zone. She is Chairperson of the Association for Philosophy in Schools (Western Australia) and co-editor of the open access Journal of Philosophy in Schools. Eugenio Echeverria is Director of the Latin American Center for Philosophy for Children (CELAFIN). He holds a PhD from Michigan State University, an MA in Philosophy for Children from Montclair State University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling in Educational Settings from Aston University. Eugenio has over 40 years’ experience with P4C and particular expertise in P4C with adolescents. He writes in several languages, has published widely in international journals and is the author (with P. Hannam) of Philosophy with Teenagers: Nurturing Moral Imagination for the 21st Century (2009). Peter Ellerton is Director of the Critical Thinking Project and a lecturer in Critical Thinking at the University of Queensland (Australia). He also teaches preparatory teaching programs in Physics and in Philosophy. Peter spent many years as a high school teacher of science and philosophy, and is involved with the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority in curriculum design. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science and his research focuses on understanding effective thinking and how to teach it. xiii


Natalie M. Fletcher is a philosophical practitioner and researcher from Montreal, Canada, where she works in the philosophy department at John Abbott College and as the founding director of Brila Youth Projects (, an educational charity that fosters multidimensional thinking in young people through philosophical dialogue and creative projects. She is pursuing interdisciplinary doctoral research at Concordia University, fusing the fields of ethics, political philosophy, dialogic pedagogy and aesthetics education. Matthias Förster received a Master’s Degree in special education, specializing in the fields of learning, hearing, chemistry and mathematics. He is a lecturer for special education at a state teachers’ training seminar in Braunschweig, Germany, and a teacher in special education at a comprehensive school in Braunschweig, where he works on incorporating PmKJ/P4C in science and German classes in grades 5–10. His Master’s thesis is the basis of his contribution to this Handbook. Liz Fynes-Clinton is Head of Curriculum and Literacy/Philosophy Coach at East Brisbane State School (Australia), where she has led the Philosophy in Schools program for the past seven years. Liz is undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland and is a co-author (with P. Cam, K. Harrison, L. Hinton, R. Scholl and S. Vaseo) of Philosophy with Young Children: A Classroom Handbook (2007) and (with S. Davey Chesters, L. Hinton and R. Scholl) of Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry for Students in the Middle Years and Beyond (2013). Mathieu Gagnon is Associate Professor at the University of Sheerbrooke (Canada). He is a member of the Centre of Research on Teaching and Learning Science (CRÉAS). He publishes in the field of improving critical thinking through the practice of the dialogical community of inquiry at primary and secondary schools. Renia Gasparatou is Assistant Professor at the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education at the University of Patras (Greece). She holds a PhD in Philosophy and her research focuses on epistemology, philosophy of education and Philosophy for Children. She has implemented P4C sessions in schools and has also supervised teachers’ training programs in P4C. Jennifer Glaser is Founder and Co-Director of the Israel Center for Philosophy in Education – ‘Philosophy for Life’, and Founder and Director of Engaging Texts, a cross-communal network developing the educational practice of philosophical inquiry in Jewish education (USA; www. She holds a PhD in Philosophy and a teaching degree. In the 1980s she was a leader of the Philosophy for Children movement in Australia. She is a past president of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) and currently serves on the ICPIC executive committee. Her research interests include personal identity and group membership, pluralism, hermeneutics, and children’s philosophical thinking. Clinton Golding co-founded P4C New Zealand and had different positions in New Zealand schools, including Philosopher in Residence, Thinking Coordinator and Head of Thinking. Originally from New Zealand, he lectured at the University of Melbourne School of Education and is now Associate Professor in Higher Education at the University of Otago (New Zealand). His research interests include thinking, philosophical learning and epistemic progress. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and Education and is the author of Connecting Concepts (2005), Designing a Thinking Classroom (2005), and Thinking with Rich Concepts (2006). xiv


Lena Green was Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa), where she is currently Extraordinary Professor. She qualified as a teacher and psychologist before studying cognitive development at Exeter University (UK). Her research interest is cognitive development and its enhancement. She spent time with Matthew Lipman in 1995, has attended several Mendham retreats, is an accredited trainer and has published P4Crelated research. She recently edited Schools as Thinking Communities (2014), which reviews a range of approaches to developing thinking, including P4C. Maughn Rollins Gregory is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (USA), where he succeeded Matthew Lipman as the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) in 2001. He holds a JD and a PhD in philosophy. He publishes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children, pragmatism, gender, Socratic pedagogy and contemplative pedagogy. He has edited a number of special journal issues on Philosophy for Children. Patricia Hannam is County Inspector/Adviser for religious education, history and philosophy in Hampshire (UK). She holds a PhD in Education, an MA in Education, and a BA in philosophy. She educates teachers in Philosophy for Children from teaching novices to mentoring new teacher-educators. Her research interests include educational theory, religious education in plural contexts, and P4C in the public sphere. She is the author (with E. Echeverria) of Philosophy with Teenagers: Nurturing Moral Imagination for the 21st Century (2009). Anna Hausberg obtained a PhD in education at the University of Hamburg (Germany) with a thesis on how creativity can be promoted by philosophizing with children. She is a teacher at an elementary school in Hamburg and a consultant for creative philosophizing. She has been philosophizing with children at various primary and middle schools in Hamburg since 2007 and also trains teachers, preschool teachers and pre-service teachers in PmKJ/P4C, including courses at the state teachers’ training institute. Significant book publications are listed in her contribution to this Handbook. Joanna Haynes holds a PhD in Philosophy for Children and is Associate Professor in Education Studies at Plymouth University Institute of Education (UK). Her research interests include democratic and community education. She is author of Children as Philosophers (2002; 2008), which has been published in Spanish, Greek and Korean, and co-edited (with S. Gibson) Engaging Education: Perspectives on Participation and Inclusion (2009). She co-authored (with K. Murris) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012) and (with K. Gale and M. Parker) Philosophy and Education: An Introduction to Key Questions and Themes (2014). Lynne Hinton, MEd, is Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology (Australia). Originally from New Zealand, Lynne spent 15 years as a primary school principal, successfully implementing P4C across a Brisbane school. She currently leads the same process in a secondary school. Lynne is author (with P. Cam, L. Fynes-Clinton, K. Harrison, R. Scholl and S. Vaseo) of Philosophy with Young Children: a Classroom Handbook (2007) and (with S. Davey Chesters, L. Fynes-Clinton and R. Scholl) Philosophy and Ethical Inquiry for Students in the Middle Years and Beyond (2013). David Kennedy is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (USA) and Fellow at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC). His research xv


and scholarship are dedicated to the philosophy of childhood and to the practice of philosophical dialogue with children in educational settings. He is the author of The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education (2006), Changing Conceptions of Childhood from the Renaissance to PostModernity: A Philosophy of Childhood (2006), Philosophical Dialogue with Children (2011) and My Name Is Myshkin: A Philosophical Novel for Children (2013). Walter Omar Kohan is Full Professor at the Childhood Studies Department of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ; Brazil) and Researcher of the National Council of Research of Brazil (CNPq) and the Foundation for Support of Research of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ). His PhD dissertation was mentored by Matthew Lipman and he completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Paris. He is author of Philosophy and Childhood (2014), Childhood, Education and Philosophy (2015) and The Inventive Schoolmaster (2015). May Leckey is Honorary Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne (Australia). She has a MEd in Philosophy for Children. She is a founding member of the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools (VAPS) and past chair of the Federation of Australian Philosophy for Children Associations (FAPCA). She is originally from Northern Ireland. Her research interests include historical literacy, art and aesthetics. She co-authored (with P. Beekman) A Sense of History: Celebrating Melbourne Education (2003). Lu Leng is Assistant Professor at the School of English Education, Jinan University (China). She holds a PhD in educational psychology and is the author of the dissertation The Role of Philosophical Inquiry in Helping High School Students Engage in Learning and Find Meaning in Life (2015). Her publications and research interests lie in the area of application of P4C-Hawai‘i in English classes in Chinese universities, English teaching pedagogy and the implication of traditional Chinese culture in modern education. Lizzy Lewis is Development Manager for SAPERE (UK), Partner of A-Level Philosophy, and Secretary of ICPIC. Lizzy is a qualified teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy/English. In 2001 she was awarded a Best Practice Research Scholarship to research P4C and how children learn. Her other research interests include whole school P4C, including philosophy through the curriculum. Lizzy co-edited (with N. Chandley) Philosophy for Children through the Secondary Curriculum (2012). Sue Lyle holds a PhD in Education and has been a teacher and teacher educator for 42 years. She is a senior trainer for SAPERE in the UK and has led an extensive programme of P4C in South Wales. Recently retired from Head of Continuing Professional Development at Swansea Metropolitan University, where she continues to supervise PhD students, she now leads her own company, Dialogue Exchange, to promote dialogic approaches to learning and teaching in schools. Her research interests include dialogic talk, teaching as storytelling and children’s rights. Amber Strong Makaiau is the Director of Curriculum and Research at the University of Hawai’i Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education (USA). She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and is a former high school social studies teacher. The author of several articles on education and P4C, Dr. Makaiau’s current projects include a secondary course in Philosophical Inquiry, experiments with deliberative pedagogy, an international selfstudy research collective and working with pre-service teachers. xvi


Catherine C. McCall holds a PhD in philosophy and has been an international teacher educator for 36 years. She is the founding director of EPIC: the European Philosophical Enquiry Centre and former President of SOPHIA: the European Foundation for Philosophy with Children. A former Associate Professor of Philosophy at Montclair State University with Matthew Lipman, she later created the MPhil and PhD in Philosophical Inquiry at Glasgow University. She authored the Guided Socratic Discussion Curriculum (2005–2011) and Transforming Thinking: Philosophical Inquiry in the Primary and Secondary Classroom (2009). Diana Meerwaldt received a Master’s Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education and specialized in mathematics and history. She teaches mathematics, social studies and art at a comprehensive school in Hamburg, Germany, where she uses her training in PmKJ/P4C to deal with the philosophical questions students pose in her classes. The results of her Master’s thesis are discussed in her contribution to this Handbook. Dina Mendonça is a research member of IFILNOVA (New University of Lisbon, Portugal). She holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy for Children (with Mathew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp) and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of South Carolina (USA). She is the author of the book Brincar a Pensar? [Playing to Think?] (2011), as well as a variety of articles on developing a pragmatist (Deweyan) approach to emotions. She develops and promotes Philosophy for Children in Portugal. Olivier Michaud is Professor of Educational Foundations at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (Canada). He studied philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children and qualitative studies for his doctoral degree at Montclair State University. His doctoral thesis was a qualitative study on interrelationships between authority, democratic education and philosophy for children as lived in a kindergarten classroom in an American public school. His current research is to study how the practice of philosophy in K-12 education fosters democratic education. Karin Murris holds a PhD in Philosophy with Children and is Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town (South Africa), where she convened the 16th ICPIC Conference in 2013. She studied with Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp in the US, is currently president of ICPIC and leads the Southern African P4C network. Karin is the author of Teaching Philosophy with Picture Books (1992), The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (2016) and (with J. Haynes) Storywise: Thinking through Stories (2002) and Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012). Patricia Nevers is originally from the United States and holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics. She worked in research in genetics and the sociology of science before switching to education. She is a retired professor of biology education from the University of Hamburg (Germany), where she specialized in both environmental education and incorporating PmKJ/P4C into science classes. She and her colleagues also investigated children’s moral attitudes towards nature using philosophical discussions as a research tool. Kim Nichols is Senior Lecturer in Science Education in the School of Education at the University of Queensland (Australia), where she coordinates Secondary Science Teacher Education programmes. Her research interests include the impact of community of inquiry on classroom-based scientific inquiry and communication skills, and practical and theoretical development of pedagogies and curriculum that support classroom-based scientific inquiry. She has authored several international publications in these areas. xvii


Stefano Oliverio holds a PhD in Education and is a post-doctoral researcher at the SInAPSi Centre at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy). Since 2013 he has held the post of vicepresident of ICPIC. The author or co-editor of several books, his main areas of research are the educational implications of the epistemological debates within the Vienna Circle; the tradition of American Pragmatism, with a special focus on Dewey’s reflection on education, community and science; the curriculum of Philosophy for Children; and education and cosmopolitanism. Joseph M. Oyler is Senior Research Associate in Dialogic Teaching at Montclair State University (US). He holds an MEd in Philosophy for Children and an EdD in Pedagogy and Philosophy. Joe has worked with the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) for over 13 years, serving in various roles including Coordinator of Teacher Services, P4C Practitioner Coach and Director. Joe currently coordinates the IAPC Summer Residential Workshop at Mendham. His research interests include dialogue facilitation, facilitation and argumentation quality, and philosophical education. Stefanie Paarmann received a Master’s Degree in Elementary and Middle School Education specializing in mathematics and history. She has been a teacher at an elementary school in Hamburg, Germany, since 2000. She received training in PmKJ/P4C and Philosophizing with Children about Nature (PhiNa), which she incorporates into her teaching in grades 1–4 as well as in remedial classes. She regularly conducts training sessions for other teachers in PmKJ/P4C. Karen Ragoonaden, PhD, is a member of the Faculty of Education of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus (Canada). Her publications and research interests lie in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. She is the author of two books, Contested Sites in Education (2014) and Mindful Teaching and Learning (2015), as well as several articles examining equity and parity in pedagogical contexts. Amy Reed-Sandoval is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso (USA). She is founding director of two Philosophy for Children outreach programmes: the Oaxaca Philosophy for Children Initiative, and Philosophy for Children in the Borderlands (located at the Mexico–USA border). Originally from the United States, she completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Washington. Her book, Illegal Identity: Race, Class and Immigration Justice, is in progress with Oxford University Press for the Critical Philosophy of Race series. Marina Santi holds a PhD in Educational Sciences and is Professor in Didactics and Inclusive Education at the University of Padova (Italy). Her research deals with dialogue, argumentation and social interaction in learning. An expert in Philosophy for Children, she has carried out empirical studies on the effectiveness of philosophizing on complex thinking, and on communities of inquiry as inclusive environments. Her recent publications include Improvisation Between Technique and Spontaneity (2010), (with S. Oliverio) Educating for Complex Thinking through Philosophical Inquiry (2012), and (with E. Zorzi) Education as Jazz (2016). Tim Sprod obtained an MSc with research on the efficacy of P4C in science teaching, and a PhD in Philosophy. For thirty years he has taught secondary science and philosophy in Australia, PNG, the Bahamas and the UK, as well as working as a volcanologist. In addition to the publications listed in his contribution to this Handbook he has published Discussions in Science (2011), xviii


Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education (2003), Books into Ideas (1993) and (with F. Partridge, F. Dubuc, and L.J. Splitter) Places for Thinking (1999). Sara Stanley has spent 26 years in the Foundation Stage classroom as a teacher, leader and teacher educator. She has worked as a P4C teacher trainer in the UK and South Africa. Since 2013 she has been involved in Early Years projects for the development of literacy and philosophical story play with the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa and the University of Cape Town. When not in the southern hemisphere Sara is a philosophical story consultant and volunteer in the refugee camps of northern France. Judith Suissa is Professor in Philosophy of Education at the Institute of Education, University College London (UK). Her research interests include libertarian and anarchist theory, the control of education, social justice and the parent–child relationship. She has taught philosophy for over 20 years, in school, adult education and university settings, both in Israel and in England. Her books include Anarchism and Education: a Philosophical Perspective (2006) and (with Stefan Ramaekers) The Claims of Parenting; Reasons, Responsibility and Society (2012). Roger Sutcliffe taught at both primary and secondary level for half his career, before spending the second half as a consultant specializing in Philosophy for Children and the teaching of thinking. He is an Associate Lecturer in Teaching Philosophy at Heythrop College, London (UK). He was a co-founder, and subsequently Chair, of SAPERE, and served two terms as President of ICPIC. He was co-author (with S. Williams) of The Philosophy Club (1994) and of Newswise: Thinking through the News, a current affairs resource. Alain Carmen Sykes is the Social Studies Department Chair at the American Overseas School of Rome (Italy), where she teaches theory of knowledge and history. Originally from the United States, she completed a PhD in Education at the University of Washington and served as Philosophy for Children fellow at the University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children. Alain’s research interests include critical mixed race studies, critical race theory, Philosophy for Children and multicultural education. Christoph Teschers is Senior Lecturer at the New Zealand Tertiary College. His PhD in Philosophy of Education is from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Originally from Germany, he completed a Master of Arts in Education, Psychology and Philosophy at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen. His research interests include education and the art of living, well-being in education, educational aims, and Philosophy for Children. He is author of Education and Schmid’s Art of Living (forthcoming) as part of Routledge’s New Directions in the Philosophy of Education series. Simone Thornton is a doctoral candidate in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland (Australia). Her research applies Val Plumwood and the logic of domination and Albert Camus and the absurd to issues in the philosophy of education. Her current focus is on the development of an ecologically rational pedagogy. She has published articles on the history and development of philosophy in schools in Australia; Camus, pragmatism and the community of inquiry; and the role of genuine doubt in collaborative inquiry-based philosophy. Riku Välitalo teaches at a primary school in Oulu (Finland) and has practised Philosophy for Children pedagogy for almost ten years. He is also a postgraduate student at the University of xix


Oulu, where he delivers courses for teacher educators on teaching ethics. His PhD thesis deals with the agency of teachers in the practice of Philosophy for Children. Jessica Ching-Sze Wang is Associate Professor at the School of Education, National Chiayi University (Taiwan). She is the author of John Dewey in China: To Teach and to Learn (2007). She learned about Philosophy for Children through visits to Hawai‘i and has since been involved in various projects to implement ‘p4cHI’ in teacher education and in elementary schooling in Taiwan. Barbara Weber is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia (Canada). She holds a PhD in Philosophy. Originally from Germany, Barbara studied with Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp and Ekkehart Martens. Her research interests include phenomenology and hermeneutics, P4C, human and children’s rights, and philosophies of embodiment and empathy. She is the author of Philosophieren mit Kindern zum Thema Menschenrechte [Philosophizing with children about human rights] (2013) and co-editor (with E. Marsal and T. Dobashi) of Children Philosophize Worldwide: International Theories and Practical Concepts (2009). Ed Weijers, Master of Arts in Philosophy, is consultant at EPIC International, coordinator of the Dutch Philosophy with Children Centre and honorary board member of SOPHIA: the European Foundation for Philosophy with Children. He has published several articles about Philosophy with Children and trained people in PwC for more than 25 years in the Netherlands and abroad (e.g. Belgium, Turkey, Latvia). He initiated the Professional PwC Course and is lecturer/trainer at the International School of Philosophy (ISVW Leusden) and the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He developed the ‘Philosophical Compass’ course for PwC facilitators. Arthur Wolf, Master of Arts in Education, is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia (Canada), Associate Director of the Vancouver Institute for Philosophy with Children, and Associate Director of the Think Fun P4C Summer Camps. Originally from the Netherlands, he worked at the P4C institute in South Korea and at UNESCO on teaching philosophy in education and the Asia-Arab philosophical dialogues. He is the author of several articles and his research interests include Gilles Deleuze, art and pedagogy, P4C, and cultural analysis. Jason Thomas Wozniak is Co-Director of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES) at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) at Columbia University (USA). His research interests include Latin American philosophy and the role that financial debt has in shaping subjectivity.


EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION Philosophy for Children: an educational and philosophical movement Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris

A rich and diverse field of scholarship This collection of scholarly work offers a range of critical accounts of theories, perspectives and practices of Philosophy for Children (P4C).1 Now half a century old, the influence and reach of P4C has become a significant educational and philosophical movement. Today, Philosophy for Children is practiced, interpreted, debated, researched and recreated in more than 60 countries around the world. Since Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp established the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) at Montclair State University in 1974, P4C and the associated pedagogy of ‘community of enquiry/inquiry’ have been taken up in nurseries and kindergartens, secular and religious schools, children’s shelters, youth groups, teacher education departments, universities, and government education departments around the world. P4C has become increasingly popular as an approach to community, adult, higher, further and informal education. It has spawned a considerable literature on theory and practice; it has been the focus of research studies and impact evaluations. As well as having international networks, such as the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC), P4C is grounded in the existence of many national and regional centers that train, support and bring practitioners, philosophers and teacher educators together to share and theorize practice. P4C has caused quite a stir in the media as the voices of children philosophizing are broadcast. In the documentary series The Transformers (1990), Lipman was presented by the BBC as a major pioneer in education, alongside Feuerstein and Vygotsky. Academics and educators have sometimes reacted with hostility to the idea that children can do complex, abstract reasoning and ‘real’ philosophy. On the other hand, the movement has been a major contributor to the emerging field of Philosophy of Childhood, as children’s philosophical practice has given rise to new understandings of the meanings of childhood, adulthood and, indeed, of philosophy. This book sets out to provide insights into the key philosophical and educational debates that have been provoked by bringing philosophy to school classrooms and other learning contexts, and bringing children’s voices into moral and political arenas and to philosophy. The book offers a wide variety of critical perspectives on this diverse and controversial field, in order to generate new discussions and to identify emerging questions and themes. The existence of P4C in so many places and contexts around the globe makes a genuinely international reader on Philosophy for Children possible. This collection on communities of philosophical inquiry is xxi

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accessible, engaging and provocative for established practitioners and scholars of P4C around the world, as well as for new students, postgraduates, researchers and critics. In this volume, P4C is presented as creative, dynamic, complex, problematic and socially critical. It is shown to be a growing field of inquiry that poses deep questions about teaching, learning and schooling, and that has a profound contribution to make to broader debates about childhood, education, community and democracy. Discourses of P4C and the community of philosophical inquiry both inform, and are informed by other fields of scholarship and practice such as cognitive psychology, pragmatism, critical theory, critical pedagogy and critical literacy, posthumanism, democratic and alternative philosophies of education, moral and social education, argument literacy, and contemporary childhood studies. Equally, these chapters are shaped by the diverse positions and perspectives of their authors: by place, embodied situation, identity and philosophical outlook. Contributors to this volume include teachers and informal educators, postgraduate students, researchers, teacher educators and university-based lecturers and professors. Accordingly, the chapters are written in different styles and voices and they seek to put P4C to work in many different ways. Historically, P4C has offered a distinctive and critical take on broad areas of teaching, such as, for example, thinking skills, global citizenship, children’s literature, emotional literacy, inclusive education, and distance and online learning, and in subjects such as science, mathematics, language arts, literacy, religious studies, social studies, environmental education, gifted education and special education. It has been taken up in all phases of education. The next section of this editorial introduction provides an overview of the genealogy of Philosophy for Children, and the last section contains an assemblage of concepts and questions, rhizomatically connected across philosophical topics and various subject and learning areas, indicating how the Handbook might be used to inform all kinds of philosophical, empirical, evaluative and action-orientated research, as well as to help guide practice. Philosophy for Children offers a distinctive perspective in a number of key areas of inquiry and provides a counter-narrative to psychological and sociological perspectives that often dominate educational discourse. Its radical move, in bringing child and philosophy together, has made a unique contribution to the blurring of disciplinary boundaries and opened up new avenues for scholarly inquiry. P4C is a field in its own right through its articulation of philosophy in, rather than of education. The integration of philosophy, inquiry and community creates tension and harmony between form and content and positions P4C as a ground-breaking and imaginative critical pedagogy and methodology, not only of teaching but also as a mode of general inquiry and research. There is a strong need for this collection of writing at this point in time. In the last few years, the increased interest in P4C theory from practitioners, students, researchers, professional educators and academics in diverse fields has been evident in a number of areas of activity: 1 The publication of theoretical and research-based books such as David Kennedy’s Philosophical Dialogue with Children (2010) and The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity and Education (2006); Michael Hand and Carrie Winstanley’s edited book Philosophy in Schools (2008); Claire Cassidy’s Thinking Children: The Concept of Child from a Philosophical Perspective (2009); Catherine McCall’s Transforming Thinking (2009); Eva Marsal, Takari Dobashi and Barbara Weber’s edited book Children Philosophize Worldwide: Theoretical and Practical Concepts (2009); Peter Costello’s edited book Philosophy in Children’s Literature (2012); Jana Mohr Lone’s The Philosophical Child (2012); Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris’s Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (2012); Nancy Vansieleghem and David Kennedy’s edited book Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects (2012); Jana Mohr xxii

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Lone and Roberta Israeloff’s edited book Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012); Sara Goering, Nicholas Shudak and Thomas Wartenburg’s edited book Philosophy in Schools (2013); Monica Glina’s edited book Philosophy for, with and of Children (2013); Elena Theodoropoulou’s edited book Φιλοσοφία, φιλοσοφία, είσαι εκεί; Κάνοντας φιλοσοφία με τα παιδιά [Philosophy, philosophy, are you there? Doing philosophy with children] (2013); Walter O. Kohan’s Philosophy and Childhood: Critical Perspectives and Affirmative Practices (2014); Marie-Pierre Grosjean’s edited book La philosophie au cœur de l’éducation autour de Matthew Lipman [Philosophy at the heart of education according to Matthew Lipman] (2016); Jana Mohr Lone and Michael D. Burroughs’ Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (2016); Karin Murris The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks (2016); and Maughn Gregory and Megan Laverty’s forthcoming anthology, In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Philosophy, Childhood and Education. 2 The publication of special issues of academic journals focusing exclusively on P4C or including papers on P4C and guest edited by leading scholars in P4C. They include: Special Issue: Philosophy for Children (2000), Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 19(2); Special Issue: Philosophy for Children (2006), Gifted Education International 22(2/3); Special Issue: Philosophy for Children (2009), Farhang, Journal of the Iran Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies (IHCS) 22(69); Special Issue: Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects (2011), Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): ii, 171–397; Special Issue: Educating Philosophically: Educational Theory of Philosophy for Children (2011), Educational Philosophy and Theory 43(5): 413–548; Special Issue: The Child as Educator (2013), Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(3); Special Issue: John Dewey and the Child as Philosopher (2012), Education and Culture: The Journal of the John Dewey Society 28(2); and Special Section: Precollege Ethics Education (2014), Teaching Ethics 14(2): 19–96. 3 International conferences, symposia and seminars, such as: ICPIC conferences since 1985 and then every two years, most recently in Italy (2009), Korea (2011), South Africa (2013) and Canada (2015); other international conferences in Graz, Austria (annually) and Rio de Janeiro (annually); Mexico City (annually); the biennial conference of the North American Association for Community of Inquiry (NAACI); the IAPC symposium at Mendham, New Jersey (annually); a strand on P4C at World Philosophy conferences held in Paris (2009) and Tehran (2011); and IAPC sessions at the American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (2008 to present). Many of the national and regional centers also organize regular conferences and seminars. In addition, P4C has been taken up in initial teacher education and in philosophy departments in many institutions and there is a huge demand for courses for practicing teachers. Scores of masters and doctoral dissertations on P4C have been published, including empirical and philosophical studies. 4 The publication of empirical research funded by major scientific and educational grantors, such as that of SAPERE 2014 ( projects/philosophy-for-children/); K.J. Topping and S. Trickey (2007) Collaborative Philosophical Enquiry for School Children: Cognitive Gains at Two-year Follow-up, British Journal of Educational Psychology 77: 781–796; Anna O. Soter et al. (2008) What the Discourse Tells Us: Talk and Indicators of High-level Comprehension, International Journal of Educational Research 47: 372–391; P. Karen Murphy, et al. (2009) Examining the Effects of Classroom Discussion on Students’ Comprehension of Text: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Educational Psychology 101(3): 740–764; and A. Reznitskaya, M. Glina, B. Carolan, O. Michaud, J. Rogers and L. Sequeira (2012) Examining Transfer Effects from Dialogic Discussions to New Tasks and Contexts, Contemporary Educational Psychology 37: 288–306. xxiii

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In a significant field such as this, there is enormous value in producing landmark collections as the theory and practice is developed over time and in different settings, and as it responds and interacts with other ideas and practices. Though there have been a few international anthologies of scholarly essays on P4C in the past, none has attempted the kind of comprehensive overview of issues and positions published in this International Handbook, the first of its kind in the field of P4C. It is particularly timely at this moment, when the deaths of leading figures Matthew Lipman, Ann Sharp and Gareth Matthews have led to deep reflection on their influence and given rise to new thinking. In their introduction to the special issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Education on the theme of philosophy for children in transition, Vansieleghem and Kennedy (2011) talk about first and second generation thinkers in the field of P4C. That analysis underlines the value of capturing this momentum by creating a landmark collection of writing at this point in time. A further important reason for publishing this collection is to address the problem of misrepresentation of P4C. It has sometimes been difficult for students and scholars to access the variety and richness in the field, and there has been a growth in the number of postgraduate studies in P4C. Decades of worldwide P4C theory and practice can be challenging for the novice. The characterization of P4C as an essentialist and unitary movement, or even as a singular ‘program’ has been misleading. This unitary view of P4C has been evident in the work of some, both within and outside the movement, who seem not to recognize the range and depth of scholarship in the field. For example, few critics properly engage with the work of Lipman and others, or with the educational philosophy underpinning the practice. Some have judged the entire P4C ‘project’ by what happens in a handful of classrooms or through website sound bites. Essentialist definitions of P4C fail to do justice to the rich diversity of this movement, which includes genuine theoretical conflicts. Opportunities for new knowledge, understanding and impact on education have sometimes been missed. The collection here clearly contradicts such essentialism and expresses multiplicities of P4C. It demonstrates a range of dialogue within P4C and between P4C and other fields. As editors, we wanted to encourage and promote a diverse range of perspectives in this collection. The 20 male and 37 female authors of the chapters included here live and work in 20 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan, the USA (a range of states) and Wales. The majority of the chapters have been written collaboratively in order to promote critical dialogue in the writing process and to include the widest possible range of authors from different education practice settings. Nevertheless, this collection does not fully reflect the diversity of practitioners, either in the P4C movement or in education in general, and we believe there is still much work to do in all spheres of education to challenge the dominance of North over South and the excessive prominence of some voices over the marginalization of others. This collection of original works was created through a complex process of recruitment and review. Contributions were elicited via open calls through all the major P4C and Philosophy of Education international networks. Contributors were invited to work collaboratively, to engage with both early and seminal texts and with critics of P4C, in producing chapters that provide an overview of specific themes and reflect the enquiring and dialogical character of P4C. We set out to recruit authors to a reflexive project that explicitly and deliberately works with the tensions and diversity in the field to make academic progress and strengthen thinking. Extended abstracts were subject to double blind peer review by an international panel of 26 reviewers. After a process of selection, draft chapters were also subject to the same blind review process. In the third phase the editors engaged in further review and dialogue with authors to arrive at the final selection. xxiv

Editorial Introduction

As editors, we are positioned in three different continents and between us we are very familiar with the broad field and connected to different academic and practice networks and communities. It has been our pleasure and privilege to work with so many outstanding scholars, and to work together to edit this collection.

A narrative history of the Philosophy for Children movement The advent of Philosophy for Children in the northeastern United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s was part of a broader intensity of interest in high school philosophy in that region, which was itself part of a tradition of philosophy in secondary education in many parts of the world, dating back hundreds of years (Morgan and Perry 1958). In the United States, a Center for High School Philosophy was established in 1971. At the Center’s first Summer Institute for high school teachers in 1973, Gareth Matthews, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, presented a paper entitled ‘Philosophy and Children’s Literature,’ in which he defended the claim that ‘[W]hat philosophers do (in rather disciplined and sustained ways) is much closer than is usually appreciated to what at least some children rather naturally do’ (Matthews 1976: 14–15). The Center’s first Progress Report also notes that, ‘Early in the project Matthew Lipman of Montclair State College telephoned the Project Director regarding his experimental work with philosophy for elementary school aged children. He also sent a copy of his novel, Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery . . . along with an accompanying teacher’s guide’ (Bosley 1975: 29). Now widely regarded as the founder of the Philosophy for Children movement, Lipman had begun work on his first philosophical novel for children in 1968 and left a professorship at Columbia University in 1972 to work full-time on the new project at Montclair State College (now University). Lipman has written about several factors that prompted his invention of what he called ‘Philosophy for Children’ (see Lipman 1976, 2008; Johnson 1995), but this story is less well-known: ‘When did you feel,’ I asked myself, ‘. . . that [children] had the capacity to do philosophy?’ . . . I thought of one incident that I will mention. About . . . eight years before I met Harry Stottlemeier, . . . [my] two year old son was taking a bath and said, ‘Dad, would you hand me my pyjamas?’ I said ‘Sure’ and I handed them to him and as I did I noticed they were inside out. He took them and with a glint in his eye and a sly grin said ‘Ha, jypamas.’ . . . To me, I think it was a turning point. I had been for years interested in children’s art and I thought here is a dimension of childhood power and creativity that is completely missed by the people who think that children begin with intellectual weakness and then gradually mount up to higher and higher echelons of strength and understanding. (Lipman 1991: 17) The success of Lipman’s first classroom experiment with his novel in 1970–1971 convinced him ‘that philosophy can and should be part of the entire length of a child’s education. In a sense this is a kind of tautology, because it is abundantly clear that children hunger for meaning, and get turned off by education when it ceases to be meaningful to them’ (Lipman 1976: 39). In November, 1973 Lipman convened a Conference on Pre-college Philosophy at Montclair, attended by more than 250 educators from elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities. The report on this conference (Lipman 1972) was the first publication on Philosophy for Children in an academic journal. It was also at this conference that Lipman met a new faculty xxv

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member from Montclair’s College of Education, Ann Margaret Sharp, who had recently completed her doctoral dissertation on Nietzsche’s view of the teacher as liberator (see Sharp 1976). The two became life-long collaborators and co-founded the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) at Montclair in 1974. Unlike others experimenting with ‘pre-college philosophy’ at the time, who saw schools as a place to do philosophy with young people, Lipman and Sharp saw doing philosophy as an ideal of the educational experience, even capable of transforming education more broadly. Toward that agenda they each wrote a number of philosophical novels for children and teenagers and collaborated with other colleagues on writing instructional manuals with conceptual explanations, exercises and activities, to accompany each novel. This curriculum was designed to accomplish a complex set of objectives, including to model children recognizing ethical, aesthetic, epistemological and other philosophical dimensions of their experience, to expose students and teachers to diverse positions from the philosophical tradition, to model children engaged in philosophical dialogue with and without adults, and to illustrate philosophical inquiry making a difference in children’s lived experience. An equally important part of Lipman and Sharp’s approach is the method of the community of philosophical inquiry, which Lipman (2003: 101–3) described as having five stages: 1 2 3 4 5

The offering of the text [Students read or enact a philosophical story together.] The construction of the agenda [Students raise questions prompted by the text and organize them into a discussion agenda.] Solidifying the community [Students discuss their questions in a dialogue facilitated by an adult.] Using exercises and discussion plans [The facilitator introduces relevant activities to deepen and expand the students’ inquiry.] Encouraging further responses [These include, e.g. students’ self-assessment of philosophy practice, art projects and action projects.]

Lipman and Sharp took the controversial position that teachers with no formal philosophy education could be prepared to engage their students in meaningful, rigorous philosophical inquiry. The first IAPC workshops for teachers were held in several public schools in Newark, New Jersey in 1975. The following year, workshops were held at Fordham, Rutgers, Harvard and Yale to prepare professors of philosophy and education to work with teachers in their areas (Lipman 1986). At Montclair, Lipman and Sharp’s professional development programs evolved into undergraduate and graduate courses, and Masters and doctoral degree programs, and today numerous universities around the world offer similar courses and programs in Philosophy for Children. Lipman and Sharp’s work almost immediately attracted the attention of philosophers and educators around the world, hundreds of whom went to Montclair to study, train, teach and conduct research. Many of these then established their own organizations in the US and some 60 other countries, to develop new curricula, research and professional development programs, and university courses. At the same time, Philosophy for Children has never been a unified field. Since the early 1970s there have been numerous and divergent approaches. Notable among these are Per Jespersen’s approach that draws on the tradition of story-telling in Denmark; Catherine McCall’s approach (Scotland) to the community of philosophical inquiry that emphasizes rigorous logical argumentation; Ekhart Martens’ ‘five finger model’ (Germany) of incorporating phenomenology, hermeneutics, analysis, dialectics and speculation as phases of philosophical inquiry; the approach developed in the Netherlands by Karel van der Leeuw xxvi

Editorial Introduction

and Pieter Mostert, combining insights from Nelson, Lipman and Chinese philosophy; Michel Tozzi’s ‘democratic-philosophical method’ (France) in which students are assigned specific functions in the context of parliamentary discussion; and Oscar Brenifier’s method of Socratic maieutics (France) that focuses on self-confrontation and the discipline of one’s own thought and speech. In addition, Gareth Matthews’ 1976 essay inaugurated the study of philosophy in children’s literature, which was the topic of the column ‘Thinking in Stories,’ he wrote from 1979 to 2006 in the IAPC journal Thinking. This work opened the way for children’s literature and picturebooks to become an important curricular resource, alternative to the IAPC curriculum (Murris 1992; Wartenberg 2009; Haynes and Murris 2012). Though diverse in materials, methods and aims, each of these approaches engages children or young people in some kind of philosophical dialogue. In the research literature these approaches are variously referred to by phrases like ‘Philosophy for Children (P4C),’ ‘Philosophy with Children,’ ‘. . . with Children and Adolescents,’ ‘Philosophy in Schools’ and ‘Philosophy for Young People,’ to distinguish them from text-based high school philosophy courses patterned on introductory college courses. One indication of the status of Philosophy for Children as a movement is the variety of overlapping and conflicting criticism it has attracted (Gregory 2011): from religious and social conservatives who find it inappropriate to invite children to question traditional values; from psychologists who believe children of certain ages are incapable of certain kinds of thinking; from non-philosophers who see P4C as some kind of therapy; from philosophers who define their discipline as essentially theoretical and exegetical and/or who mistrust teachers to do philosophy; from critical theorists and pedagogues who see the movement as politically compliant; from philosophers of childhood and education who find its emphasis on reasoning and traditional philosophical topics dictatorial; and from P4C enthusiasts who fear the movement capitulates too easily to serving contemporary educational agendas like citizenship education, character education, socio-emotional learning and the standards movement. Many of these concerns are taken up in this Handbook.

Recurring concepts and questions: connections between and across The Handbook is divided into eight Parts, each having an organizing principle that connects the chapters contained within it. These principles are informed by scholarship in P4C and wellknown strands of academic philosophy. In Table 0.1, some of these connections have been made explicit. Each part contains chapters that in turn connect with other parts (and chapters). Sometimes there is a clear connection, because similar questions are raised. However, the contexts of these questions might be different or they might be answered from different perspectives. Also, certain philosophical concepts in these questions keep returning throughout the Handbook. Below are some key questions that are explicitly addressed in the Handbook and are often raised in P4C training and teacher education, and by critics of P4C. Each question can be picked up in a corresponding part of one’s choice; no linear reading is required. We urge the reader to regard each topic as a thread intricately interwoven with the other threads, together creating a rich tapestry of P4C theory and practice. •• •• •• ••

To what extent does P4C educate for democratic citizenship and pluralism? (Parts I, IV) What is the nature of authority in the facilitation and practice of P4C? (Parts I, IV) Who is responsible for important decisions in communities of inquiry? (Parts I, IV, VII) Is the community of inquiry about talk, action, or both? (Parts I, II, V) xxvii

Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris Table 0.1  Correspondence of Handbook P4C topics and strands of academic philosophy Handbook P4C topics

Academic philosophy

Part 1: The democratic nature of P4C

Ethics Political and social philosophy Metaphysics Ontology Ethics Political philosophy Epistemology Metaphysics Ontology Epistemology Metaphysics Ontology Philosophy of mind Ethics Aesthetics Ontology Metaphysics Epistemology Philosophy of language Aesthetics Ontology Metaphysics Epistemology Epistemology Philosophy of language Philosophy of language Epistemology Ontology Aesthetics Ethics

Part 2: Children and childhood in P4C

Part 3: What is philosophical about P4C?

Part 4: The community of inquiry in action: epistemology and pedagogy

Part 5: The aesthetics of P4C: bodies and spaces

Part 6: Philosophical texts and P4C

Part 7: Philosophy in schools Part 8: Research directions and methods in P4C

•• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

Can, and should, politics be kept out of childhood? (Parts I, II) Can young children do philosophy and make philosophical progress? (Parts II, III, VI, VIII) How do concepts work in a community of inquiry (CoI)? (Parts II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII) What is the importance of the physical space and embodied participation in P4C? (Parts II, V) Can fantasy, imagination and dramatic play be ‘tools’ or ‘texts’ for philosophical inquiry? (Parts II, V, VI) Do children have something special to offer academic philosophy? (Part II, III) Do children have something special to offer education? (Part II, III) What is distinctive about a philosophical method – as opposed to religious, scientific, and so on? (Parts III, IV, VIII) What makes a question philosophical? (Parts III, VIII) What is philosophical progress? (Parts III, VI, VIII) xxviii

Editorial Introduction

•• •• •• •• •• ••

Is P4C more about philosophizing, than teaching a body of knowledge? (Parts III, VI, VIII) How are knowledge and meaning constructed in a community of inquiry? (Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VIII) How is the search for truth connected to the role of emotions in philosophical inquiry? (Parts IV, V) Are certain beliefs, values and actions more reasonable than others in a CoI? (Parts IV, V) Can teachers not trained in philosophy teach P4C effectively, or do teachers need to be philosophers? (Parts III, VI, VII) Is designated subject time required, or could philosophy be integrated across the school curriculum? (Parts VI, VII, VIII)

To choose where to start reading this Handbook, the following overview of all eight parts might be helpful. For an introduction to each chapter and an explanation of their order within each part, there is a separate Introduction included at the beginning of each part (see the Contents page). Part I focuses on the community of inquiry pedagogy of P4C. It explores the ethical and political dimensions, in particular the conditions for, and obstacles to, democratic participation in P4C. A salient obstacle explored is racism and ethnicity, a neglected area in P4C and a concern that re-emerges in Part VIII. The focus on citizenship education, with its core concepts of freedom and pluralism, raises issues about age; a topic further explored in the next part with the notion of children as citizens. Part II continues with the epistemic, pedagogical and political role of the facilitator. It investigates the important, as well as controversial, influence of Piaget and Vygotsky on education and views of child:adult relationships. Opening up distinctive ways in which children make meaning through fantasy and play, it pays tribute to the distinctive role P4C has played in establishing philosophy of childhood as a distinct field of inquiry that troubles the adult/ child binary. Part III picks up the idea again that children are able to do philosophy, through the analysis of a well-known broadcast documentary of a philosophical inquiry with six-year-olds (part of The Transformers series mentioned above). Key to deciding whether people of any age can do philosophy are the notions of a ‘philosophical attitude,’ ‘philosophy as a way of life,’ ‘philosophizing’ and ‘philosophy as a body of knowledge’ (the distinction between the last two is picked up again in Part VI with a proposal to use academic texts for philosophizing). Frameworks for measuring epistemic progress are offered by some authors in this section, while others are critical of the legitimacy of the very activity of developing methods for deciding what is, and what is not philosophical. Part IV continues by provoking the reader to consider the ethos of a community of inquiry and the role of emotions and epistemic virtues such as autonomy and intellectual courage in creating that ethos. The authors focus on how knowledge is constructed and explore how students learn more meaningfully through philosophical inquiry. One author extends this notion to argue for professional learning communities using philosophical inquiry. A key notion throughout this section is that of reasonableness as aim, or regulative ideal, of the community of inquiry. Part V picks up again the important role of emotions by focusing on the energy that is provoked through embodied, affective and situated engagement in P4C as a lived experience. Broadening the scope of traditional P4C sessions as per Lipman’s five-stage model sketched above, philosophical inquiry that uses the arts and drama as ‘texts’ offers opportunities to examine creative and expressive forms of philosophical meaning making. xxix

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Part VI continues the theme of texts for philosophical inquiry by exploring the various educational materials that can be used for inquiry, ranging from the P4C curriculum with its specially written philosophical novels and teachers’ manuals, to picturebooks and folktales, canonical religious texts, and traditional philosophical texts. Intricately linked to making philosophical progress and what it means to do ‘real’ philosophy, this part of the Handbook connects explicitly with concerns about educational curriculum and how the same texts can be used for both: teaching a school subject and doing philosophy. Part VII continues with the difficult but rewarding relationship between philosophy and education. The authors in this section describe and evaluate various models that exist for bringing philosophy into schools, either through infusion into existing school subjects, or by introducing it as a dedicated subject. As in Part VI in the case of the teaching of literacy, one of the arguments here is that P4C offers something distinctly different and makes us rethink what ‘knowledge’ and ‘learning’ mean, through the notion of the philosophical teacher. Part VIII offers opportunities to engage with examples of very different research approaches in P4C, with research outcomes of interest not only to P4Cers, but also to other psychologists, social scientists and humanities scholars. The very last chapter provokes us to unlearn what we have learned (including from this Handbook) and to invent and improvise each educational encounter afresh.

Note 1 ‘Philosophy for Children’ was the name Matthew Lipman gave to the program he developed with Ann Margaret Sharp. Others have used that name to refer to approaches to doing philosophy with children and teenagers unrelated to the Lipman/Sharp method, and others who use or adapt the Lipman/Sharp method use other names such as ‘philosophy with children,’ or ‘philosophy in schools.’

References Abbott, C. and Wilks Cheltenham, S. (1997). Thinking and Talking Through Literature: Using the Philosophical Inquiry Approach in the Middle Years of Schooling S-8. Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education. Bosley, P.S. (1975). Center for High School Philosophy, 1972–1974. A Progress Report. Amherst, MA: Department of Philosophy and School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Retrieved 30 April 2016 from Evans, C. (1976). Philosophy with Children: Some Experiences and Some Reflections. Metaphilosophy 7(1): 53–69. Gregory, M. (2011). Philosophy for Children and its Critics: A Mendham Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 199–219. Haynes, J. and Murris, K. (2012). Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy. New York: Routledge Research in Education. Johnson, T.W. (1995). Discipleship or Pilgrimage? The Educator’s Quest for Philosophy. Albany, NY: The State University of New York Press. Lipman, M. (1972). Conference on Pre-College Philosophy. Journal of Critical Analysis 4(3): 116–30. Lipman, M. (1976). Philosophy for Children. Metaphilosophy 7(1): 17–39. Lipman, M. (1986). Philosophy for Children: Some Background Information. Unpublished Manuscript. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, Montclair State College. Lipman, M. (1991). Dinner Remarks. Conference Report, Victorian Philosophy for Children Association, University of Melbourne, pp. 17–18. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (2008). A Life Teaching Thinking. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, Montclair State College. Matthews, G. (1976). Philosophy and Children’s Literature. Metaphilosophy 7(1): 7–16.


Editorial Introduction Morgan, D.N. and Perry, C. (1958). The Teaching of Philosophy in American High Schools. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 32: 91–137. Murris, K. (1992). Teaching Philosophy with Picturebooks. Infonet Publications Ltd. Sharp, A.M. (1976). The Teacher as Liberator: A Nietzschen View. Pedagogica Historica 16(2): 387–422. Wartenberg, T.E. (2009). Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy through Children’s Literature. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.



The editors would like to thank the following members of the international Philosophy for Children community who kindly blind peer reviewed the abstracts and draft papers: Peter Costello, Marie-France Daniel, Darryl DeMarzio, Edwin Etieyibo, Susan Gardner, Darren Garside, Ann Gazzard, Jennifer Glaser, Clinton Golding, Lena Green, David Kennedy, Walter Kohan, Tatsuo Kono, Zosimo Lee, Maya Levanon, Benjamin Lukey, Olivier Michaud, Richard Morehouse, Felix Moriyon, Pieter Mostert, Michael Pritchard, Laurance Splitter, Maura Striano, Roger Sutcliffe, Barbara Weber, Rob Wilson. We are also very grateful to Heather Knight, PhD student and Associate Lecturer at Plymouth University, who administered the project for us. Heather did a superb job of managing the huge volume of abstracts, reviews, and draft papers, and of communicating with contributors, reviewers and editors. Finally, we wish to thank Routledge Senior Publisher Alison Foyle and Editorial Assistant Sarah Tuckwell for their guidance and support.



The democratic nature of Philosophy for Children

Introduction The community of philosophical inquiry (CoI) has developed as the signature pedagogy of Philosophy for Children and an expression of its democratic values. In theory, it offers a framework for collaborative exploration of significant questions, for freedom of thought and speech, for participatory dialogue, and for collaborative self-governance. In practice, P4C presents major challenges. This section of the Handbook asks: ‘What claims can be made for P4C in respect of education for democratic citizenship?,’ ‘What are the conditions for, and obstacles to, participation in communities of philosophical enquiry?,’ and ‘Is the CoI a community of talk or action?’ The chapters here are preoccupied, on the one hand, with the potential of P4C’s methods and educational project and, on the other hand, the limitations of the community of inquiry, its micro-politics, the ‘blind spots’ of facilitators, and the constraints of classrooms. In ‘The community of philosophical inquiry: A pedagogical proposal for advancing democracy,’ Pat Hannam and Eugenio Echeverria draw on John Dewey’s explication of democracy as well as concepts of freedom, plurality and action in the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt. They argue that the community of philosophical inquiry is a model of educational praxis which can advance conditions necessary for democracy, because of its invitation to participants to think deeply and listen to each other in a form of open and intentional deliberation, understood as growing over time, and strengthening the possibility for good judgment. They illustrate this argument with accounts of P4C projects in the UK, in Mexico and in a number of Latin American countries: applications of CPI in schooling, youth and community contexts. In ‘“No go areas”: racism and discomfort in the community of inquiry,’ Darren Chetty and Judith Suissa raise questions about the practice of Philosophy for Children from the experience of teaching philosophy in racially diverse school and university classrooms. Drawing on the critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies and social justice pedagogy, they argue that, despite references to equality and diversity, there are significant omissions in P4C literature and practice related to questions of race and racism. They propose that engaging with, and staying with, the discomfort prompted by discussions around race and racism is vital to any serious reflection and/or action on the democratic and social justice values of P4C.


The democratic nature of Philosophy for Children

Students’ engagement with questions of racism and conflict is also a theme of Amber Makaiau’s chapter, ‘A citizen’s education: The Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i approach to deliberative pedagogy.’ This chapter offers an account of the author’s qualitative case study of her practice in Hawai‘i, which was informed by Myles Horton and Paolo Freire’s notion of a citizen’s education. In working out the relationship between a high school citizenship curriculum developed through a CoI approach and wider issues of young people’s participation in a democracy, Makaiau reflects on the relationships between social justice, classroom dialogue and a community of action. In the final chapter of this section, ‘Authority, democracy and philosophy: The nature and role of authority in a philosophical community of inquiry,’ Olivier Michaud and Riku Välitalo consider the paradox of educational authority in an approach such as P4C, purporting to be related to democratic education. They ask whether, by abandoning the traditional authoritative position in the classroom, the CoI facilitator is abandoning any form of authority or, rather, transforming authority into something else. They are concerned to discover the shape this takes and, following Dewey, propose a model of shared authority.


1 THE COMMUNITY OF PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY (P4C) A pedagogical proposal for advancing democracy Eugenio Echeverria and Patricia Hannam

Introduction This chapter aims to make a contribution to the educational debate about the democratic nature of the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI). It recognizes that there is disagreement theoretically and in practice about what this actually means and engages with two particular lines of argument. The authors support the proposal that the CPI is a model of educational praxis which can enable the conditions necessary for democracy to exist (see Sharp and Splitter 1995; Lipman 1998a). By this we mean that the CPI offers an important educative possibility for not only advancing communicative rather than individualistic notions of autonomy (Code 2006), but also for advancing the conditions necessary for social justice and especially freedom (Arendt 1998) to be possible. Lipman’s (for example 1998a) and Sharp’s (for example 2009) view, which we support, was that philosophy, because of its capacity to enable people to think more deeply (Lipman 1998a: 7), would help to form the necessary social dispositions in children and young people that would enable them to improve their capacity to make good judgments (see Sharp 2007), and consequently the capacity for decision making necessary in a democracy. Building the argument for the CPI from Lipman and Sharp and their view that it should be understood as democratic praxis, by drawing on Dewey and Arendt, this chapter concludes that the CPI can make a significant difference to the life of a plural democracy. Through examples, we demonstrate that the CPI can equip children and young people with the tools to become more critical and to develop a more social and global consciousness (Hannam and Echeverria 2009), thus enabling them to enter the world of adults to take an active role in ‘the shaping of a democratic society’ (Sharp 1993: 343)

In what ways is the Community of Philosophical Inquiry democratic? An investigation of the literature (for example Thompson and Echeverria 1987; Kohan 2002, 2011; Vansieleghem 2005; Biesta 2011) reveals two broad areas of disagreement regarding the


Eugenio Echeverria and Patricia Hannam

democratic nature of the CPI. The first is about the possibilities of philosophy in education and whether it has the capacity to ‘produce an individual with certain qualities and skills’ (Biesta 2011: 317; see also Kohan 2002: 11). The second area of disagreement is educational and around the ‘instrumentalist tendencies in the educational use of philosophy’ (Biesta 2011: 317), or as Vansieleghem (2005) expresses it a possible ‘instrumentalized nature’ (p. 19) of the CPI. Murris (2008: 675) considers Lipman to have shared this concern. Although it is not possible in the confines of this chapter to enter into the full discussion here, the problem turns in part around whether the CPI should be understood in instrumentalist terms. This is because of concern that an instrumentalized view, where outcomes are pre-determined and thus possibly linked with coercive tendencies, cannot be congruent with an educative process aiming to advance democratic ways of being. This chapter argues that the CPI, in the Lipman/Sharp tradition (see for example Lipman 1988, 1993a, 1998a, 2003; and Sharp 1993, 2007), sometimes known as ‘Philosophy for Children’ or ‘P4C,’ is best understood as an educative praxis with democratic purposes. By praxis we mean an intervention that intentionally opens up the conditions for change, and the deliberate change intended is to enable children and young people to exist in the world as an integral part of a well-informed democratic citizenry. Our point is that the process at work in the CPI, especially the extended dialogue inquiring into a philosophical question, can contribute to the cultivation of a well-informed democratic citizenry. This is because of its capacity to engage people of all ages in conceptual controversy, through clear thinking in dialogue with others, and ultimately it is because philosophy is a ‘horn of plenty’ (see Lipman 1998a: 6) with these kinds of facets. The authors understand citizenship as a way of existing in a plural democracy, rather than something to be possessed in a phenomenological sense. Democratic living is therefore understood as a way of living that connects individuals to each other and their society, and to an awareness of the need for social reconstruction. The authors share Lipman’s (see for example Lipman 1998a, 2003) and Sharp’s intention for the CPI to be understood as democratic education and not only as education for democracy. We understand education for democracy as something with a presupposed and agreed set of values, beliefs, morals and perceptions to be talked about and learnt in school (see Burgh 2010). The CPI we understand rather as an opportunity for people to live and experiment with deliberative democracy, bringing it into existence in a range of ways within and beyond the school walls. Indeed, Lipman (1998a) cites Dewey’s notion of deliberation as an ‘imaginative rehearsal for future activities’ (p. 7) and this idea strongly informs the argument in this chapter. Lipman drew on Dewey and we also highlight his position in developing our argument here. For Dewey (see for example 1966) democracy was more than a form of government, ‘it is a mode of associated living, of conjoint, communicated experience’ (quoted in Lipman 2003). When Dewey talks about a strong democracy, what he means is a process of community formation founded on deliberative communication. This is very similar to what we see happening in schools that include the CPI within their pedagogical project. The intention (see for example Lipman 1998b) of the dialogical discussions is to build together, to try to understand each other and in cases when views are opposed to try to reach a position where all benefit from the outcome in the end. The concern is not only for participation but also the quality of participation: to recognize possibilities for the range of voices both within and beyond the community. What is often found in situations where the CPI is at work, is development of dispositions necessary to live well in a democracy such as a willingness to listen, to be open to alternatives and a readiness to reason as a means to confront and resolve complex issues. To be sure, in asserting that the ‘community of inquiry constitutes a praxis’, Sharp (1993: 342) indicates she regards the ‘reflective communal action’ itself as a ‘means of personal and moral 4

The community of philosophical inquiry

transformation’ (ibid.) leading to a growth in the emotional maturity (Sharp 2007) necessary for democratic living. It is clear, however, that Lipman also saw the CPI as representing ‘education of the future as a form of life that has not yet been realized and as a kind of praxis’ (1988: 17). Nevertheless, the question remains as to whether this is an intentional outcome of CPIs. For if this outcome is in some way contrived, there remains a risk of the accusation of coercion and this being education for a fixed idea of democracy rather than democratic education. At this point we look to Arendt to see whether her work on speech and action can help us explain how the inquiry itself is enabling ‘political’ action (Arendt 1998). Arendt develops an argument distinguishing action from work or labour. Work and labour, although necessary for life, are not enough since it is ‘men and not Man’ (p. 7) who live on the earth; it is action that enables each of our uniqueness to exist. For ‘if men were endlessly reproducible repetitions of the same model, whose nature or essence was the same for all and as predictable as the nature or essence of any other thing’ we would be replicas and not human beings. So it is that she insists that ‘(p)lurality is the condition of human action because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live’ (p. 8). It is precisely this plurality that is found in the CPI and because of this, action is possible. Nevertheless, as Lipman (1993b) explains, the practicality of the CPI owes very much to Dewey. According to Dewey an idea must be tested and final judgment withheld until it has been applied to the situation or state of affairs for which it was intended. Furthermore, ‘no inquirer can keep what he finds to himself or turn it into a merely private account’ (Dewey 1999: 75). Thus there is an interesting consequence of bringing Dewey’s thinking together with Arendt. It becomes possible to conceptualize the testing of ideas through speech in the dialogue, by the unique people comprising the plurality which is the CPI, and understood in Arendtian terms as action. Further, since it is action in the condition of plurality that makes the political space possible, the CPI can itself be understood as part of the public or political sphere.

The philosophical position of the Community of Philosophical Inquiry There is broad consensus that the CPI is a proposal which has a particular philosophical position in relation to education (for example Lipman 1988, 1991, 1993a; Rojas (in press)). This means it has a position not only regarding philosophy, drawing heavily but not exclusively on pragmatism, but also and importantly, regarding the purpose of education, enabling the CPI to bridge both worlds without compromising either. Our position is that philosophy, understood as a discipline that comes out of the need to wonder about and question reality, means our ways of understanding and knowing and existing in that reality such as ‘reflection, deliberation and action’ (De la Garza 1995: 65) are central. Also that the CPI not only has a philosophical position on education theoretically, but also in relation to educational practice; that is, what actually happens in school and beyond. Taken together the CPI has the potential to be both an epistemic and a curriculum trigger, whereby the adults interacting with the children in their CPIs bring children to attend, reflect and deliberate together on and about questions that matter to them. Here deliberation is understood as related to action in Arendtian terms (see for example Arendt 1961, 1998), and will result in personal and political transformation (Sharp 1993) as discussed above (Sharp 2007). This form of deliberation needs to be understood as growing over time between those who participate in the enquiry. An important part of the epistemic nature of the CPI is falliblism, which in practice looks like a willingness to be humble (see for example Gregory 2011: 207), a kind of doubt and openness to new ideas. Theoretically falliblism is an important part of 5

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the epistemological theory known as pragmatism, and it underpinned Lipman’s (1998b) and Sharp’s work as they formulated Philosophy for Children. In the environment of the CPI in a school, this entails an ongoing process of reflexion and self-correction in the dialogue of the CPI. Furthermore it also makes possible consideration of how a range of solutions could be applied outside the school. It requires those involved in any particular inquiry, or sequence of CPIs to become increasingly prepared to live with uncertainty. Were an outcome certain there could be no possibility for new ideas to come into the dialogue. An important consequence of this openness to new ideas is that a conclusion is never forgone or decided at the outset. In other words, the CPI does have democratic educative intentions since the precise outcomes are never pre-determined. Ann Sharp (2009) recognized the contribution Arendt’s understanding of plurality brought to the CPI; this is significant in a number of ways. It is significant first in the way it enables the CPI to be understood as the public sphere as already discussed, and second in its introduction of a particular conceptualization of freedom. Arendt (1961, 1998) understands freedom in relation to plurality rather than sovereignty. Freedom is not understood as something to be possessed but as something that can exist in the world under certain conditions: the critical condition necessary for freedom’s existence in the world is speech and action in plurality (Arendt 1998). This makes an important difference to the way the individual child or young person is understood in the CPI and, through reference to Arendt’s idea of action, enables us to give an account of why the work that philosophy does in the CPI is deliberate in its intentions but not coercive in its outcomes. Each unique child in the CPI is understood as an irreplaceable human being who in the company of their peers can make their beginnings in the world of others, that is, the public sphere. The assertion we make here is that the CPI can be a democratic educative space, be it a school or some other place. Furthermore, it is a place where freedom can come to exist in the world because unique human beings are able to speak and act together in the condition of plurality.

Thinking into practice In this section we discuss four examples to illustrate some of the points thus far made regarding the CPI as an intentional place of democratic education and of both educational and philosophical concern (Hannam and Echeverria 2009; Echeverria and De la Garza 2013). We do this in part to respond also to criticisms made of the CPI regarding the lack of practical testing of political or social transformation, in lived experience outside the dialogue circle. Although we cannot enter into the discussion in full here, we do want to acknowledge it as an important area of discussion in the area of meaning making. (For a full exploration of this point see Gregory 2005.) The first example is in Britain, which has become increasingly secularized during the second half of the twentieth century, alongside the development of an increasingly complex local and international religious horizon. During this time, every major educational reform through the twentieth and into the twenty-first century in England has maintained a special position of religious education as a compulsory subject in the curriculum of all maintained schools in England for children aged 5–18 years of age. It is to be ‘broadly Christian’ in nature but not distinctive of any particular Christian denomination. Religious education in a plural democracy lends itself to an inquiring and philosophical approach because of the way it can open dialogue about matters that are important to people, but about which they do not agree. Democratic education, in a world where truth of all kinds is contestable, needs to enable young people to dialogue, discern and engage confidently with different points of view. Religious education 6

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in non-religious contexts conducted through inquiry can help young people develop their own sense of belonging and worldview. Indeed, work in the county of Hampshire, UK (see Hannam 2012; Hampshire County Council 2011; Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight County Councils 2016) has embedded this into its practice in all public schools. The second example is in the context of ‘The Beast’, the train that goes from the border of Guatemala to the border with the United States. Every year more and more children take this journey. Most of them don’t make it to the USA, falling prey to criminals for drug trafficking or the sex trade. The trigger for democratic education through the CPI with these children was a documentary film by Rebecca Camisa called Which Way Home (2009). The educational centre Tanesque and CELAFIN developed a manual with discussion plans and exercises in the Lipman/Sharp tradition to be used after watching the documentary film. The project was supported by the Sertull Foundation in México, the Ford Foundation and DIF (a government agency for children and the family) linking closely with a range of people engaged in social action directly and indirectly linked with the care for the safety of child migrants. Adults were trained in facilitating the CPI in 15 different regions of México where unaccompanied minors are at risk. There was also work in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, all countries known to have a high risk of children and young people migrating, due to lack of opportunities in their region. The objective was to work with as many at-risk children and adolescents as possible. Through engaging in the CPI the intention was to ensure these children and young people were better equipped to make choices in their lives, see alternatives and predict the consequences of those choices.1 Evaluation of this and similar projects is ongoing. The third example is of a British Council2 funded project in 2001, which brought 20 schools from Mexico City together with 20 schools in the UK through the themes of citizenship, democracy and human rights. Out of the 20 initial projects only two survived more than two years; however one exceptional project lasted eight years. This project linked a school in the county of Cumbria in the north of England together with a school in Itztapalapa, one of the poorest areas of Mexico City. It was distinctive in the way it embedded philosophy for children into the democratic vision of the project. Although not tested empirically, the longevity of this particular school linking project is thought to have related directly to the shared democratic vision which emerged through embedding the CPI since it was the main distinguishing feature likely to have impacted in this way (Hannam 2009). Teachers and students in both the Mexican and UK schools in this linking were concerned to develop a process that would enable the young people involved to explore the issues of democracy through the medium of both Spanish and English and agreed upon the CPI. Teachers in Mexico accessed the Diploma training offered by the Mexican Federation of Philosophy for Children, and teachers in UK were trained through the UK organization SAPERE.3 During the eight years of the project students and teachers from both schools had opportunities to meet in either Mexico or the UK. During each visit, time was set aside for philosophical enquiries in two languages, developing the themes of the linking. The effectiveness of the linking was monitored by the British Council, who funded continuing work in the linking through the DFID4 Global Schools Partnerships, based at the time in Scotland. Teachers working in the linking found students to have been changed by these experiences, to become more confident and self-reflective. Some have been able to move on and become involved in a connected project of the International Youth Congress, which is discussed next. The fourth example is the International Youth congress in Chiapas, Mexico, which brought young people together each year from the UK and meso-America between 2006 and 2012 for a two-week shared experience around the themes of peace, justice and sustainability. The original Lipman approach was adapted to ‘read’ experiences of the congress as a text. Daily 7

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life formed the starting point for inquiries. Whether we were in our base at CELAFIN,5 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, or staying in an indigenous community or in the rain forest, each evening we would gather in a circle to explore questions emerging from the day’s experiences. For example, at the ecological centre where we stayed in the Lacandon rain forest, there was an open-sided space which lent itself to our evening explorations while the sound of the summer rains on the tin roof overtook the continuing noise from the river. The philosophical questions coming from our visits to abandoned Mayan sites of Yaxchilan and Bonampak contrasted with an afternoon visiting a Lacandon community Milpa.6 Invariably questions emerged about the survival of unsustainable civilizations, or what kind of human social organization should be adopted now in the face of globalization. The CPI was an educative space where contemporary philosophical concerns of a social, political and environmental nature were explored. By working in community, ‘doing philosophy’ together, sharing and inquiring, participants reflected deeply and rigorously about the experience of and future for human kind. The international and intercultural nature of the summer Youth Congress, where the focus issues were frequently those most pressing to the well-being of people and the planet in different parts of the world, gave unique opportunities for participants to share democratic visions across boundaries of continental perception, formulating considered positions on crucial matters. Vicky, who attended the congress in 2007 and was part of the school linking project, explains this well: ‘as I have heard other people’s experiences and ideas, these have in turn shaped my own and allowed me to consider questions from many different points of view, and I have found this a very important part of the person I am today’ (quoted in Hannam 2009).

Conclusion: what this means for democratic education This chapter has sought to present a case for the CPI understood as a democratic educative space that can exist in many contexts, and is capable of advancing the conditions for democratic ways of living. We have substantiated Lipman and Sharp’s assertion that the CPI is a form of praxis; that is to say it intentionally aims to bring about change. We make two interconnected points in concluding this chapter. One is in relation to the relationship between education and democracy in terms of freedom and action, arguing against instrumentalist critique of P4C; the second is to do with the implications this has for the role of the teacher in the CPI, placing attention upon teacher:child relationships rather than skills to be learnt. The CPI is a space where the clear intention of the teacher is to ensure those participating have the opportunity to speak and where the plurality of the group is taken seriously. The idea is for each child to make their beginnings in the world of others and to do this in such a way that freedom can come into existence in the public space. This point makes a difference to how the role of the teacher is understood in the CPI. The teacher is a co-inquirer and has particular responsibilities. At least in the beginning the teacher models how to hold the inquiry space as a place where all those participating can speak and act in practice, understood in Arendtian terms. In so doing those participating become interested in others who are different from themselves, and democratic living becomes possible. These two points make a difference to how the relationship between the CPI and democracy is understood. The relationship is necessary, entailed by the action of the community, and not accidental. This enables us to conclude by reasserting the point made initially. The CPI is an educative space that intends to bring about democratic ways of living. The examples provided in this chapter illustrate these intentions. The philosophical underpinning of the CPI ensures it is a space of praxis, needing constant renewal and never exactly complete, necessarily related to a democratic hope for the present and future of the world (see Lipman 1998a). 8

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Notes 1 The community of philosophical enquiry has been used in a wide range of similar contexts in the UK with vulnerable children, including street work and in pupil referral units for students whose behaviour makes it impossible for them to remain in mainstream education. 2 The British Council is a branch of the Foreign Office of the British Government. 3 SAPERE is the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education and is the organization that accredits training in the CPI in the UK. 4 DFID is the UK Government Department For International Development which funded school international linking projects at the time through the British Council. 5 CELAFIN is the Latin American Centre for Philosophy for Children, and the base for the Summer Youth Congress whilst in San Cristóbal de las Casas. 6 A ‘Milpa’ is a traditional sustainable system of companion-planting agriculture, where areas of forest are cut in rotation, planted for a few years and then left to rest and regenerate. This happens in a cycle that ensures continuing fertility of the land as well as quality environment for other wildlife. Regeneration of trees is rapid due to the climatic conditions.

References Arendt, H. (1961). Freedom and Politics. In A. Hunoldt (Ed.), Freedom and Serfdom: An Anthology of Western Thought (pp. 191–217). Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel Publishing Company. Arendt, H. (1998). The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Biesta, G.J.J. (2011). Philosophy, Exposure and Children: How to Resist the Instrumentalisation of Philosophy in Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education. Special Issue: Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects 45(2): 305–19. Burgh, G. (2010). Citizenship as a Learning Process: Democratic Education without Foundationalism. In D.R.J. Macer and Saad Zoy (Eds), Asian-Arab Philosophical Dialogues on Globalization, Democracy and Human Rights (pp. 59–69). Bangkok, Thailand: UNESCO, Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific. Code, L. (2006). Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location. New York: Oxford University Press. De la Garza, T. (1995). Educación y Democracia. Madrid: Visor Distribuciones. Dewey, J. (1966). Democracy and Education. New York: The Free Press (Macmillan). Dewey, J. (1999). Individualism Old and New. New York: Prometheus Books. Dewey, J. (2007). Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology. New York: Cosimo, Inc. Echeverría, E. and T. De la Garza (2013). El Mundo De Filosofía para Niños. In R.A Rezola (Ed.), Otra educación es posible. Barcelona: Laertes. Gregory, M.R. (2005). Practicing Democracy: Social Intelligence and Philosophical Practice. The International Journal of Applied Philosophy 16(1): 161–74. Gregory, M. (2011). Philosophy for Children and Its Critics: a Mendham Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 199–219. Hampshire County Council (2011). Living Difference Revised 2011: The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. Winchester: Hampshire County Council. Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight County Councils (2016). Living Difference III: The Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. Winchester: Hampshire County Council. Hannam, P. (2009). From Inter-cultural to Inter-relational Understanding: Philosophy for Children and the Acceptance of Difference. In E. Marsal, T. Tobashi and B. Weber (Eds), Children Philosophize Worldwide: Theoretical and Practical Concepts (pp. 141–52). Frankfurt and New York: Peter Lang. Hannam, P. (2012). P4C in Religious Education. In L. Lewis and N. Chandley (Eds), Philosophy for Children Through the Secondary Curriculum (pp. 127–145). London: Bloomsbury. Hannam, P. and Echeverria, E. (2009). Philosophy with Teenagers: Nurturing a Moral Imagination for the 21st Century. London: Continuum. Kohan, W. (2002). Education, philosophy and childhood: the need to think an encounter. Thinking 16(4): 4–11. Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (1993a). Philosophy for Children and Critical Thinking. In M. Lipman (Ed.), Thinking Children and Education. Dubuque, IA: Kendal/Hunt.


Eugenio Echeverria and Patricia Hannam Lipman, M. (1993b). Promoting Better Classroom Thinking. Educational Psychology 13(3–4): 291–304. Lipman, M. (1998a). The Contributions of Philosophy to Deliberative Democracy. In D. Owens and I. Kucuradi (Eds), Teaching Philosophy on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century. Anakara: International Federation of Philosophical Societies. Lipman, M. (1998b). Teaching Students to Think Reasonably: Some Findings of the Philosophy for Children Program. The Clearing House, 71(5): 277–280. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Murris, K.S. (2008). Philosophy with Children, the Stingray and the Educative Value of Disequilibrium. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42(3–4): 667–85. Rojas, V.A. (Ed). (in press). Filosofía para niños: práctica educativa y contexto social. Bogotá, Colombia: Corporación universitaria Minuto de Dios. Sharp, A.M. (1993). The Community of Inquiry: Education for Democracy. In M. Lipman (Ed.), Thinking Children and Education (337–345). Dubuque, IA: Kendal/Hunt. Sharp, A.M. (2007). Education of the Emotions in the Classroom Community of Inquiry. Gifted Education International 22(2–3): 248–57. Sharp, A. (2009). Foreword to P. Hannam and E. Echeverria, Philosophy with Teenagers: Nurturing a Moral Imagination for the 21st Century. London: Continuum. Sharp, A.M. and L.J. Splitter (1995). Teaching for Better Thinking. Melbourne, Australia: ACER. Thompson, A.G. and E. Echeverria (1987). Philosophy for Children: A Vehicle for Promoting Democracy in Guatemala. Analytic Teaching 8(1): 44–52. Vansieleghem, N. (2005). Philosophy for Children as the Wind of Thinking. Journal of Philosophy of Education 39(1): 19–35.


2 ‘NO GO AREAS’ Racism and discomfort in the community of inquiry Darren Chetty and Judith Suissa

Context The authors of this chapter are racialized and gendered differently to one another. Darren has been philosophizing with children in primary schools for almost twenty years, whilst Judith has been teaching philosophy in higher education for over twenty years.

Darren A search through the literature relating to Philosophy for Children yields very few papers with the terms ‘race’, ‘racism’ or ‘multiculturalism’ in the title. Despite the frequent references to identity, diversity, justice and equality both within the P4C literature and as conference themes, work that deals explicitly with race/racism remains rare. Tace Vigliante focuses on the social status of Australian Aboriginal people and argues that Australian pre-service teachers ‘must engage in philosophical inquiry with their peers into both the aim of education and the notion of social justice’ (Vigliante 2005: 109). Writing in the USA and focusing on multiculturalism, Wendy Turgeon notes that, ‘Often what we mean by “multicultural” is simply different from the mainstream. However, that rarely, if ever, includes Caucasian or the historically dominant European cultures and peoples’ (Turgeon 2005: 97). However, neither Turgeon nor Vigliante give attention to the racial identity of the majority of teachers of philosophy for children in the nations in which they write. Writing of their considerable experience of leading P4C courses for teachers in the UK, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris write that for teachers on P4C courses, ‘Race and racism often crop up as problematic “no go” areas’ (Haynes and Murris 2012: 128). My experiences of writing and presenting on Philosophy for Children and race in the UK and internationally, as someone racialized as ‘other than white’, lead me to suggest that, for many P4C practitioners, race is also a ‘no go area’. The question we focus on here is: if we are committed to the view that philosophy’s value in education lies largely in its ability to ‘shake the habitual certainty with which people take for granted the meaning of everyday abstract concepts’ (Murris 2008, in Smith 2011: 221), can teachers racialized as white avoid the tendency to reject or domesticate the unfamiliar, a tendency that can close down the possibility of travelling to no go areas? In exploring this question in light of the experience of teaching philosophy in racially diverse classrooms, 11

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we draw on theoretical resources from P4C as well as from the critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies and social justice pedagogy, in order to reflect on the educational and philosophical value of going to, and staying in, no go areas, and to begin to explore ways of doing so. In this chapter, we wish to extend consideration of the community of inquiry as it applies to the Philosophy for/with Children movement to include not only classrooms and groups of young people but also something perhaps closer to C.S. Peirce’s original use of the term (Peirce 1955). Whilst Peirce was referring to the science/academic community, we refer to Philosophy for/with Children practitioners, practitioner trainers, scholars and writers, and the spaces in which they inquire together. These spaces are both literal: rooms at international, national and regional conferences, seminars, training courses and school staffrooms, and virtual/metaphorical: journals, websites and books. Rather than viewing community of inquiry as a term for a clearly delineated, procedural, timetabled ‘event’ in schools we take it to mean those adults and children who inquire together philosophically and those who think philosophically about such a practice. This second notion of the community of inquiry is both useful and justifiable, in that it allows us to think about philosophizing with children without making the immediate move to considerations of children and childhood, but rather giving more thought to who is philosophizing with children, how they have learnt to do so and how they might be encouraged to enter into conversations that have the potential to cause discomfort.

Example 1: Darren Ten years ago, I began to raise some concerns about ‘doing’ P4C with children in racially diverse classrooms with other P4C practitioners, all racialized as white. I offered a number of questions that I thought important for considering how the community of inquiry deals with race and racism. Some examples would be: •• •• •• •• ••

How does a routine of voting for a question give due consideration to minority concerns? What does it mean for a facilitator to claim to be neutral whilst operating within an institution and broader society that is not? Can guidelines intended to ensure politeness and co-operation permit expressions of anger at injustice? What justifies the lack of materials written from a racially minoritized viewpoint amongst P4C materials? Is there an assumption within some P4C literature that people regarded as ‘reasonable’ do not perpetuate racism?

People responded in individual ways, but over time I came to notice two broad categories of responses. The first was a restatement of P4C principles, including often the very ones I had referred to as potentially problematic in my examples. These responses resulted in me feeling increasingly frustrated as they tended not to connect directly with my voiced concerns and presented a P4C orthodoxy as a ‘barrier’ to having to engage with them. Looking back, my interlocutor may have assumed that my concerns were merely due to a lack of understanding on my part, although I sometimes thought that they were aware that I already knew many of the things they were telling me. The second response was very different. It was simply an invitation for me to continue to talk, along the lines of ‘Tell me more . . . ’. This response tended to lead to a richer, shared philosophical inquiry into the questions I was raising. 12

‘No go areas’

Over the past ten years, my decision to go to the ‘no go area’ of racism with fellow P4C practitioners, and to bring to attention the racialized identities of those of us in the community of inquiry, has elicited many other types of responses, including silences, angry interruptions, rapid changes of topic and withdrawal from the inquiry. We suggest that the range of responses might best be understood as differences in dealing with the discomfort caused by discussions around racism.

‘Whiteness’ Many of the responses from experienced P4C practitioners are in line with depictions of ‘white talk’, which critical whiteness scholars have theorized as discursive strategies for avoiding such discomfort. McIntyre (1997) offers as examples of ‘white talk’: ‘derailing the conversation, evading questions, dismissing counter arguments, withdrawing from the discussion, remaining silent, interrupting speakers and topics, and colluding with each other in creating a “culture of niceness” that made it very difficult to “read” the white world.’ Reviewing empirical research into discussions around race involving teacher candidates racialized as white, Levine-Rasky (2000: 265) concludes that ‘resistance, denial, hostility, ignorance, and defensiveness are consistent throughout the studies.’ A key source of such discomfort is the consideration of the structural nature of injustice, particularly racial injustice, which may require an ‘epistemological shift’ akin to that which Haynes and Murris (2011) argue P4C requires of teacher education. In literature on social justice pedagogy, critical race theory and whiteness studies, these ideas have been theorized and explored in depth, especially in the context of what Applebaum (2010) calls ‘white complicity pedagogy’. This approach builds on the growing academic field of whiteness studies, in which racism is understood as ‘encompassing economic, political, social and cultural structures, actions, and beliefs that systematize and perpetuate an unequal distribution of privileges, resources and power between white people and people of color’ (Hilliard, in DiAngelo 2011: 56). Coming to understand this involves a potentially uncomfortable shift on the part of white people – who, as DiAngelo points out, generally ‘move easily through our society without a sense of ourselves as racialized subjects’ (p. 62) – to think about how their whiteness may involve forms of privilege (see McIntosh 1998) that uphold a structural system of racial injustice. Yet as several theorists acknowledge (see Ahmed 2007; Applebaum 2010; Probyn-Rapsey 2007; Yancy 2012; DiAngelo 2011), a frequent consequence of educators prompting white students, even, and particularly, those who do not consciously hold racist views, to acknowledge their own whiteness and its role in the ongoing reality of racism, is that they experience a form of discomfort, often leading them to adopt strategies such as those described above to avoid or retreat from the ‘interruption’ (Di Angelo 2011: 57) that has occurred. It appears from my examples that there is no clear correlation between exposure to P4C and the ability to work with discomfort in philosophical inquiry. Thus we suggest that the claim made by Karin Murris and Joanna Haynes (2000: 16) that ‘[p]hilosophical enquiry helps us guard against the thoughtless acceptance of tradition, authority, prejudices and fashion’ requires further qualification. Our discussion suggests that willingness to experience discomfort is necessary for engagement with race dialogue (Leonardo and Porter 2010) and there is a need to develop what Dyan Watson (2014) terms the ability to ‘stay in the conversation’ and, for those racialized as ‘white’, what Barbara Applebaum (2013) terms ‘White vigilance’ (see below). Discomfort can, and indeed should, be productive. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of 13

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creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for non-violent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. (King, 1996, cited in Leonardo and Porter 2010: 145) How can teachers and participants in a community of inquiry travel to ‘no go areas’ where they might experience tension and a greater sense of discomfort? We suggest that, in line with Darren’s example, when faced with a marginalized perspective and a sense of discomfort we might ask something akin to ‘can you tell me more?’

‘Can you tell me more?’: stepping into the ‘no go area’ ‘Can you tell me more?’ may indicate a request for greater context, a wish to empathize (we make no claims at this point about the capacity to empathize) and a suspension of judgment. On hearing something unfamiliar, ‘can you tell me more?’ signals a willingness to be a listener. It is not a restatement of one’s own position, which can be a retreat to familiarity and relative certainty, nor is it a redirecting of the line of inquiry onto more comfortable terrain. It signals interest, and a willingness to ‘stay’ with the subject and, by extension, the speaker. Unlike ‘why?’, ‘can you tell me more?’ is not a demand for justification. Persons racialized as ‘other than white’ are often expected to justify themselves more than white people: ‘Why do you use sound like that, look like that, feel like that, see things like that . . . ’, where ‘that’ is outside of white normativity.We are not suggesting that such questions should never be asked, rather that we should consider which questions are left unasked. We are also not ruling out that sometimes questions are asked not in a spirit of inquiry or intellectual curiosity but rather as an assertion of relative power. Who asks the questions and who answers them is worth considering in public and classroom dialogue. It is also important to note the consequences of avoiding certain questions and issues. How much we need to tell in order to be recognized or comprehended often depends on the distance we need to ‘travel’. In the classroom this distance is informed by who our fellow students are, who our teacher is and what the subject of discussion appears to be to each of us. Who speaks and who speaks back is important to recognize, as is who speaks with ‘common sense’ and who speaks against ‘common sense’. Speaking against common sense may mean saying something uncommon. This might require more time for elucidation and more time for consideration. As Biesta notes (2011: 317), ‘A pedagogy focusing on exposure and interruption is a pedagogy that may bring about hesitation, an experience of not knowing, an experience that makes us stop rather than that it rushes us into the pseudo-security of questions, hypothesis, reasons, examples, distinctions, connections, implications, intentions, criteria, and consistency.’ Philosophy teachers racialized as ‘white’ can signal a willingness to stay with the hesitation and discomfort that may arise as they travel to the potential ‘no go’ areas of race. We suggest that they need to be aware not just of the urge to reject the unfamiliar, but of the tendency to fail to recognize it as such and to domesticate it by reframing it in terms of reference that are familiar to them.

Example 2: Judith As a philosophy lecturer in an HE context, there is considerable overlap between my approach and concerns and those of P4C practitioners. I like to think that my classes are spaces in which open and critical philosophical dialogue is nurtured and encouraged. 14

‘No go areas’

I was teaching a session on feminist epistemology on an MA research methods course. I wanted to convey to the students the significance of the feminist project of ‘putting subjectivity into the picture’. Yet I also wanted them to appreciate that acknowledging the importance of positionality does not entail that all theoretical concepts and claims are ‘just social constructions’. To illustrate this point, I described my experience of reading Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. You could say, I explained, that there is a sense in which I, a middle class White woman, can never really know what it was like to grow up as a poor Black woman in the reality Morrison describes. Yet is there not some way in which Morrison can speak to me, through her words, in which I can relate to the ideas, perceptions, truth and experiences captured in her writing? At the end of the class, one student, a Black woman, came up to me. She politely said she disagreed with me; in spite of what we had discussed, it was still fundamentally true that I could never, as a White woman, really understand what it was like to be a Black woman. I listened to what she was saying and tried to defend the idea that there was something more that we could say, something that reflected the significance of shared meaning, the possibility of communication across difference, and the core feminist commitment to women’s experience. We parted amicably and I suggested some further reading. Now, reflecting on this incident, I wonder whether a certain kind of pedagogical awareness and training could perhaps have prepared me better for such moments. Firstly, I have to ask myself why the student had felt unable to make her point during the class discussion, in which I had invited and engaged with comments and questions from students, but had felt the need to come and talk to me outside the group space of the class. Darren has had similar experiences with adults of colour who have chosen to share their thoughts with him but not the broader community of inquiry. I believe it is relevant here to recall that, as Kennedy notes ‘ . . . we are each of us carrying, not just the emergent conceptual structure of our inquiry, but the gestural, the linguistic, the personal-political (i.e. personal and power relations), the affective and the erotic’ (Kennedy 1999: 341–2). This means that for any philosophical inquiry to engage students in a meaningful way within a classroom setting, and for its critical potential to be explored, a level of attunement to these personal, political, somatic and affective elements is required of the teacher. This could be conceptualized as part of the ability to listen; a point that plays a central role in the training of P4C practitioners. Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan (1977: 78–9) draw attention to the tendency of trained teachers to fail to notice the philosophical significance and possibilities for further philosophical insight in what may at first glance seem to be merely a throwaway or ‘cute’ comment by the child. The worry here is that the teacher will either not really ‘hear’ the remark at all, or will interpret it in terms of her own perspective. Likewise, Murris and Haynes have emphasized, in their work, the importance of facilitators being able to ‘listen without prejudice – not as though we already know and understand what is about to be said’ (Haynes and Murris, 2013). Yet this requirement that we be attentive in listening to our students and acknowledge that we can learn from them is not sufficient to alert us to the possibility that, as the literature on critical whiteness has explored, ‘whiteness often plays a powerful role in problems that white people do not see as having anything to do with whiteness’ (MacMullan 2015: 657), and that this may contribute to our urge to reject the unfamiliar, or to domesticate it by mistaking it for something more familiar, thereby avoiding situations of potential discomfort.

‘Tell me more’ as important but insufficient Looking back on this incident, I am struck by the fact that while teaching a philosophy class on the relevance of embodiment and social situatedness to claims about knowledge and truth, I had not stopped to consider my own embodiment, my own situatedness, and, particularly, my own whiteness. My immediate response was to ‘domesticate’ the student’s comments as a 15

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familiar point about standpoint epistemology; one which I had encountered on different occasions and in some of the relevant literature, and which I had therefore anticipated in preparing for the class. I did not see her comment as mainly about who she was or who I was, but rather as a general claim about knowledge. I thus saw it as my role to counter this with a philosophical challenge. My attention was not focused on considering the ways in which the entire situation was imbued with experiential, personal, personal-political, physical and affective elements to do with our differently racialized subjectivities. Acknowledging this during my teaching may have made me more able to create a climate in which this student or other students in the class were not uncomfortable raising issues to do with race. This would have required, critically, a willingness to enter a ‘no go area’ on my part, foregrounding my own potential discomfort as a pedagogically fruitful element of this move, rather than, or at least prior to, extending an invitation to the student to ‘tell me more’, thereby positioning her as knowledge holder. For as bell hooks notes, ‘Often if there is one lone person of color in the classroom she or he is objectified by others and forced to assume the role of native informant’ (hooks 1994: 43). Thus the power asymmetry at play when we invite people to make themselves vulnerable needs to be considered. Nicholas Burbules, in issuing a warning against viewing dialogic pedagogy as unproblematically emancipatory, points out that ‘The point is not that these commitments are never fair expectations to have of participants to a dialogue; it is to acknowledge that for many parties, under specific circumstances, they represent a kind of entrapment, a kind of ­co-optation, in which some persons have more to lose than do others’ (Burbules 2000: 19). An appreciation of these points suggests that we need to be vigilant concerning the possible ways in which different aspects of our classroom practice can reflect, re-inscribe, challenge and question social meanings around racial privilege and oppression. This applies even when the ostensive ‘topic’ of our teaching is not one to do with race or injustice per se. We suggest that Yancy’s (2012) comment that philosophical academic spaces ‘are, in so many ways, continuous with everyday, politically invested, racially grounded, prejudicial, social spaces’ may also apply to philosophical communities of inquiry. In this sense, racial assumptions can be left uninterrupted and undisrupted. Applebaum discusses how ‘being an anti-racist white . . . is a project that always requires another step and does not end in a white person’s having “arrived” in the form of an idyllic anti-racist’ (Applebaum 2015: 11). Had I given Morrison’s writing and the context in which it was written due consideration, it is possible that I would have ‘used’ it in my teaching in a different way, rather than merely referring to it as an example of ‘a novel by a Black woman writer’; for as Morrison herself has stated on several occasions, she writes with Black audiences in mind. And in the case of her novel Beloved, this means that ‘The narrative forces AfricanAmerican readers to recall experiences so horrible that they were not only omitted from the narrative of American history, but repressed in personal memory as well (Travis 1998: 76). The vigilance and humility required of white educators, then, means reminding ourselves of the moral and political context in which our educational efforts make sense, reflecting on our own racialized identities and those of the people in our classroom, and thinking about what our choice of pedagogical materials and interventions means for ourselves and for our students. Likewise, in acknowledging, with Lipman (2003: 261) ‘how profoundly our emotions shape and direct our thought’, we have to acknowledge the ways in which emotions such as discomfort can contribute to a collective ethos in which open philosophical inquiry into race is avoided and remains a no go area. Both Darren’s presentations and the comments from a student racialized as Black can be read as intrusions that, rather than being seen as offering potentially productive moments of discomfort, are met with resistance which might in part be operating to protect white people’s comfort. 16

‘No go areas’

Ways forward Our discussion suggests that educators, particularly white educators, need to be willing to acknowledge, address and work with emotions of discomfort, anger, pain and guilt. This point goes beyond the recognition that the dialogical process can press some painful buttons, and the important pedagogical point about ‘the rich openings philosophical teaching creates for everyone involved to play freely with new ideas’ (Haynes and Murris 2011: 296). It is a call for awareness of the broader social and political context in which these ideas are situated and the respective positions and experience of the people expressing and engaging with them in the classroom. Our discussion, therefore, has highlighted a gap between ideal communities of inquiry and actual communities of inquiry. We suggest that there may be hitherto underexplored aspects of P4C practice which would prevent it from becoming as ‘communal, multi-vocal [and] dialogical’ (Kennedy 1999: 345) as many advocates claim and desire it to be, and that the theoretical resources offered by the critical philosophy of race can help us in reflecting on these issues. Drawing on Johnson and Shapiro (2003), Di Angelo (2011: 58) argues that, ‘white people are taught not to feel any loss over the absence of people of color in their lives and in fact, this absence is what defines their schools and neighbourhoods as “good”; whites come to understand that a “good school” or “good neighbourhood” is coded language for “white”’. Might it be that serious philosophical reflection that explicitly includes people of colour is similarly a ‘no go area’ for many white P4C practitioners? Perhaps the idealized community of inquiry might in actuality be operating as a ‘gated community of inquiry’ (Chetty 2014). We suggest that we build on Megan Boler’s ‘pedagogy of discomfort’ (see Boler and Zembylas 2003) but place a greater emphasis on the need for educators to recognize how their own discomfort may block the path of inquiry, particularly but not exclusively, in multiracial classrooms. Facilitators need then to stay in a pedagogical ‘no go area’, one perhaps devoid of simple solutions, and practise awareness and deep listening, whilst at the same time remaining sensitive to where the burden to be understood lies at any particular moment in an inquiry. As well as ‘sitting with’ their discomfort in the classroom, P4C practitioners, especially those racialized as white, might do so in their writing, perhaps in the production of more first-hand accounts of philosophical engagement with race and racism and of working to stay with the discomfort. We envisage such accounts not as ‘success stories’ but rather as tangible steps in demonstrating the importance of staying in the conversation and of breaking out of comfort zones and into previously regarded ‘no go areas’.

References Ahmed, S. (2004). Declarations of Whiteness: The Non-Performativity of Anti-Racism. borderlands e-journal 3(2). Retrieved August 19, 2016 from ahmed_declarations.htm. Ahmed, S. (2007). A Phenomenology of Whiteness. Feminist Theory 8(2): 149–168. Applebaum, B. (2010). Being White, Being Good; White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy. Plymouth: Lexington. Applebaum, B. (2013). Vigilance as a Response to White Complicity. Educational Theory 63(1): 17–34. Applebaum, B. (2015). Flipping the Script . . . and Still a Problem. In G. Yancy (Ed.), White Self-Criticality Beyond Anti-Racism (pp. 1–20). London: Lexington Books. Biesta, G. (2011). Philosophy, Exposure and Children: How to Resist the Instrumentalisation of Philosophy in Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 305–19. Boler, M. and M. Zembylas (2003). Discomforting Truths: The Emotional Terrain of Understanding Difference. In P. Trifonas (Ed.), Pedagogies of Difference: Rethinking Education for Social Change (pp. 110–36). New York: RoutledgeFalmer.


Darren Chetty and Judith Suissa Burbules, N.C. (2000). The Limits of Dialogue as a Critical Pedagogy. In P. Trigonas (Ed.), Revolutionary Pedagogies: Cultural Politics, Instituting Education and the Discourse of Theory. New York: Routledge. Retrieved June 21, 2007 from Chetty, D. (2014). The Elephant in the Room: Picturebooks, Philosophy for Children and Racism. Childhood and Philosophy 10(19): 11–31. DiAngelo, R. (2011). White Fragility. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy 3(3): 54–70. Haynes, J. and Murris, K. (2011). The Provocation of an Epistemological Shift in Teacher Education through philosophy with Children. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 285–303. Haynes, J. and Murris, K. (2013). The Realm of Meaning: Imagination, Narrative and Playfulness in Philosophical Exploration with Young Children. Early Child Development and Care 183(8): 1,084–100. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to Transgress. London: Routledge. Johnson, H.B. and Shapiro, T.M. (2003). Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools: Race and the ‘Good’ Choices. In A.W. Doane and E. Bonilla-Silva (Eds.), White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism (pp. 173–88). New York: Routledge. Kennedy, D. (1999). Philosophy for Children and the Reconstruction of Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 30(4): 338–59. Kennedy, D. and Kennedy, N. (2011). Community of Philosophical Inquiry as a Discursive Structure, and its Role in School Curriculum Design. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 265–83. King, M.L., Jr (1996). Letter from a Birmingham Jail. In M. Asanta and A. Abarry (Eds), African Intellectual Heritage: A Book of Sources (pp. 740–50). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Leonardo, Z. and Porter, R.K. (2010). Pedagogy of Fear: Toward a Fanonian Theory of ‘Safety’ in Race Dialogue. Race Ethnicity and Education 13(2): 139–57. Levine-Rasky, C. (2000). The practice of whiteness among teacher candidates. International Studies in Sociology of Education 10(3): 263–84. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.M. and Oscanyan, F.S. (1977). Philosophy in the Classroom. Upper Montclair, NJ: IAPC. MacMullan, T. (2015). Facing up to Ignorance and Privilege: Philosophy of Whiteness as Public Intellectualism. Philosophy Compass 1(9): 646–60. McIntosh (1998). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. In P.S. Rothenberg (Ed.), Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study (4th edition) (pp. 165–9). New York: St. Martin’s Press. McIntyre, A. (1997). Making Meaning of Whiteness: Exploring Racial Identity With White Teachers. New York: State University of New York Press. Murris, K.M. (2008). Philosophy with Children: The Stingray and the Educative Value of Disequilibrium. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42(3–4): 667–85. Murris, K. and Haynes, J. (2000). Storywise: Thinking Through Stories. Newport: DialogueWorks. Peirce, C.S. (1955). The Philosophical Writings of Peirce, ed. J. Buchler. New York: Dover. Probyn-Rapsey, F. (2007). Complicity, Critique, and Methodology. Ariel 38(2–3): 65–82. Smith, R. (2011). The Play of Socratic Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 221–33. Travis, M.A. (1998). Beloved and Middle Passage: Race, Narrative and the Critic’s Essentialism. In M.A. Travis (Ed.), Reading Cultures: The Construction of Readers in the Twentieth Century (pp. 68–88). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Turgeon, W. (2005). Multiculturalism: Politics of Difference, Education and Philosophy for Children. Analytic Teaching 24(2): 96–109. Vigliante, T. (2005). Effective Anti-racism Education in Australian Schools: The Need for Philosophical Inquiry in Teacher Education. Critical and Creative Thinking 13(1–2): 90–113. Watson, D. (2014). Staying in the Conversation: Having Difficult Conversations about Race in Teacher Education. In G. Yancy and M. del Guadalupe Davidson (Eds), Exploring Race in Predominantly White Classrooms. New York: Taylor and Francis. Yancy, G. (2008). Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Yancy, G. (2012). Reframing the Practice of Philosophy: Bodies of Color, Bodies of Knowledge. Albany: SUNY Press.


3 A CITIZEN’S EDUCATION The Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i approach to deliberative pedagogy Amber Strong Makaiau

Deliberative pedagogy is an emergent field of research and practice that aims to identify meaningful approaches to a citizen’s democratic education (Carcasson 2013; Longo 2013; Manosevitch 2013). ‘The primary goal isn’t civic education per se, but for students to develop commitment, knowledge, and skills necessary for creating and maintaining equitable, diverse and democratic spaces, whether it be in the local community, the workplace, the nation, or world’ (Doherty 2012: 25). Deliberative pedagogies work to prepare citizens for life in a democratic society by engaging students and teachers in the practice of ‘considering perspectives, evaluating views, and treating each other as political equals’ as they think collectively about the larger question, ‘How should we live together?’ (Hess & McAvoy 2015: 5). Philosophy for Children (P4C) has much to offer this area of scholarship. When practised with fidelity, P4C can provide individuals with the ‘experience of dialoguing with others as equals, [and] participating in shared public inquiry [so] that they [are] able to eventually take an active role in the shaping of a democratic society’ (Sharp 1993: 343). As both an educational theory and a set of classroom practices, P4C is a form of deliberative pedagogy that gives life to Dewey’s (1916) assertion that in order for democracy to function as it should, students and teachers must have opportunities to experience democracy in schools. In this chapter I draw from thirteen years of teaching high school social studies to elaborate on connections between P4C and deliberative pedagogy, and to explain how the Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i (p4cHI) approach aims to create democratic experiences in multicultural schools. The chapter is organized into three sections. First I discuss the difference between traditional forms of democratic education and Horton and Freire’s (1990) notion of a citizen’s education. Second, I offer the p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy as a resource for translating the ideals of a citizen’s education into a working classroom practice.Third, I share findings that emerged from my qualitative case study on the impact of p4cHI on student learning in a high school Ethnic Studies course (Makaiau 2010). The conclusion reflects on my experiences and desire to advance the pedagogy towards philosophical communities of action (Popp 1981).

From civics to a citizen’s education In my work as a social studies educator I am constantly reflecting on the relationship between democracy, education and the civic mission of schools. Inspired by the scholars who came 19

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before me (Dewey 1916; Freire 1970; Vinson 2006; Hess & McAvoy 2015), I have developed beliefs about the connection between democracy and education, and I have worked hard to translate my aspirations into a meaningful classroom practice. At the heart of this process of ongoing professional development there has been one democracy-education praxis puzzle that has kept me particularly engaged. What does it mean to experience democracy in school? In many of the classrooms that I’ve observed the answer to this question is often shallow and contrived. Civics education in the USA is typically interpreted as instructing students about given citizen knowledge, information, skills, and values (Vinson 2006). Teachers typically provide direct instruction on political philosophies and the bureaucratic role of citizens and elected officials in democratic governments. Lessons often include memorizing the three branches of government, defining the separation of powers, and learning about how a bill becomes a law. In these lessons, democracy is presented as a set of facts that students need to memorize for their civics exam, and teaching consists of lecturing and closed questioning from the textbook. With an emphasis on the transmission of factual knowledge, this approach has created generations of American youth who believe that government and politics are components of a career pathway destined for a select few. They demonstrate low levels of civic engagement, lack civic knowledge, and experience an ever-widening civic achievement gap depending on their family income or ethnicity (Gould 2003). On the whole, American students do not see democracy as an all-encompassing project experienced by every citizen on a daily basis, and generally feel ill-equipped or motivated to take civic action in their lives. They internalize government as something outside of their sphere of influence and they are unable to discern the political dimensions of their classrooms, families, churches, and neighbourhoods (Gregory 2004). Above all, they do not seem to see themselves as citizens (Horton & Freire 1990) or active members of a democratic ‘community’ (Dewey 1916: 4). All of this should come as no surprise to proponents of P4C, who are familiar with Lipman’s (1988) pronouncement that ‘only by active participation in democratic and constitutional praxis will young people be prepared to exercise citizenship when they become adults’ (p. 60). Democracy is a living work in progress, and I argue that schools are in a position to respond to this continually changing ‘mode of associated living’ (Dewey 1916: 87) with a citizen’s education (Horton & Freire 1990). In contrast to a traditional civics course, a citizen’s education is an approach to schooling that is integrated across disciplines, practised at every grade level, and enacted throughout the school day by all members of the school community. It is based on the assumptions that schools should ‘take the lead in exemplifying educative community life’ (Popp 1981: 4) and that, along with fostering those skills and dispositions that are necessary for life in a functioning democratic society, the process of co-constructing what it means to be a citizen is one of the main purposes of schooling (Horton & Freire 1990). It is for these reasons that educators that facilitate the development of citizen’s education at their schools, are not necessarily responsible for reflecting democracy as it is, but rather for providing students with the opportunity to experience democracy as it could and should be. Ideally, teachers and students who engage in a citizen’s education have opportunities to ask meaningful questions; explore problems of democracy (Matthews 2014) that are relevant to their community; access, read, and analyze sources of information that represent multiple viewpoints and cultural backgrounds; think about complex topics and participate in deliberative dialogue with diverse groups of people; listen with empathy, treat others with respect and be a valued member of a community; reflect, write, and reason for themselves; and take responsible and informed action. The process of translating these ideals into an actual classroom practice is not always an easy task. In the following section I analyze the approach to P4C developed in Hawai’i – p4cHI – 20

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to show how it can assist students and teachers in realizing a citizen’s education, and to uncover areas where it can be improved.

The p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i (p4cHI) is a culturally responsive offshoot of Lipman and Sharp’s P4C programme. It evolved in response to the tensions that arose while doing P4C in a multicultural community context, and from the way in which the Hawaiian concept of aloha is used to mediate these tensions and build community between diverse groups of people in the islands. Directly in line with the culturally responsive teaching movement (Gay 2000), p4cHI practitioners emphasize the creation of ‘intellectually safe’ (Jackson 2001: 460) communities of inquiry in which participants’ cultures, languages, histories, socio-economic backgrounds, and other aspects of their identities are included and validated during the building of relationships and the co-construction of knowledge (Castagno & Brayboy 2008). Also unique to p4cHI is the way in which it responds to the culture of schooling found in most American State Departments of Education. Rarely practised as a stand-alone school programme, p4cHI is now thought of as a ‘philosopher’s pedagogy’ (Makaiau & Miller 2012: 8) or an overall approach to teaching and learning that can be used by classroom teachers to incorporate the ‘activity of philosophy’ (p. 10) into standards-based learning. Always sensitive to context, and hence rarely, if ever, enacted in the exact same way across diverse cultural and institutional settings, the translation of p4cHI from theory to practice depends on the professionalism and values of teachers who must adapt the pedagogy so that it can meet the needs of their particular teaching context. Generally characterized by ‘reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it’ (Freire 1970: 33), the goal of p4cHI is to move school culture from a top-down bureaucracy to a community-based, participatory model. Based on my experiences with using p4cHI to teach high school social studies I view the approach as a form of democratic praxis (Freire, 1970). It is built upon the four conceptual pillars of community, inquiry, philosophy, and reflection, and it has an actual set of flexible classroom strategies that can assist students and teachers in incorporating ‘deliberative decision making with teaching and learning’ (Longo 2013: 49) across the curriculum. This was my experience when I used p4cHI to design, teach, and research a high school Ethnic Studies course in Hawai‘i. Ethnic Studies is an important site for a citizen’s education because it provides rich opportunities to explore democratic ideals such as social justice, multiculturalism, self-determination, and civic action. From 2004–2011, I was given the opportunity to experiment with using p4cHI to teach Ethnic Studies at a small public high school on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. To investigate the impact of this approach to deliberative pedagogy on student learning in our multicultural community context, I designed and implemented a qualitative study (Makaiau 2010). One of the main research questions was: what does the data tell us about the impact of high school ethnic studies course that utilizes a philosopher’s pedagogy?

Research methodology Student participants were selected on the basis of their enrolment in the Ethnic Studies classes that I taught between 2004 and 2007. In the first two years of the study my class was voluntary, and then in year three, due to a new school policy, students were required to take Ethnic Studies for graduation. In total, 89 of my students agreed to participate in the research project. They were between 14 and 18 years old, females (49) and males (40), heterogeneously grouped 21

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in regards to their academic ability; the majority qualified for free or reduced cost lunch; and they mainly identified as Hawaiian/Part-Hawaiian, Japanese, or White. My role in this study was as a participant researcher. This had benefits, such as the close relationships with my student participants, but it also had drawbacks, including my desire for positive findings. In an effort to reduce bias, and view the course through my students’ eyes, I invited them to help me collect the data. They video recorded our sessions and provided me with copies of their coursework. Analysis involved the method of constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss 1967), which included employing the expertise of critical friends (Miles & Huberman 1994) to decrease researcher bias. At the end of the study, three important findings related to the impact of a philosopher’s pedagogy on student learning in a multicultural high school Ethnic Studies course emerged. In this particular context, p4cHI supported the development of (1) respectful and ethical civic relationships, (2) shifts in the distribution of power and access to multiple perspectives, and (3) dialogue, deliberation, and action.

Respectful and ethical civic relationships One of the defining features of p4cHI is students and teachers working together to co-create intellectually safe classroom communities of inquiry. In Ethnic Studies, I started this work from the outset by writing Jackson’s (2001) definition of intellectual safety (p. 460) on the board. I made myself vulnerable and used examples from my own life to illustrate why I believe classrooms should not only be physically safe, but intellectually safe as well. From there, my students and I worked collectively to think about the type of classroom environment that we wanted to create. We listed examples and counter-examples, from our diverse backgrounds and experiences to help us explain what intellectual safety would look like in the context of our classroom. When our concept map was complete, we made the agreement to do our best to put our words into practice. Based on the analysis of their class reflections, this process appeared critical for students’ development of respectful and ethical civic relationships. When intellectual safety . . . is highly stressed . . . This encourages students to be free thinkers and it allows students to voice their opinions based on their various upbringings and cultural backgrounds . . . This class is cool because we are able to discuss any topic concerning culture or race. It is safe to discuss things here and voice your opinion, it is a freedom that we don’t really have in other classes. (Senior Male Student 2007) These ways of being with one another did not always come easy. One student wrote: In the beginning of this Ethnic Studies class, it was one of the first times I became aware of what it feels like to be discriminated. We were going around the circle talking about ethnicity and one of my classmates said to me, ‘I thought you were Asian.’ This bothered me because he assumed that I was just Asian when in my own mind I was thinking of myself as Hawaiian. Right at that moment I realized it hurts to be discriminated by other people. (Freshman Male Student 2007) Through experiences like these, we found out the hard way that the establishment and maintenance of an intellectually safe learning environment is an ongoing process. This is an important 22

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take-away for p4cHI practitioners like me, who – in our mission to create a more just and equitable civil society – must remember that civic relationships need to be explicitly taught, worked out together in a community, experimented with, and practised in our schools.

Distributing power and accessing multiple perspectives The use of a ‘community ball’ (Jackson 2001: 460–61) also had an impact on learning in Ethnic Studies. Handmade by students in each Ethnic Studies class period, the community ball served as a physical manifestation of our social-emotional connectedness and the thinking we did together. Seated in a circle, we used the community ball to mediate turn taking, distribute power, and open up room for multiple perspectives to be heard during classroom deliberations and inquiry. Put in place to shift traditional power structures, this instructional tool helped to cultivate and nurture a collaborative civic space (Makaiau 2015) in which no one perspective dominated, and every voice was valued. It also redefined teachers and students as co-inquirers (Freire 1970) who recognize that in order for the work of a democracy to move forward, every­one must be learning together (Matthews 2014). Examples of how the community ball distributed power and opened up space for multiple perspectives were prevalent in the data. For example, when asked to reflect on her participation in a deliberative inquiry about the violence that was occurring in our school community, one student wrote, [Our two communities] face many social problems. One major problem is violence . . . [and] there is tension between these two communities . . . Ethnic Studies has taught me to see through the tensions and hostilities. During the . . . discussions I believe we broke down barriers and really opened up. I also learned a very important mediation skill as a ‘facilitator’ [with the community ball] . . . I know these skills will help me in the future to communicate better. Through Ethnic Studies I’ve learned to be open, and more accepting of others. (Senior Female Student, 2005) In this particular deliberation the students elected to engage in an inquiry about the reasons for violence both on and off of our campus. At the beginning of the inquiry, the students had a difficult time communicating with one another because they came from two different communities. However, as they passed the community ball around, and shared their experiences, they came to recognize that each student had something unique and important to contribute to the group’s thinking. At the close of this inquiry we didn’t rid our community of violence, but what we did experience was the ways in which the p4cHI approach seemed to build our capacity for becoming more caring and empathetic citizens. In 2012, this positive transformation of our school culture was formally acknowledged by a visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Dialogue, deliberation, inquiry, and action There are two additional strategies found in the p4cHI approach to deliberative pedagogy that proved helpful in facilitating dialogue, deliberation, inquiry, and action. They are the ‘Good Thinker’s Tool Kit (GTTK)’ (Jackson 2001: 463) and ‘Plain Vanilla’ (p. 462). The GTTK is a set of seven philosophical moves that assisted us in thinking responsibly about the problems of democracy during classroom deliberations and Plain Vanilla is the five-step inquiry process that we used to structure those deliberations. 23

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One example was an inquiry about racism. After reading an article about a young woman who grew up with privilege and prejudice, the students elected to explore the questions: ‘Is it true that racism exists at our high school? If so, what are the implications?’ About halfway through their deliberative dialogue they started to wonder about their friendship groups. To strengthen their enquiry they applied the GTTK and looked for reasons behind their thinking and examples to support their emergent claims. This led them to the realization that they tended to be friends with students of their same ethnicity. They asked: ‘Is it because we like the same things? Is it because people of my same ethnic background are more like me, so we get along better? Is it because we live in the same town/community?’ Then one of the students in the class pointed out that she tended to socialize with the students that were in the same courses as her. But I also think it has to do with your classes and stuff. Being in gifted and Kimi:  talented and in honors classes we hang out with a lot of the same people who are in our classes. We get homework help. We have similar interests and goals I guess. And having gifted and talented classes, I can say from experience that we don’t have very many people from [Community A] or Polynesian people in our classes. (Junior Female Student 2004) Teacher: So why is that? Kimi: I don’t know why that is. Becki: I’ve been thinking about that the whole time we’ve been talking about the [differences between Community A and Community B] . . . because I was thinking that we hang out with who is in our classes. And it is true that there are not very many people [from Community A] in gifted and talented classes, and I was talking to Mark and he was like, ‘how are you in Algebra Two, you are only a sophomore?’ And I told him; ‘I just took algebra when I was in eighth grade.’ And he told me, ‘we don’t even have that at our school’ [Community A’s intermediate school]. And so I’m not saying that the reason they don’t have it is because they are stupid but maybe it is because [Community B] is thought of as a more well off area then [Community A] is and schools reflect the area, like what is offered at the school. And so I guess what happens is that maybe their curriculum isn’t as challenging and this is the reason why they [the kids from Community A] aren’t in the honors classes as much. And then also . . . that reflects who you hang out with. (Junior Female Student 2004) As the transcript shows, students scratched beneath the surface of this difficult topic, made progress in their inquiry, and uncovered the fact that the schools in the predominantly Native Hawaiian Community A did not have access to advanced mathematics classes when compared to the students from the more affluent neighbouring Community B. As a result, when the students got to high school, the majority of the Native Hawaiian students from Community A weren’t eligible for advanced mathematics, while the Caucasian and Japanese-American students from Community B were. This was the hard-to-see manifestation of institutionalized racism at our school, and it was a problem of democracy that my students now wanted to address. This session did not conclude with the making of a plan for collective action, but we did use what we learned from the process of engaging in the activity of philosophy to take some individual actions. I brought the issue up to our school administration, yet never followed through 24

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to see if changes were made. My students seemed to make concentrated efforts to form friendship groups outside of their tracked classes. And together, we extended our thinking about this problem during final classroom deliberations of the semester. When I reflect on these actions a number of critical questions surface. Could we have done more? Is changing one’s thinking good enough? What about the collective and sustained action needed for institutional change? Should classroom teachers be responsible for organizing this sort of action with their students? As time has gone by, I’ve come to believe that the answers to these questions are yes, and in my efforts to improve upon p4cHI, I want to push the deliberative pedagogy further.

Strengths, limitations and directions for future research In the full report of this study (Makaiau 2010) I offer an in-depth look at the impact of p4cHI on student learning in a mainstream high school social studies course and the ways in which this approach works to realize Horton and Freire’s (1990) notion of a citizen’s education. The research aims to provide a window into the ways in which philosophy, when conceptualized as an activity rather than a school subject, can be used by teachers to establish deliberative and democratic procedures for making classroom decisions, and engage students in philosophical inquiry as part of their regular education coursework. It is a strong case that adds to the scholarship of previous researchers who questioned practitioners’ abilities to incorporate P4C into the pre-set curriculum (Haynes 2007), integrate P4C into all stages of the civic action process (Gregory 2004), and use P4C as a method for the democratic reconstruction of classroom management (p. 171). Bound by a ‘snapshot’ (Makaiau 2010: 37) methodology, this study is limited because it does not examine whether or not p4cHI had a lasting impact on students in their lives beyond the classroom. Longitudinal research in this area is needed.

Concluding thoughts On the role of philosophy in democratic education, Lipman (1988) writes, One of the most valuable contributions philosophy has to make to the conversation of mankind with regard to civic education is the model philosophers offer of a community of inquiry in which the participants are profoundly aware of how much they can learn from other participants with whom they strongly disagree. (Lipman 1988) While I agree with Lipman, I also believe that students and teachers need opportunities to apply their philosophical insights to action outside the classroom. Popp (1981) refers to this as a ‘community of action,’ and to build communities of action he explains that educators need to identify the conditions of ‘progress in human history and to envision the school as an institution that exemplifie[s] these very conditions’ (p. 4). This is the powerful potential of schools and where I want to pursue further curriculum development and research. Instead of recreating democratic life as it is, educators are in the privileged position to create opportunities for students to experience democratic life as it could be, and to support students in making democracy work as it should both in school and in out-of-school contexts. With additional structures and strategies for ensuring that informed action is regular part of the community-based philosophical inquiry process, p4cHI will move closer to providing students and teachers with the necessary conditions for experiencing what ideal democracy feels like, 25

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so that when they are faced with problems of democracy outside of the classroom, they will be ready to draw from these experiences and turn those ideals into our new reality. Horton and Freire (1990) tell us that ‘real liberation is achieved through popular participation. Participation in turn is realized through an educational practice that itself is both liberatory and participatory, that simultaneously creates a new society and involves the people themselves in the creation of their own knowledge’ (p. xxx). This is a citizen’s education. It is what we are aiming to do with p4cHI, and this is the purpose of practising a deliberative pedagogy.

References Carcasson, M. (2013). Rethinking Civic Engagement on Campus: The Overarching Potential of Deliberative Practice. Higher Education Exchange: 37–48. Castagno, A.E., & Brayboy, B.M.J. (2008). Culturally responsive schooling for indigenous youth: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research 78: 941–93. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: The Free Press. Doherty, J. (2012). Deliberative Pedagogy: An Education that Matters. In D.W.M. Barker & M. Gilmore (Eds). Connections: Educating for Democracy (pp. 24–7). Dayton, OH: The Kettering Foundation. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. Gay, G. (2000). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
 Glaser, B.G., & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Dallas, TX: Houghton Mifflin. Gould, J. (2003). Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools. [Online]. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from Gregory, M. (2004). Practicing Democracy: Social Intelligence and Philosophical Practice. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 18(2): 161–74. Haynes, J. (2007). Freedom and the Urge to Think in Philosophy with Children. Gifted Education International: Special Issue on Philosophy for Children 22(2–3): 229–37. Hess, D.E., & McAvoy, P. (2015). The Political Classroom. New York: Routledge. Horton, M., & Freire, P. (1990) We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations On Education and Social Change. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Jackson, T. (2001). The Art and Craft of ‘Gently Socratic’ Inquiry. In A.L. Costa (Ed.), Developing Minds: A Resource Book for Teaching Thinking. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Longo, N.V. (2013). Deliberative Pedagogy in the Community: Connecting Deliberative Dialogue, Community Engagement, and Democratic Education. Journal of Public Deliberation 9(2): 1–18. Makaiau, A.S. (2010). Adolescent Identity Exploration in a Multicultural Community Context: An Educator’s Approach to Rethinking Psychological Identity Interventions (Doctoral dissertation). University of Hawai‘i, Honolulu. Makaiau, A.S. (2015). Cultivating and Nurturing Collaborative Civic Spaces. C3 Teachers. [Online] Retrieved August 19, 2016 from Makaiau, A.S., & Miller, C. (2012). The Philosopher’s Pedagogy. Educational Perspectives 44 (1–2): 8–19. Manosevitch, E. (2013). The Medium Is the Message: An Israeli Experience with Deliberative Pedagogy. Higher Education Exchange: 60–68. Matthews, D. (2014). The Ecology of Democracy: Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping Our Future. Kettering: Kettering Foundation Press. Miles, M.B., & Huberman, M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Popp, J.A. (1981). The Democratic School. Thinking; The Journal of Philosophy for Children 3(2): 2–10. Sharp, A.M. (1993). The Community of Inquiry: Education for Democracy. In M. Lipman (Ed.), Thinking Children and Education (pp. 337–345). Dubuque: Hunt Publishing Company. Vinson, K.D. (2006). Opression, Anti-opression, and Citizenship Education. In E.W. Ross (Ed.), The Social Studies Curriculum: Purposes, Problems and Possibilities (pp. 51–76). Albany: State University of New York Press.


4 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY AND PHILOSOPHY The nature and role of authority in a community of philosophical inquiry Olivier Michaud and Riku Välitalo

Philosophy for Children (henceforth P4C) is systematically presented as having among its main goals to democratize education and foster democratic citizenship. Some of the reasons supporting that claim are that in P4C children are invited to choose the topic they want to discuss, to practise the skills and habits of inquiry, and to learn to respect each other (Sharp 1993; Gregory 2004; Sasseville 2009). One of the central elements that P4C shares with democratic education is a certain perspective on authority. On the one hand, this perspective is obvious and clear by what it rejects, that is, a certain idea of what authority in an educational relationship should be, namely that teachers should not envision themselves as the absolute authority in the classroom. This rejection of what John Dewey called the ‘traditional’ model of education1 is a necessary step for the creation of a democratic space in the classroom, a space in which students can make decisions, voice their opinions and express and discover their real individual selves. On the other hand, this rejection of the ‘traditional’ model of authority does not reveal how we should understand authority. Does this new model entail a complete rejection of authority? Or rather, does it at the same time contain a proposal for a new vision of what authority should be, and, if so, how should we understand this innovative perspective? Our contention is that in P4C, as in other democratic practices, if the traditional model of authority is rejected, this does not necessarily lead to a disappearance of the concept of authority, but to its transformation. Yet such a model is fundamentally complex and, as a result, needs to be unpacked and clarified for theorists, and particularly for practitioners, all of whom may be unclear and puzzled about this fundamental aspect of the practice of community of philosophical inquiry (henceforth CPI). Herein lies the task that we undertake in this chapter. We are not making a judgment about the value of this transformation as such, as our first goal is to explain what form of authority is implied in the practice of P4C. Hence, if we value the role of philosophy in democratizing the classroom, we should also understand what kind of educational authority is concomitant to that space; moreover, that this concept is not easy to grasp in that practice. In the first section, we present the notion of authority, its use in education, and the various related educational models. In the second, we discuss how the model we call ‘shared authority’


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is the most appropriate for thinking about authority in P4C theoretical literature. In the conclusion, we present some limits of the model and conclude with remarks for P4C practitioners who want to make sense of their own authority in their practice and who aim to create a democratic space in their classroom.

Authority in education Authority is usually defined as a particular form of power: in an authoritative relationship involving an inferior and a superior, the former freely accepts the position of the latter, seeing ‘the superior’ as legitimately occupying the position of authority. Consequently, the authority is in this sense opposed to any use of violence, force, coercion or manipulation to the end of making someone behave in a certain way or to adopt certain beliefs. The structuring element of an authoritative relationship – what connects the inferior and superior – is a certain moral order that they both share, a higher set of values that leads them to see their relationship as something meaningful and good (Weber 1957; Arendt 1961b; Pace and Hemmings 2007). Therefore when, for example, physical force is used in a specific relationship, we can say that authority is no longer structuring that relationship and that its moral order has become ineffective. However, although there is an agreement in the literature on a general and abstract definition of authority, there are fundamental disputes about its significance and expression in education. These controversies are ultimately rooted in the nature of democratic society and the question of how democratic principles should structure education and, therefore, of how authority, which involves a certain inequality between individuals, can be reconciled with the principles of their autonomy and equality (Hurn 1985; Rosenow 1993; Tubbs 2005). We propose to divide this debate into three dominant positions: (1) traditional, (2) anarchist and (3) shared authority models. The first conception of authority within education is what, referring to Dewey, we call the traditional position. The traditional perspective on authority prioritizes the transmission of knowledge that has been sanctioned by a tradition. It can be summarized in the following idea: the teacher is in authority in the classroom and holds power over students because she is an authority, which means that her authoritative role in the classroom comes from her knowledge, something judged worthwhile to transmit to the newcomers in the society. The students are in the process of becoming adults, democratic citizens and the teacher’s equals, but to reach that objective they have to acquire the knowledge deemed fundamental by the political community (Arendt 1961a). The main reference of this model usually harks back to Plato and the idea that there is knowledge that is of an absolute value, which justifies the absolute superior position of teachers over students and their role in transmitting that knowledge to pupils (Rosenow 1993; Tubbs 2005). The second conception of educational authority directly opposes this first model. The anarchist position is based on the idea that there should not be authority in education because it is necessarily something that alienates students. From this perspective, a good or legitimate authority is therefore a contradiction in itself. Hence, for good education to exist it has to be without authority, that is, it must be a system of education in which students learn in a context of freedom. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile (1762/1995) is a classical reference for this model, as his fictional story portrays a child, Emile, who to be educated needs never to face the authority of his governor. Emile learns and grows because he is never submitted to an authority figure telling him what to do and not to do, what to think and not to think. Authority is the antithesis of proper education, which aims to create a virtuous and free human being. Education without authority is the only worthwhile option, as promoted in the Summerhill 28

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school experiment (Neill and Lamb 1996). The teacher, by refraining from directly shaping students, gives them the opportunity to make decisions, learn to use their autonomy and be invested in their learning. If the traditional model may be labelled as teacher-centred, this one may be seen as radically student-centred.2 The last model used to understand authority in the classroom is constructed on the basis of a rejection of both aforementioned models. According to this model, authority should not be understood as a possession of the teacher alone, nor should it be completely rejected. A classical representative of this perspective is seen in the works of John Dewey. In Experience & Education (1938), Dewey rejects the problem of educational authority as expressed through an ‘either-or’ paradigm, that is, that it is about either accepting the traditional view of educational authority or rejecting it completely. For Dewey, this is a false dichotomy: it forces us to choose between two options, when there is a third option through which the necessity to choose disappears. In this case, the third option involves being able to grasp how authority in the traditional and anarchist models are, at one and the same time, both right and wrong. Consequently, he proposes a new vision of authority built on the positive aspects of the first two models while eliminating their defects. From the traditional model, we should keep the idea that the teacher has a role to play as an authority figure in the classroom, and from the anarchist model, the fact that education has to start from children’s interests. Therefore, for Dewey, authority should not be imposed or abandoned; it should instead be co-constructed through a process involving teachers and students alike. This is made possible by making the authority and moral order that structure the classroom stem from the activity in which its members are engaged. In this model, the teacher is not occupying a position above the students that authorizes him to shape them and their educational experience, but rather has to enter into relationships with them to create the project that would structure the classroom and in which all individuals are engaged. The distance between the teacher and the students then diminishes. Hence, one of the main functions of the teacher is to create spaces in which students can make decisions, express their opinions, follow their interests and engage in discussions. Authority becomes inherently more complex in this model in comparison to traditional model of authority, as in the latter the teacher is the only one directing the classroom life where in the former she enters into an ongoing process of negotiation with her students that takes multiple forms (Oyler 1996; Shor 1996; Gallas 1998). Although there are many names for this model, we have chosen for this chapter to call it the ‘shared authority’ model, emphasizing by this expression the idea that authority is something jointly created by the actors involved.

The concept of authority in P4C Defining authority in P4C is a challenging undertaking for two reasons. First, authority as such is not an explicit topic in P4C literature and, consequently, we have to extrapolate what authority entails in CPI from its theoretical literature. The second reason is that P4C is a diverse movement that has grown over the last nearly 50 years in many countries in different ways (Vansieleghem and Kennedy 2011; Välitalo et al. 2015). However, although we may see important differences among these trends inside the P4C movement, we do think that they share a common vision of authority and that their differences in that respect are more of degree than of kind. Furthermore, we contend that the practice of CPI implies a particular form of authority, without which CPI is simply not possible. Hence, among the models of authority presented in the previous section, the shared authority model is the most appropriate for understanding the phenomenon inside of P4C. The first 29

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element to notice that relates P4C to the shared authority model is that a P4C session starts and progresses from children’s interests, for example by letting students choose or at least generate their own questions for discussion. This is a way, from the beginning of a CPI, to involve students in the construction of its moral order; they are interested – or at least are expected to be interested – in the philosophical discussion because they participated in its creation and it is emerging from their interests. The discussion process is the continuation of that initial stage and is based on the same principle. Hence, in CPI the teacher is not there to tell students what to think; children are rather expected to engage in philosophy by expressing their ideas on different matters. The CPI moral order continues, by the same token, to be informed by students’ involvement. The centre of power does not reside in one individual, whether the teacher or one particular student, but is moving among all the individuals participating in the discussion (Lushyn and Kennedy 2003–4). However, the teacher is not absent in CPI as she would be in the anarchist model. The teacher is indeed intervening in all steps of the process: the teacher often proposes the text to read or the stimulus that would trigger the discussion; the teacher structures the vote; and, more significantly, the teacher intervenes throughout the course of the dialogue, the most important step of CPI, by inviting participants to use the different skills that have been identified as necessary to the progress of CPI, which are usually divided into three categories of skills, namely the critical, the creative and the social ( Lipman 2003; Gregory 2008). For instance, the teacher in a P4C session may ask students to give a reason to support their opinion, to evaluate the validity of the reasons advanced, to imagine an example or a counter example for a claim, or to build on each other’s ideas. She may also use a discussion plan or an activity to explore a topic or to lead students to practise certain skills. Thus the teacher has a role to play, in contrast to the radical form of the anarchist model of authority, but she is not the one in charge of shaping the entirety of students’ educational experience. The teacher’s authority position is rather imbued with a certain complexity. The teacher starts the CPI with the idea that students should direct the discussion and intervene in that sense. However, as the inquiry emerges and progresses from its connections to students’ interests, the teacher’s authority is not so much imposed as it is part of the process of inquiry, as required by the activity. The authority of the teacher therefore comes from the fact that she is the servant of the procedure of inquiry to which everyone involved in the CPI can relate. The teacher is also the educator regarding that procedure, as the teacher aims that the students learn the skills embedded in the nature and stages of the procedure of inquiry as understood in P4C. We can thus talk of the procedural authority of the teacher inside CPI, as having to ‘be pedagogically strong but philosophically self-effacing’ (Gregory 2008). Splitter and Sharp emphasize and develop this point by stating that the teacher should be ‘a model of the tools and procedures of inquiry and what might be called scholarly ignorance, that is, the self-conscious display of genuine curiosity and puzzlement rather than a sense of always being “right”’ (1995: 140). This procedural authority of the teacher in CPI is also related to a certain subject, for CPI is not in fact an inquiry into just any sort of matter, but rather into matters of a philosophical nature. In its content and practice, philosophy, at least as it is understood in P4C, is based on a peculiar relationship to authority because it values uncertainty and fallibility. Since philosophical concepts are irremediably open to discussion, it is impossible to reach a final answer on the subjects discussed (Castoriadis 1991; Hadot 2002; Gregory 2008). This idea is transmitted in P4C through the notion that philosophical concepts are by nature contestable; we may reach some temporary agreement on them, but they may be reopened to inquiry with time or on the basis of new arguments or evidence (Lipman 2003). The prerequisite of CPI is that the subject of 30

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discussion is open to inquiry. Neither teacher nor student can ever claim to have the ‘ultimate’ or ‘complete’ answer and therefore neither can hold authority in such a way. Consequently, the procedural authority of the teacher is not only bound to the format of the community of inquiry, but also to its content (philosophy), which must not be closed authoritatively. The teacher’s authority in P4C is finally working toward a goal: its own disappearance. Hence, P4C theorists (Sharp 1993) have argued that with time the teacher would have a diminishing role in structuring discussions as students would internalize the skills and norms necessary to the inquiry. In that ideal CPI, the community of students would be in charge of CPI, and authority would then be shared among a community of peers. The teacher would at that point be another co-participant in the inquiry, not someone of a special nature, status and function. This model of shared authority, which we claim is the most appropriate to understanding how authority functions inside P4C, is symbolically represented in the way that the teacher is usually presented in that pedagogy, that is, as a facilitator (Gregory 2008). This term to designate the teacher points toward a shift in its function: the facilitator is not a traditional teacher who is a master over her students, nor does she disappear in the process. The facilitator represents a change of perspective in regard to teacher’s authority, which can only be understood by linking it to the idea of shared authority. Our claim is that the model of shared authority is the most useful way to consider authority in CPI, in the sense that most theorists situate authority – consciously or otherwise – in a process of co-construction involving teacher and students. Some may be seeing the role of the teacher as more important than others, but they will still be in the framework of shared authority, as this framework is required by CPI as it was developed inside the P4C movement.

Conclusion: how the model of shared authority helps make sense of our own authority inside CPI In this chapter, we have first shown the meaning of authority and the main models linked to it in education. We have made the claim that the model of shared authority provides the most appropriate way to consider authority within P4C pedagogy and we have presented the different ways it is found therein. There are three points that we would like to underline in conclusion, which we hope will be helpful for practitioners who try to make sense of their authority within CPI. First, the idea of shared authority is naturally a complex phenomenon. It implies that as teachers, as facilitators, we must be conscious of what we want to bring into P4C sessions, of our own role in shaping and structuring the discussion, and at the same time of creating spaces in which students can influence and direct the discussion. There is no simple solution or formula showing how to balance these two sides of shared authority, which are more likely to be in a relationship of tension. In short, we propose that the teacher in CPI not only acknowledges but also accepts the paradoxical nature of the role rather than sees it as something to overcome, and that the teacher embraces the position of always having to walk or negotiate the thin line between leading the inquiry and asking students to lead it. This aspect is for facilitators a source of ongoing reflection and a reminder to stay alert and avoid complacency. If teachers in general should always envision their authority as being impossible to realize but not to be abandoned (Tubbs 2005), this is even more necessary in a pedagogy such as the proposed P4C pedagogy built on the idea that authority should be deliberately shared by teachers and students. Secondly, it should be noticed that this chapter has been a theoretical presentation of what authority should be in P4C as it appears in the theoretical literature of this movement and, therefore, the presentation does not tell us how authority works in reality in P4C sessions. 31

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This may be an ideal model toward which we should strive, a model that gives meaning to our own actions in such a setting, but, given its nature, this ideal will be realized only to a lesser or greater extent in the situations we encounter. Furthermore, the models of authority we rejected as inappropriate for considering authority within CPI, which we have called the traditional and anarchist models, are more likely to be encountered in real P4C sessions. On the one hand, in the first instance, the teacher does not usually ask students if they want to do P4C, but directs them to do it for a certain period of time. Hence we already have two elements that are not open to negotiation and can be seen as more in line with the traditional model of authority. On the other hand, the anarchist model can be seen in the fact that there are more likely different kinds of agenda at play inside a P4C session, as there are inside a classroom (see the excellent work on this subject by Karren Gallas 1998). In other words, students’ participation in P4C is not solely driven by their desire to make the inquiry move forward, but may encompass different kinds of interests that may enter into conflict with the official project.3 There are many reasons to contend that P4C is a pedagogy fostering democratic education in classrooms and schools (Biesta 2011; Gregory 2011; Michaud 2013). However, and this is the main point of the chapter, enabling the creation of such a democratic space requires a certain form of authority within it, namely the shared authority model. This theoretical model is by its very nature fundamentally limited and complex, and is even more so due to the context in which it would unfold. Our hypothesis is that by being aware of the nature of authority in CPI, of its complexity and limitations, P4C practitioners would be better equipped to navigate the particular democratic space that P4C can bring to education.

Notes 1 We will mainly refer to Dewey’s idea of traditional education, but it could also refer to the idea of ‘banking education’ proposed by Paolo Freire (1970). 2 We have presented one reading of Plato and Rousseau, but the philosophy of education of these two authors and the kind of authority linked to them is much more complex than we have outlined here. However, this a reading of them that has been often made (Rosenow 1993; Tubbs 2005; Michaud 2012). 3 Here we can only refer to the qualitative study by Olivier Michaud (2013).

References Arendt, H. (1961a). Crisis in Education. In Between Past and Future. New York: Penguin Books. Arendt, H. (1961b). What Is Authority? In Between Past and Future. New York: Penguin Books. Biesta, G. (2011). Philosophy, Exposure, and Children: How to Resist the Instrumentalisation of Philosophy of Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45: 305–19. Castoriadis, C. (1991). Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy: Essays in Political Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience & Education. New York: Touchstone. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum. Gallas, K. (1998). ‘Sometimes I Can Be Anything’: Power, Gender and Identity in a Primary Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press. Gregory, M. (2004). Practicing Democracy: Social Intelligence and Philosophical Practice. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 18: 161–74. Gregory, M. (2008). Philosophy for Children: Practitioner Handbook. Upper Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Gregory, M. (2011). Philosophy for Children and Its Critics: A Mendham Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45: 199–219. Hadot, P. (2002). What Is Ancient Philosophy? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


Authority, democracy and philosophy Hurn, C. (1985). Changes in Authority Relationships in Schools: 1960–1980. Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization 5: 31–57. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lushyn, P. and Kennedy, D. (2003–4). Power, Manipulation and Control in a Community of Inquiry. Analytic Teaching 23: 103–10. Michaud, O. (2012). Thinking About the Nature and Role of Authority in Democratic Education with Rousseau’s Emile. Educational Theory 62: 287–304. Michaud, O. (2013). A Qualitative Study on Educational Authority, Shared Authority and the Practice of Philosophy in a Kindergarten Classroom: A Study of the Multiple Dimensions and Complexities of a Democratic Classroom. (Doctoral dissertation). Montclair State University, New Jersey. Neill, A.S. and Lamb, A. (1996). Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. Oyler, C. (1996). Making Room for Students: Sharing Teacher Authority in Room 104. New York: Teachers College Press. Pace, J.L. and Hemmings, A. (2007). Understanding Authority in Classrooms: A Review of Theory, Ideology, and Research. Review Of Educational Research 77: 4–27. Rosenow, E. (1993). Plato, Dewey, and the Problem of Teacher’s Authority. Journal of Philosophy of Education 27: 209–21. Rousseau, J.-J. (1762/1995). Émile ou de l’éducation. Paris: Éditions Gallimard. Sasseville, M. (2009). La pratique de la philosophie avec les enfants. Québec: Presses De L’université Laval. Sharp, A.M. (1993). The Community of Inquiry: Education for Democracy. In M. Lipman (Ed.), Thinking, Children and Education. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Shor, I. (1996). When Students Have Power: Negotiating Authority in a Critical Pedagogy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Splitter, L.J. and Sharp, A.M. (1995). Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Council For Educational Research. Tubbs, N. (2005). Chapter 3: The Master. Journal Of Philosophy Of Education 39: 240–57. Välitalo, R., Hannu, J. and Sutinen, A. (2015). Philosophy for Children as an Educational Practice. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35(1): 79–92. Vansieleghem, N. and Kennedy, D. (2011). What is Philosophy for Children, What is Philosophy with Children – After Matthew Lipman. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 171–82. Weber, M. (1957). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.



Children and childhood in Philosophy for Children

Introduction This section opens up enquiries on questions that emerge when childhood and philosophy come together. Is philosophy necessary or beneficial as an educational preparation for citizenship and political life? Should politics be kept out of childhood? What is the cost of using philosophy for educational ends? And what is the relationship between developmental and cognitive psychology and philosophy of childhood? As the name of Lena Green’s chapter ‘Philosophy for children and developmental psychology: A historical review’ suggests, her chapter tracks changes in developmental psychologists’ understanding of cognitive development over the past 60 years and illustrates how these changes are salient for P4C. For Green, Piaget’s positive contributions to educational practices include seeing children as active meaning makers, who learn by interacting with their physical and social environments, and are respectfully listened to. Drawing on Lipman’s use of Vygotsky, Green positions the P4C adult:child relationship as one where the ‘more knowledgeable other’ mediates and models the process of philosophical enquiry. Her chapter also indicates philosophical critiques of the very notion of developmentalism as a deficit discourse which positions children as lacking skills or knowledge. A popular argument in P4C is that the combination of education and philosophy is the best preparation for children’s political participation, but does this not also imply that the child is formed by the adult, in order to remedy a lack? This tension is explored by Walter Kohan and David Kennedy in their chapter ‘Childhood, education and philosophy: A matter of time’, which provokes us to think differently about child and childhood and beyond deficit models, taking the philosophy of childhood into new directions. They acknowledge their indebtedness to Matthew Lipman’s and Gareth Matthews’ revolutionary role in establishing philosophy of childhood as a distinct field of academic enquiry, but are critical of the developmental view of childhood extant in that field, which presupposes a particular concept of time and a reductionist notion of potentiality. Drawing on philosophers Agamben, Lyotard and Deleuze, Kohan and Kennedy argue that education should not form childhood, but nurture and restore the experience of childhood itself. The chapter by Stanley and Lyle could be seen as an exemplification of Kohan and Kennedy’s argument that time spent at school should be freed from adult temporality (khronos) 35

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and instead exemplify childhood as ‘a dimension of lived experience’ (aion). In ‘Philosophical play in the early years classroom’, Stanley and Lyle show, through extracts from teacher diaries of children’s (aged 3–5) philosophical wonderings, how the P4C practitioner can bring philosophy to the early years classroom. They do this through observation and philosophical listening to children’s stories – the ones they create when they are engaged in play. Their proposal is to integrate ‘philosophy by children’ in mainstream everyday early-years teaching. Such integration provokes a rethinking of the relationship between question and answer, the epistemic and pedagogical role of the teacher and how concepts work in communities of inquiry (a ‘doing’ of concepts).



Introduction In this chapter I review major trends in cognitive developmental psychology over the past 60 years and trace some of the ways in which specific theories either obstruct or support Philosophy for Children as a practice in schools. The chapter refers only briefly to the serious concerns about the entire enterprise of developmental psychology expressed by some philosophers working within the tradition of Philosophy for Children and some critical theorists (including developmental psychologists). Despite the importance of such concerns they are not the central focus of this chapter. Its aim is to highlight the understandings of intellectual development likely to be found among curriculum developers and teachers and to draw attention to the ways in which these are, in certain respects, increasingly consistent with the educational practices embedded in Philosophy for Children. Matthew Lipman, a philosopher, concluded in the late 1960s that human society might be improved if education were radically restructured in a way that would make children become ‘ . . . more reasonable and more capable of exercising good judgement . . . ’ (Lipman 2008: 107). He proposed an approach and a pedagogy very different from what was happening at that time in most western classrooms. Until the mid-twentieth century, education in schools was guided primarily by behaviourist learning theory. Children were perceived as ‘empty vessels’ to be filled with knowledge by the teacher. The latter’s task was to establish reliable connections between the stimuli she provided and certain desirable student responses. Student learning was understood to be controlled and shaped by the teacher through repetition and systematic positive reinforcement. This view of education is still current in many schools worldwide and tends to be reinforced by an overemphasis on quantitative measurement in the evaluation of teacher and learner competence. When Lipman published his ideas in the early 1970s the constructivist developmental theory of the French psychologist Jean Piaget had begun to influence education and was to gain popularity in the succeeding decade. By the late 1970s Piagetian theory was well established in education, as evidenced by texts such as Elkind (1976). Piaget claimed that the development of human reasoning took place through active involvement in the construction of 37

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one’s own knowledge but had little interest in the possible educational implications of his theory. His ideas, several of which continue to inform education, were introduced to teachers by various authors who perceived their educational relevance. Children were to be thought of as agents in the process of their own development. The teacher’s role was no longer to stamp in knowledge, but to provide a suitably challenging learning environment likely to elicit developmental growth. The nature of students’ thinking, and the demands that could be placed on it at different ages, were defined somewhat rigidly according to the sequence of stages in the development of reasoning outlined by Piaget, and considered by him to be innate. Lipman, like Piaget, had no formal background in education. Like Piaget, his starting point was the observation of his own children. The two men’s intentions were, however, very different. Piaget wanted to create a theory to explain the development of logico-mathematical reasoning in the human species. Lipman wanted to create a practice that would be capable of changing human thinking and behaviour. His ideas about education were influenced by Charles Peirce’s description of a community of scientific enquiry and by the work of the philosopher John Dewey, who argued for enquiry as the kind of education appropriate to the development of a democratic community (Cam 2011). Lipman’s bold proposal was that philosophy be introduced as a regular practice in classrooms from the first years of elementary school onwards. In order for that to be possible, he and his colleague Ann Margaret Sharp (1995; Splitter and Sharp 1995) developed a pedagogy and materials (the Philosophy for Children programme) designed to enable teachers in ordinary classrooms to engage their pupils in philosophical enquiry (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980; Lipman 1988, 2009). Lipman’s first text, Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery, was written in 1969 and piloted in schools in 1970. Lipman was well aware that his proposal challenged Piaget’s (1959, 1971) contention that young children were not capable of reasoning about abstract concepts. His fellow philosopher, Gareth Matthews, who was at that time studying the content of young children’s talk, found many examples of philosophical thinking that contradicted Piaget’s view and his philosophical critique of Piaget, referred to below in greater detail, continued for many years. Not surprisingly, in the 1970s and 1980s many teachers and education specialists well versed in Piagetian theory disagreed with Lipman’s ideas, and many philosophers who agreed with Lipman came to perceive developmental psychology, and Piaget in particular, as the enemy. As a result it is often overlooked that some of Piaget’s insights about the development of human reasoning support the practices that Lipman and his colleagues recommend and that significant changes in cognitive developmental theory over the years suggest some possible convergences. Resistance to philosophical enquiry in schools is multi-determined. Piagetian assumptions in education undoubtedly play a role, particularly, although not only, in the field of early childhood education, where curricula based on stage theory are well entrenched. However, we should not overlook reasons such as misunderstandings of the nature of theory, over-enthusiastic interpretations of Piaget’s work, perceived threats to teachers’ professional identities, rigid curricula and the slow pace of educational change.

Philosophy for Children and Piaget’s developmental theory Piaget’s stage theory clearly contributed to educators’ distrust of Philosophy for Children and Gareth Matthews was active in challenging it. He examined Piaget’s early model of the development of children’s concepts, arguing that both the conceptual model and the empirical evidence were unconvincing (Matthews 1985). He subsequently questioned Piaget’s notion of child animism and analysed in detail the Piagetian model of moral development described by Kohlberg (1984), making the point that it addresses only one of the several dimension of moral 38

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development (Matthews 1987). Some years later he expanded his previous arguments and added a fifth dimension to his own account of moral development, namely, ‘moral imagination’. Moral imagination is likely to develop with experience of the world but it can also become dulled. The simplicity and directness of children’s naïve sympathies and moral questions, he claimed, can be a valuable means of moving adults to moral action, and their potential for fresh and inventive thinking may add a new dimension to philosophical ideas (Matthews 1994). Matthews became increasing critical of the conception of childhood inherent in Piagetian theory. Piaget assumes a natural developmental progression towards a desirable form of maturity, namely adulthood. Children’s cognitive and moral abilities are, therefore, perceived to be not only different from those of adults, but also more ‘primitive’ with no value except as a stage on the way to adulthood. Matthews had argued in 1987 that Piagetian-style theories of cognitive and moral development encourage adults to think of children as inferior thinkers and moral agents, to be treated with condescension. He believed it to be detrimental to the wellbeing of both children and adults when adults distance themselves from children, and from their own childhood selves, and argued for a climate of respect for children based on a genuine belief that they may have valuable insights to offer adults. This implies taking seriously their questions and comments. In a 2009 publication he deplored the prevalent ‘deficit conception of childhood’ and expressed a concern that developmental psychology had become so influential in Western culture that parents and teachers tended to distrust their own judgement in favour of the perceived normative prescriptions of developmental theory. Matthews (2009: 166) became convinced that ‘Philosophical thinking in children cannot be shoehorned into any Piagetian style developmental scheme’. Subsequently philosophers such as Kennedy (2006, 2013) and Murris (2000, 2016) have continued this conversation. The former has explored the philosophy of childhood and recommends educational practice based on dialogue and collaboration between children and adults in order to activate the transformative possibilities of such interactions. The latter has built on Matthews’ ideas about imagination by suggesting that imagination is an important aspect of thinking neglected by Piaget, who chose to focus only on logical reasoning. She has extended the critique of Piagetian stage theory by highlighting the broader critique of developmental psychology offered by critical theorists such as Burman (2008) and Dahlberg and Moss (2005), who attempt to deconstruct the historical and political underpinnings of developmental theory and point to possible alternatives. Burman (2008: 10) claims that the discourses constructed by developmental psychology, now powerful in education and society, have resulted in the ‘the globalisation of specific, culturally privileged understandings’ of human beings. She recommends analysis of the historical and current reasons for their dominance in order to understand what she refers to as developmental psychology’s ‘collusion in the organised amorality of contemporary life’ (2008: 3) and questions the motivation for privileging objectivity over the changeable and ambiguous issues involved in raising and caring for children. The work of Dahlberg and Moss (2005) is centred on early childhood education but claims to have relevance for education at all levels. They too question the dominant educational discourse based on developmental psychology, which is assumed to represent universal ‘scientific’ truths about human development. Like Burman (2008), they are concerned about its potential for structural domination, oppression and injustice. Other possible discourses, they maintain, should be considered, asking, for example, ‘What would it mean if pedagogical practice was to embody the ethics of an encounter, treating the Alterity of the Other with respect, rather than making the Other into the Same’ (Dahlberg and Moss 2004: viii). 39

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Piaget’s stage theory was not only a concern for philosophers. For many psychologists, the reality of Piaget’s stages was always in question. Well known examples related to early childhood are Bruner (1966) and Donaldson (1978) and there have been several others. Flavell (1977: 115) wrote that ‘the higher the Piagetian stage, the less inevitable its full attainment by normal individuals across all human environments . . . ’; Gage and Berliner (1988: 120) claimed that ‘Only a small percentage of the general population appears to have formal operational abilities as Piaget defined them’. The notion of invariant age-related developmental stages determined by human biology is now generally rejected in psychology. Since the 1990s, if not before, it is the aspect of Piaget’s theory that is considered the least valuable by most psychologists. With regard to younger children, Meadows (1993: 29–30) writes that: ‘It seems likely that . . . the difference between younger and older children will turn out to be that the former can do what the latter can; but only sometimes, only under favourable conditions, only with help, only without distractions, only up to a point, without so much efficiency, without so much self-control, without so much awareness of the implications, without so much certainty . . . ’. As a science, psychology can do no more than offer provisional theories and attempt to verify them by observation and experimentation. If new evidence emerges, scientists are obliged to rethink theory, as has happened in the past in various disciplines. Most cognitive developmental psychologists accept the evidence that disproves Piaget’s stage theory while acknowledging the value of many of his insights. Despite the fact that stage theory has been discredited by theorists and researchers, its influence in and beyond education continues and the more general criticisms of the uses of developmental psychology mentioned earlier remain relevant. The critique of developmental psychology in general should not, however, obscure the fact that Piaget made a significant contribution to our understanding of children and their thinking. He was the first psychologist to listen to children, although his interpretations of what they said can be questioned. A key positive change in education, attributable to Piaget’s theory, supports Lipman’s practice. The now taken for granted importance of ‘discovery learning’ is a direct consequence of Piaget’s argument that the active engagement (both physical and mental) of the human organism is essential for the development of what Piaget chose to label ‘intelligence’. Individuals have to be actively engaged in constructing meaning if they are to acquire understanding and become more effective thinkers. Both Piaget and Lipman offered an attractive alternative to behaviourist learning theory. Each emphasized a conception of children as active meaning makers rather than passive recipients of knowledge imparted by teachers. Piaget believed that individuals’ active engagement with the cognitive challenges presented by the physical and social world was the precondition for the development of human reasoning. Lipman argued that children should be equipped with the confidence and the thinking and reasoning ‘moves’ to be able to form and defend their own opinions. An important implication of both positions is that children and young people need many experiences of meaningful interaction with their physical and social environments, including opportunities to speak and to be respectfully heard. This might now seem obvious, but it was a new and exciting idea in the early 1970s. Although Piaget emphasized individual rather than collective meaning making, he did not discount the role of others. He wrote that ‘social interaction and transmission’ were essential, although not sufficient, to explain development (Piaget and Inhelder 1969: 156). Donaldson (1978: 141), an author who rejected Piaget’s stage theory, acknowledged that ‘Piaget recognizes the importance of the exchange of ideas for the development of thought – and in particular for strengthening the awareness of the existence of other points of view’. The importance of active engagement is now a given of educational theory, although not necessarily always observed in classrooms. Thinking for oneself (through thinking with others) in the classroom is an important goal of Philosophy for Children. 40

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In Lipman’s classroom community of enquiry personal experience is valued and dissonance, aroused in different ways, is an important element. Piaget’s assumption of an innate need to construct meaning through equilibration is one way of understanding why human beings ask questions, express puzzlement and find ways to reduce ambiguity. His concept of equilibration is close to that of Peirce (1877), who defined enquiry as the attempt to escape from genuine ‘doubt’, which is experienced as a troubling sense of disequilibrium, and arrive at a state of new ‘belief’, which restores equilibrium. This notion of enquiry was central to Peirce’s conception of the community of enquiry in science, and to Dewey’s conception of enquiry-based pedagogy, both of which Lipman and Sharp incorporated into their model of the classroom community of philosophical enquiry. Piaget’s metaphor for human thinking processes can be helpful as a way of analysing what happens during a classroom philosophical dialogue. Each participant constructs and reconstructs, with the collaboration of others, her personal schemas of understanding and justification. A classroom community of enquiry dialogue, according to Lipman, is not a group seeking consensus, but a context in which individuals can construct what makes sense to them personally, using shared criteria that develop over time. Conceptual schemas about both issues and process develop and change as different perspectives are raised. The tertiary students who said, after a dialogue about respect, ‘it’s not so simple, not so black and white for me’ and ‘I thought it’s quite plain but it’s not’ illustrate schemas in transition (Green and Condy 2013). Piaget also identified a number of thinking processes that he considered basic, such as comparing, classifying and sequencing, which are clearly important for an understanding of number. These thinking processes are increasingly recognized as typically human mechanisms for processing and organizing information so that it becomes more manageable and understandable. There may be an infinite number of possible human thinking moves but it may nevertheless be the case that many of them depend on well-developed basic thinking processes.

Philosophy for Children and Vygotsky’s developmental theory Vygotsky (1962, 1978) proposed an explanation of intellectual development which is more supportive than that of Piaget of the practices Lipman, Sharp and several of their colleagues took very seriously considered central to education. Although Lipman would be unlikely to agree with Vygotsky’s socio-historical account of the direction of human development, he was well aware of many points of connection and perceived ways of aligning Vygotskian theory and community of enquiry pedagogy (Lipman 1991a, 1991b). Theorists of education have, since the 1980s, looked increasingly to Vygotsky for an understanding of how thinking develops and how it can be facilitated in classrooms. The reasoning processes that Piaget claimed were innate are considered by Vygotsky to be socio-culturally constructed. Human beings, he says, possess innate ‘lower mental processes’, such as attention, perception memory and simple reasoning. Higher order reasoning and abstraction, however, are ‘higher mental processes’ that have been created by human communities in order to extend their genetically determined mental abilities. These ‘psychological tools’ have been constructed in language within social contexts and are appropriated by each new generation through a process of social mediation. All higher mental processes (psychological tools), according to Vygotsky, develop within social relations. Logical argumentation, for example, is said to appear first in children’s conversations and is only later internalized as a conversation within the individual mind of one child. Appropriation involves both the acquisition and the possible modification of previous generations’ cognitive accomplishments. For Vygotsky, cognitive development is not only an initiation 41

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into an existing culture of thinking but also a process by which thinking itself is reconceptualised. Key insights from Vygotsky that are currently valued in western education are the importance of social interaction and mediation, the importance of oral language, the learned nature of thinking and reasoning and the existence of a ‘zone of proximal development’. Philosophy for Children thinkers and practitioners have incorporated and developed several practices that are consistent with Vygotsky’s views. Philosophy for Children writings often emphasize the collaborative and intersubjective construction of meaning. If, as Vygotsky said, thinking abilities are acquired as internalizations of what were originally social interactions between people, then the quality of social interactions which a child experiences will determine the form of the internal mental conversation of which she is capable. The community of enquiry is a model of democratic and respectful human interaction. The classroom envisaged in Philosophy for Children is a context of social mediation in which adults and children share perspectives and evaluate them in terms of their reasonableness. By providing structure it improves on the ubiquitous but vaguely defined ‘group work’ that has been one of education’s responses to Vygotsky’s ideas. Furthermore, the community of enquiry is an ideal context in which to explore creatively what it means to think. Participants learn from a ‘more knowledgeable other’ (the facilitator or a peer member of the community) how to ‘talk like philosophers’. They experience an apprenticeship in thinking as they are helped to discover through dialogic enquiry how language can help them think more reasonably. Although it is claimed that there are no experts in philosophy and that the facilitator or teacher is part of the community and as likely as anyone else to be perplexed, there is also an intention on the part of the facilitator. Her aim is to equip participants with what Gregory (2002: 11) calls ‘the standard tropes of good thinking’, which have been socially constructed by previous communities. The facilitator is there to provide, model and nurture the thinking tools valued by a particular culture. Vygotskians would agree with those philosophers who claim that there are no experts with regard to the meanings generated in philosophy. They would, however, maintain that philosophy itself is a socially constructed linguistic resource that enables a different form of thinking and they would acknowledge philosophers as ‘more knowledgeable others’ in this respect. The notion of a ‘natural philosopher’ would be unacceptable without a different explanation of what it means to be a philosopher. The facilitator of a philosophical enquiry may not be an expert regarding the content of the dialogue, but would be considered the ‘more knowledgeable other’ who mediates and models the process of philosophical enquiry. The facilitator functions in what Vygotsky called the ‘zone of proximal development’ (ZPD), the ‘space’ where children can do with help what they cannot yet do alone; this, of course, will not be the same for each individual. Vygotsky maintained that children learn words and concepts by using them in social interaction before they are fully understood. He called these initial understandings ‘pseudo-concepts’ and argued that it was the task of education to connect the personal everyday concepts acquired in the course of daily living with the broader and more general meanings commonly agreed by the adult community. Vygotsky seems to suggest that the process of connecting the personal and the general enables greater cognitive flexibility. This aspect of his theory is clearly inconsistent with the theory and practice of Philosophy for Children, which emphasizes problematizing rather than fixing and consolidating concepts. Newman and Holzman (1993), however, maintain that the creation and re-creation of meaning in social contexts is central to Vygotsky’s approach. A philosophical enquiry might involve both problematising and reconstructing concepts. Another claim made by Vygotsky might not be typical of most P4C communities. Children, he said, need to acquire culturally constructed devices and strategies to enhance the basic 42

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processes of attention, perception and memory. For the most part philosophical enquiries assume that these are well established and focus on higher order thinking and reasoning.

Philosophy for Children and Feuerstein’s theory of intellectual development Although Vygotsky emphasized the importance of socio-cultural mediation, he did not explain the type of context most likely to facilitate the acquisition of desirable cognitive attributes. The Israeli psychologist, Reuven Feuerstein and his colleagues (Feuerstein, Klein and Tannenbaum, 1991) explored this aspect of mediation in detail. Like Vygotsky, Feuerstein believed that children acquire ‘intelligence’ by means of social and cultural mediation. He went further and argued that ‘intelligence’ could be enhanced at any age if an individual was provided with what he called ‘mediated learning experience’ (MLE). In a mediated learning experience the mediator intervenes so that the learner does not just acquire new information but learns something about how to think, reason and learn. It is worth noticing how his criteria for successful MLE compare with the characteristics of a classroom philosophical dialogue as recommended by Lipman. The three essential criteria, according to Feuerstein and Feuerstein (1991) and Feuerstein, Feuerstein and Falik (2010), are intentionality and reciprocity; meaning; and transcendence. The mediator has a definite intention to act in a way that will change the child. Although there is a sense in which the teacher/mediator is the expert, the child and the mediator are engaged together in an encounter that is likely to change the mediator’s understanding of how the child learns, in the way that any teacher’s understanding can be changed by experiences with children. Philosophy for Children, too (despite its name), intends to change people of all ages, not with regard to what they think but definitely with regard to how they think, and the reciprocal quality of the community is considered essential. Both the facilitator and the participants will be changed by the encounter. When Feuerstein and his colleagues speak of transcendence, or bridging, they refer to active efforts by the mediator to draw attention to how learning from the current experience can be applied in other spatial or temporal contexts. For example, the mediator might say, ‘You found it helpful when thinking about this problem to be very careful to be accurate, or to sort your ideas into groups, or to consider the consequences of different answers. Can you think of other times when this might be helpful to you?’ Lipman and his colleagues would undoubtedly want participants in an enquiry to apply their thinking to everyday life, although they might not favour such a didactic approach. In Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery (1974), for example, Harry discovers something about the use of ‘all’ and ‘some’ and applies his new insight to a remark made by a neighbour. Feuerstein would label the text a mediational tool but would emphasize the need for intentional explicit bridging to everyday life by the facilitator. Feuerstein’s other criteria for MLE, not all of which are necessarily present in all situations, include: the generation of feelings of competence and optimism, the encouragement of selfregulation, goal setting and sharing, the recognition of individual differences and perspectives, the creation of a sense of belonging, and of being a modifiable entity capable of enjoying and responding to challenge. In the best of enquiry dialogues, most of these criteria would be met, although the facilitator might not frame her behaviour in this way. The mediated learning experiences that Feuerstein advocates focus on developing awareness of the process of thinking and learning (metacognition) and on the ability to select appropriate cognitive tools to accomplish a particular task. MLE is usually a more directed intervention than a philosophical enquiry, but a philosophical enquiry may often represent a form of MLE if the community of enquiry itself is understood as a context in which individuals mediate to each other. 43

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Feuerstein’s original work was with children who struggled to learn in school and to interpret and respond to their environments appropriately. His initial focus was on the basic cognitive skills that tend to be taken for granted in a community of enquiry, although he has also paid attention to higher order thinking such as hypothesizing. Lipman (1991: 15) refers to Vygotsky’s emphasis on metacognition and comments that for psychologists, this means awareness of the causes and motives behind a particular belief, while philosophers would ‘stress the components of such activity’ (Lipman 1991: 15). Feuerstein’s work disproves this distinction. His thinking tools address the components of thinking from the most basic (such as attention) to higher order mental activities (such as hypothesizing and inferencing).

Conclusion This chapter has shown how psychologists’ theories of intellectual development have over time become more supportive of the educational practices that Lipman, and others in the Philosophy for Children movement, endorse. Nevertheless the conservatism and hierarchical structure of most educational institutions do not lend themselves to the democratic practices central to Philosophy for Children. What happens in schools is influenced by many factors besides the theories of developmental psychologists and philosophers. An exploration of areas in which the practice of Philosophy for Children can be shown to be consistent with certain historical and more recent aspects of cognitive developmental theory can be a means to engage with teachers’ existing schemas and begin to disrupt their understanding of their profession and of the children they teach.

References Bruner, J.S. (1966). Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Burman, E. (2008). Deconstructing Developmental Psychology. London: Routledge. Cam, P. (2011). Pragmatism and the Community of Inquiry. Childhood and Philosophy: Special Issue 7: 156–68. Dahlberg, G. and Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and Politics in Early Childhood Education and Care. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Donaldson, M. (1978). Children’s Minds. London: Fontana Paperbacks. Elkind, D. (1976). Child Development and Education: A Piagetian Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Feuerstein, R. and Feuerstein, S. (1991). Mediated Learning Experience: A Theoretical Review. In R. Feuerstein, P.S. Klein and A.J. Tannenbaum (Eds), Mediated Learning Experience: Theoretical, Psychosocial and Learning Implications (pp. 3–51). London: Freund. Feuerstein, R., Feuerstein, R.S. and Falik, L.H. (2010). Beyond Smarter: Mediated Learning and the Brain’s Capacity for Change. New York: Teachers College Press. Feuerstein, R., Klein, P.S. and Tannenbaum, A.J. (Eds) (1991). Mediated Learning Experience: Theoretical, Psycho-social and Learning Implications. London: Freund. Flavell, J.H. (1977). Cognitive Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Gage, N.L. and Berliner, D.C. (1988). Educational Psychology (4th edition). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Green, L. and Condy, J. (2013). Nurturing Philosophical Enquiry Among Prospective Teachers: Cognitive, Professional and Personal Gains. IACESA conference paper, Cape Town. Gregory, M. (2002). Are Children and Philosophy Good for Each Other? Thinking 16(1): 9–12. Kennedy, D. (2006). The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity and Education. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Kennedy, D. (2013). Practising philosophy of childhood: Teaching in the Revolutionary mode. Journal of Philosophy of Schools 2(1): 4–7. Kohlberg, L. (1984). The Psychology of Moral Development. New York: Harper & Row. Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.


P4C and developmental psychology Lipman, M. (1991a). Rediscovering the Vygotsky Trail. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 7(2): 14–16. Lipman, M. (1991b). Squaring Soviet Pedagogical Theory with American Practice. Educational Digest 57(2): 3–6. Lipman, M. (2008). A Life Teaching Thinking. Montclair, NJ: IAPC. Lipman, M. (2009). Philosophy for Children: Some Assumptions and Implications. In E. Marsal, T. Dobashi, and B. Weber (Eds), Children Philosophize Worldwide (pp. 23–43). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.M. and Oscanyan, F.S. (1980). Philosophy in the Classroom. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Matthews, G.B. (1985). The Idea of Conceptual Development in Piaget. Synthese 65: 87–97. Matthews, G.B. (1987). Concept Formation and Moral Development. In J. Russell (Ed.), Philosophical Perspectives on Developmental Psychology. Oxford: Blackwell. Matthews, G.B. (1994). The Philosophy of Childhood. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Matthews, G.B. (2009). Philosophy and Developmental Psychology: Outgrowing the Deficit Conception of Childhood. In H. Siegel (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Meadows, S. (1993). The Child as Thinker. London: Routledge. Murris, K. (2000). Can Children do Philosophy? Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(2): 261–76. Murris, K. (2016). The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picture Books. London: Routledge. Newman, F. and Holzman, L. (1993). Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist. London: Routledge. Peirce, C.S. (1877). The Fixation of Belief. In J. Buchler (Ed.) (1955) Philosophical Writings of Peirce (pp. 5–22). New York: Dover Publications. Piaget, J. (1959). The Language and Thought of the Child (3rd edition). London: Routledge. Piaget, J. (1971). The Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child. London: Longman. Piaget, J. and Inhelder, B. (1969). The Psychology of the Child. New York: Basic Books. Sharp, A.M. (1995). Philosophy for Children and the Development of Ethical Values. Early Childhood Development and Care 107: 45–55. Splitter, L. and Sharp, A.M. (1995). Teaching for Better Thinking. Melbourne, Australia: ACER. Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


6 CHILDHOOD, EDUCATION AND PHILOSOPHY A matter of time David Kennedy and Walter Omar Kohan

The main purpose of this chapter is to problematize the concept of childhood that underlies traditional philosophical approaches to childhood education. We describe some contemporary approaches to childhood that focus on the lived experience of language and time, and that encourage us to move beyond the conventional model of formation to an educational theory and practice sensitive to the affirmative voices of infancy. Finally, we argue that the communal and dialogical experience of community of philosophical inquiry that is the hallmark of Philosophy for Children opens a way for that movement.

Two beginnings for childhood At the start of one of his first books, the originator of Philosophy for Children (P4C), Matthew Lipman (1988: 3) refers to a passage in Plato’s Gorgias in which Callicles, he writes, ‘insinuates that philosophy is for children only, while grown-ups had better get on with the serious business of life’. Lipman uses the passage to defend his programme, and as such re-vindicates Callicles in the face of subsequent critics of Plato, who argued that he was wrong, and that philosophy is for adults only. Even though Lipman does not quote the passage explicitly or whole, it might be interesting to remember it as we explore the particular relationship between childhood, philosophy and education that P4C, in its very formulation, brings into being. It is a fine thing to partake of philosophy just for the sake of education, and it is no disgrace for a lad to follow it: but when a man already advancing in years continues in its pursuit, the affair, Socrates, becomes ridiculous; and for my part I have much the same feeling towards students of philosophy as towards those who lisp or play tricks. For when I see a little child, to whom it is still natural to talk in that way, lisping or playing some trick, I enjoy it, and it strikes me as pretty and ingenuous and suitable to the infant’s age; whereas if I hear a small child talk distinctly, I find it a disagreeable thing, and it offends my ears and seems to me more befitting a slave. But when one hears a grown man lisp, or sees him play tricks, it strikes one as something ridiculous and unmanly, that deserves a whipping. Just the same, then, is my feeling towards the followers of philosophy. For when I see philosophy in a young lad I approve of it; 46

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I consider it suitable, and I regard him as a person of liberal mind: whereas one who does not follow it I account illiberal and never likely to expect of himself any fine or generous action. But when I see an elderly man still going on with philosophy and not getting rid of it, that is the gentleman, Socrates, whom I think in need of a whipping. For as I said just now, this person, however well endowed he may be, is bound to become unmanly through shunning the centers and marts of the city, in which, as the poet said, ‘men get them note and glory’; he must cower down and spend the rest of his days whispering in a corner with three or four lads, and never utter anything free or high or spirited. (Plato 1989: 485a–d) Callicles claims that it is beautiful to dedicate oneself to philosophy to the extent that it serves education (paideia). Not that he professes any appreciation for either philosophy or education: they can be together only because they are both, by nature, unimportant, or, at best, a preparation for what really matters: the political life of adults. In Callicles’ view, education is part of a world prior to the real world, which is the world of political life. There are no politics in childhood, nor in education and philosophy; therefore philosophy is appropriate for human life during that stage of life just as play (paizon) is, and it is even beautiful there, but it cannot last into adulthood, where play is no longer appropriate, and life takes the form of serious participation in political institutions. Anyone who dedicates himself to philosophy in adulthood becomes one who is ‘unmanned’ (an opposite or negation of a man, anandroi), mainly because he does not occupy the public place (agora) and centre of the city – the places where citizenship is realized – and spends the rest of his life ‘whispering in a corner’ with a few young people. The irony of Lipman’s use of this passage is that Callicles is in fact very far from Lipman´s vindication of children’s capacity and right to philosophize. While Callicles deprecates childhood all together, and sees education and philosophy as outside the realm of politics, for Lipman the former are in fact the best preparation for the latter. As such, Lipman’s use of Callicles is an ambivalent one: even though both would agree that children and philosophy are found together, the reasons for and senses of that agreement have nothing in common. Certainly we have no evidence of any interest on Callicles’ part in the education of children, while for Lipman the combination of childhood and philosophy is of great use for both, precisely because of its educational potential. The contribution of practising philosophical dialogue to children’s experience is multiple: not only is it a tool that fosters complex, autonomous and higher order thinking which allows children to improve their judgment (Lipman 1991: 262–3); it is also a practice of thinking in, among and about the other disciplines that enriches the meaning of the whole educational experience (Lipman 1991: 264; 1993: 148). In this sense, philosophy can be understood as an ally of democratic education, to the extent that it generates a personal and political understanding of concepts like justice, freedom, and persons – the ‘eternal’ themes of philosophy – and does so through promoting a space in the classroom for dialogical deliberation on those concepts through what he called the community of philosophical inquiry (Lipman 1991: 244ff). Given that philosophy contributes to the experience of childhood in supporting an educational practice based on values like empathy, cooperation, dialogue, inquiry, thinking and reasonableness (rationality tempered by judgment), it is a necessary element of democratic political formation. This encounter between children and philosophy also promises to have significant social repercussions in mitigating ‘the ignorance, irresponsibility and mediocrity that now prevails among adults’ (Lipman 1993b: 148). Finally, Lipman (1993b: 148) suggests that ‘to treat children as people can be a small price to pay, long term, for some more substantial social achievements’. In short, while Lipman 47

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justifies introducing philosophy into children´s education on the basis of its social and political impact, for Callicles it is precisely when the political world is entered that philosophy becomes not only unnecessary but even harmful.

Childhood: majoritarian and minoritarian views Neither Callicles nor Lipman explore or even state their assumptions about the experience of childhood itself at any great length or in any depth – its character as a form of life, a dimension of being, a style of lived experience, an epistemological standpoint, a psychobiological condition, a situation of relation, power and agency, or a capacity for growth in the sense of transformation or reconstruction.1 Nor do they come anywhere near speculating on the relationship of mutual, even formative interaction between childhood and adulthood, and the extent to which, when we say ‘adult’, we are implicitly invoking ‘child’, either as a negation, an overcoming, a compromise, a lost past or some other kind of Other. Callicles’ superficial, even vulgar characterization of children quoted above is testimony to this form of oblivion, and to the historical role of the adult:child relationship in the perpetuation of patriarchy, hierarchy and domination. We recognize Callicles’ depreciation of childhood so readily, even more than 2,400 years later, because it shares at least a broad set of assumptions about childhood that could still be characterized as the dominant view. This view has some clear characteristics: a non-reversible, sequential and consecutive concept of time and its transformations, a continuous and progressive notion of development, and a dichotomist notion of potentiality. Human life is understood as a unity divided into periods or stages, each of which has some specific features. A human being is first a foetus, then an infant, child, adolescent, teenager and so on. The movement towards adulthood ascends in various dimensions: epistemological, ethical, political. The line is seen as progressive, and childhood is considered negative (or absent, or potential) in relation to adulthood; childhood is extinguished in the adult. Although it could be argued that Lipman shared – if only implicitly – such a chronological understanding of the life cycle, his main contribution to the inquiry into childhood has been to question the widespread lack of understanding of children’s capacities that pervades mainstream education, thus opening a space for a form of education based on adult:child dialogue. That is, he could be said to have accepted the broad outlines of the dominant view, with a positive understanding of children’s potentialities, but to have pushed its margins to the breaking point. We might speculate that, schooled as he was in the academic traditions of pragmatism and analytic philosophy, and devoted as he was to the practical implementation of a specific educational project, he steered clear of the insights that psychoanalysis and phenomenology inevitably suggested, and as such lacked the language with which to explore the intersections of philosophy, childhood and education that flow from a less conventional view of children. However, the dialogical nature of his approach (which was there from the beginning), and his commitments to the controversial but paradigmatic gadfly facilitator Socrates of the early dialogues, who stressed questioning and inquiry as ways of life, and to John Dewey’s vision of the school as ‘miniature community’ and ‘embryonic society’ (1899: 15) are of no little significance. These commitments opened a space for the introduction, not just of another view of childhood, but of the school itself, not to speak of the role that philosophy might play in it, and as such are implicitly revolutionary. To associate the dominant adult view of childhood with the imposition of an adult form of temporality – khronos, or linear and irreversible time – suggests that the latter is not the one single human experience of time, or way to relate to time. The Greeks also developed the 48

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concepts of kairos and aion to characterize other forms of lived temporality (Liddell and Scott 1966). While the former expresses time as opportunity, ‘presencing’ and manifestation – ‘just the right time’ – the latter focuses on time as experience, duration, intensity, lived time and non-linear directionality (see Heraclitus 2001: fr. 52). Building on the Greek notion of aion, Friedrich Nietzsche (2003) proposed that we think time as the eternal return of the same, a circular notion. In some Andean cultures, the past is ahead because it is what we can see, the future is behind because we cannot see it, and the present descends upon us from above. If we allow for such different understandings of temporality, childhood may be understood, not as a series of stages of life but as a dimension of lived experience – specifically, the aionic – thus deconstructing the notion of growth and development as a steady, non-reversible process of extinguishing childhood. This leads to deconstructing the strict binary ‘adult/child’ as well, and to reconstructing educational discourses and the institutions over which those discourses have historically exerted hegemonic power. Three notions of childhood offered by contemporary philosophers – Jean-Francois Lyotard’s infantia, Gilles Deleuze’s becoming-child, and Giorgio Agamben’s ‘infancy’ – offer pathways for exploring new possible relationships between childhood, education and philosophy, and all of them have to do with challenging the hegemony of khronos in human experience. Deleuze’s (Deleuze and Guattari 1980) ‘becoming-child’ or ‘block of childhood’ conceives childhood as flux and intensity – a revolutionary time-space of transformation. ‘Becoming-child’ does not mean that adults should attempt to convert themselves into children, or take children as models: rather, Deleuze is referring to a non-personal, emergent ‘block’ or zone that is virtual in any human being no matter her or his age. It is a movement as much as a space, composed of ‘lines of flight’ – escape-lines that cannot be incorporated or coopted by system, which depends on fixed categories and codes. ‘Becoming child’ signifies deterritorialization – disrupted movements, changes of rhythm and velocity, segments with different roots and targets that interrupt and cut into the logic of the everyday state of affairs. Lyotard (1988a) considers infantia (literally ‘without speech’, speechless’) as the difference between what can and cannot be said, or the unsayable: something missed that inhabits, imperceptibly, the sayable as its condition – its shadow, or remainder. Understood in this way, childhood is a latent condition that is behind every word that is pronounced by any human being. Childhood, that is, passes away as infancy, but survives as infantia, that zone of ‘miserable and admirable indetermination’ (Lyotard 1988b: 11), an ‘inhuman’ that is each of us before language, before subjectivity, before gendering. Traces of this state of indetermination remain into adulthood and constitute a potential for dérèglement, for ‘undoing the instituted rules of acculturating forces’ (Lindsay 1992: 391). Childhood is that which continually interrupts the involuntary post-Enlightenment project of complexification, or progressive machine-human integration – another sort of ‘inhuman’ – by the continual launching of lines of flight towards otherness. It is an image of emancipation, of escape from psychological and philosophical colonization quite different from the emancipation of the Enlightenment dream of reason, which phantasizes the ‘secure full possession of knowledge, will, and feeling; [the ability to] to give oneself the authority of knowledge, the law of the will, and control over one’s affections . . . freed from all debt to the other; denatured . . . ’ (Lyotard 1992: 421) – which is in fact the impasse of modernity. Finally, Agamben considers childhood to be a founding condition of experience, history and language (2000). Human beings are always learning how to speak, and without the experience of childhood they would be inert nature, unmodified normality. Agamben’s ‘infancy’ is the liminal space or ‘limbo’ between experience and language, a space of indeterminacy or ‘impotentiality’, of both vulnerability and possibility (Lewis and Jasinsky 2015) – a space, 49

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finally, evoked and perennially reinscribed in human culture and experience by the being of childhood. As a space in which the sayable is always haunted by what it cannot say, it evokes, as do Deleuze’s and Lyotard’s concepts of child, Arendt’s (1958) notion of natality – of birth as the emergence of something new in the world, of a singularity. What these three conceptions have in common is that, for all of them, childhood is something that inherently constitutes human life, and therefore could never be extinguished, abandoned, forgotten or overcome. In this way, they refuse to go along with the idea of the transformation of childhood into adulthood as a primary pedagogical project and, as such, introduce the need to rethink the relation between childhood and education beyond the ideal of child-formation. In that sense, education, rather than being a process that forms childhood, might be considered as a process that fosters, nurtures, cares for or restores the experience of childhood itself – that helps us, not to forget childhood, but rather, in Lyotard’s words, to preserve infantia in infancy, or, in Deleuze’s, to encounter becoming-child in one’s own and in shared experience; or, in Agamben’s terms, to consider childhood as the very condition of the ‘impotentiality’ that guarantees our human potentiality. In this picture, education breaks free of its historical identity as formation, with all of its violent undertones – as something that adults do to children in order to make them into adults functionally suitable for economy, technology, governmentality or even spirituality – and a path is opened for reimagining that paradigmatic adult:child collective, ‘school’, which comes from the Greek word, skhole, meaning ‘free time’. More specifically, how might we think of a collective where time is freed from the domination of khronos, and where kairos, aion and other forms of time are allowed full play – a collective in which childhood is recognized as a key signifier, and where childhood is not only what is educated but also what educates? And what, finally, is the role of communal philosophical inquiry in such a collective? In addressing these questions, a few other concepts provided by Lyotard might help us to think a new politics of childhood in education. As we have seen, Lyotard (1988) distinguishes between two kinds of inhuman: (1) the inhuman of the system, which he calls ‘development’ or ‘complexification’, and which can also be called ‘capitalism’, ‘competition’, ‘the market’, ‘democracy’ and ‘progress’; and (2) the inhuman that every human soul carries from the fact of having been born from an indeterminacy and forced to abandon it. The former imposes the imperative to hurry, to not lose time, to make good use of it, to be efficient and ‘progressive’. The latter gains time through losing it, or goes after lost time, especially that initial lost time of indeterminacy, ‘infantia’ (one is reminded of Rousseau’s ‘most important rule of all education . . . do not save time but lose it’, Boyd 1956: 41). The inhuman of development, complexification and progress imposes the hegemonic idea that there is no alternative to our becoming-machine – it is assumed as an evolutionary principle. For Lyotard, politics cannot be anything but the resistance to that inhuman in the name of a memory of the other inhuman of childhood: a resistance of the soul that constantly remembers its debt to the inhuman that it was born into. ‘This debt to childhood’, he writes, ‘is one which we never pay off. But it is enough not to forget it in order to resist and perhaps, not to be unjust. It is the task of writing, thinking, literature, arts, to venture to bear witness to it’ (Lyotard 1988: 7). Given that childhood, as one form of the inhuman, inhabits every human life, the educational discourses of childhood formation cannot but represent an intrinsically unsuccessful attempt to forget or foreclose on our initial debt to indeterminacy – the inhuman from which every human being arrives in childhood and to which our actual, chronological childhood condition testifies. The political task of the different forms of human expression, including education, is to preserve and nurture that testimony.


Childhood, education and philosophy

New beginnings for philosophy Philosophy is, among other human forms of human expression, one of the closest to that indeterminacy – the more childlike form. In keeping with the etymology of the term, which includes a form of feeling (philos) as a mark of its relationship to knowledge, the philosopher is an epistemological stranger in the realm of the positive sciences. Socrates’ wisdom is perhaps the clearest testimony to this mark: he is the wisest because he is the only one among his peers who does not know, and indeed, does not believe in knowing. He is a kind of disturbing insect in the polis, a foreigner, one with no place (atopos). He has no positive knowledge other than that he needs not to know in order to feel the real need to know, and that to learn can only mean to remember – not precisely a knowledge, but most probably an epistemological condition. As such, ever since Socrates, questions predominate over answers in the practice of philosophy. The ‘school’ of philosophy for which Socrates provided the impetus through his radical epistemology of doubt and questioning is, we may say, at least partially realized in the Greek idea of skhole – of school as a site that, in its basic principle of ‘free time’ or ‘leisure’, honours the time of childhood, both in children and adults, and in honouring infancy, honours the aporia (‘without a passage’, ‘impassable’) that is also philosophy’s chief interlocutor. This principle has, since the colonization of public education by state and economy as an ideological apparatus, virtually gone underground. The practice of philosophy for/with children, focused as profoundly as it is on the question, is also a distant offspring of Socrates’ practice in the agora, and is potentially as subversive of school as a tool of governmentality as was Socrates – who was accused of ‘leading the youth astray’ – of the polis as politics as usual. In thinking a philosophical education of childhood that is not about forming children in any kind of previous set of values (even the most ‘noble’ ones like ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, ‘solidarity’ or whatever) but to provide every single child with the experience of childhood as the inhuman that inhabits our forgotten condition, skhole cannot but affirm and embody an emancipatory form of life, intrinsically dedicated as it is to the political task of resisting the inhuman of ‘development’ and complexification by simply allowing for the question at all. This ideal was nurtured by many during the emancipatory movements of the nineteenth century and after, from Simon Rodrigues, the ‘Socrates of Caracas’ – who argued tirelessly that school, as skhole or free-time, should be popular, general, for everyone, and that the excluded, the dispossessed, should be inside it as equals (Kohan 2015) – to socialist and anarchist communitarians and left-progressives from William Godwin to Paulo Freire (Kennedy 2014). Philosophy for Children – or, more specifically, the communal and dialogical experience of community of philosophical inquiry with children – in prioritizing the question, effectively ‘flips’ the conventional curriculum. The latter, in beginning with answers, assumes the questions they are answers to, and thereby effectively suppresses those questions. It is the insistence of the question, its un-timeliness, its power to interrogate, to deconstruct, to create lines of flight that deterritorialize whole zones of meaning, that challenges and subverts the grip of khronos, that opens fissures in any hegemonic world picture, and that creates a space for the reconstruction and the creation of concepts and of values. This is the ‘miserable and admirable zone of indetermination’ where the ‘block of childhood’ – or becoming-child – and philosophy betray their deep affinity; an affinity that confounded Plato’s Callicles, and which Lipman, in attempting to put it in the service of nurturing more reasonable adults, stumbled upon its power to reconstruct not just adulthood, but also education, philosophy, politics and our experience of lived time itself.


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Note 1 It should be remembered, however, that Lipman (with Gareth Matthews as contributing editor) published a double issue of Thinking in 1981, the first half of which was devoted to ‘The Philosophy of Childhood’ and ‘The Experience of Childhood’. Lipman’s and Matthews’ papers in this issue were first presented in December 1980 at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Matthews’ influential volume The Philosophy of Childhood was published in 1996. The authors of this chapter have developed their ideas on the relationship between childhood and philosophy more broadly (for which see Kennedy 2006a, 2006b, 2011, 2013; Kennedy & Kohan 2014; Kohan 2014, 2015a, 2015b) on the basis of an initiative provided by these two thinkers.

References Agamben, G. (2000). Enfance et Histoire. Paris: Payot & Rivages. Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Boyd, W. (1956). Émile for Today. The Émile of Jean Jaques Rousseau Selected, Translated and Interpreted by William Boyd. London: Heinemann. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1980). Mille Plateaux: Capitalisme et schizophrénie. Paris: Les Éditions de minuit. Dewey, J. (1899). The School and Society. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Heraclitus (2001). Fragments. Maior Edition by Miroslav Marcovich. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag. Kennedy, D. (2006a). The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Kennedy, D. (2006b). Changing Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-Modernity: A Philosophy of Childhood. Lewiston, NY: The Mellen Press. Kennedy, D. (2011). Philosophical Dialogue with Children: Essays on Theory and Practice. Lewiston, NY: The Mellen Press. Kennedy, D. (2013). Becoming Child, Becoming Other: Childhood as Signifier. In Anja Muller (Ed.), Childhood in the English Renaissance (pp. 145–53). Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. Kennedy, D. (2014). Neoteny, Dialogic Education, and an Emergent Psychoculture: Notes on Theory and Practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education 48(1): 100–17. Kennedy, D. and Kohan, W. (2014). School and the Future of Schole: A Preliminary Dialogue. Childhood & Philosophy 10(19): 199–216. Kohan, W. (2014). Philosophy and Childhood: Critical Perspectives and Affirmative Practices. New York: Palgrave. Kohan, W. (2015a). Childhood, Education and Philosophy: New Ideas for an Old Relationship. New York: Routledge. Kohan, W. (2015b). The Inventive Schoolmaster: Simon Rodriguez. Trans. Vicki Jones and J.T. Wozniak. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Lewis, T. and Jasinsky, I. (2015). The Educational Community as In-tentional Community. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35(4): 371–83. Liddell, H. and Scott, R. (1966). A Greek English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Lindsay, C. (1992). Corporality, Ethics, Experimentation: Lyotard in the Eighties. Philosophy Today 36(4): 389–401. Lipman, M. (1981). Developing Philosophies of Childhood. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 2(3–4): 4–7. Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M., ed. (1993). Thinking Children and Education. Dubuque, IA: Kendall. Nietzsche, F. (2003). The Genealogy of Morals. New York: Dover. Lyotard, J.-F. (1988a). Le Postmoderne expliqué aux enfants. Paris: Gallimard. Lyotard, J.-F. (1988b). L’Inhumain. Paris: Galilee. Lyotard, J.-F, (1992). Mainmise. Philosophy Today 36(4): 419–27. Matthews, G. (1996). The Philosophy of Childhood. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Plato (1989). The Collected Dialogues. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Eds), Princeton: Princeton University Press.



‘And the walls became the world all around’ Since 1800 theorists have talked about play and the problems in conceptualizing what it is. In a comprehensive literature review, Sutton-Smith (1997) identified what he calls the ‘ambiguity of play’. He demonstrates play’s scope as a concept by differentiating between seven rhetorics of play. In one rhetoric of play, Sutton-Smith (1997: 159) asks us to think of children’s play ‘like a traveling troupe of medieval players who arrive, set up their theatre, and then begin performing. It is a world that is run more like a theatre is run than like an everyday world’. This resonates with Sara’s conception of classrooms as theatrical spaces where the children play within a story setting they have co-created. Like the world of Max, the main character in Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (2000), the learning environment becomes a place where ‘the walls become the world all around’, enabling children to connect with the story as living and thinking characters, and as embodied ‘beings’ rather than actors. Stories are central for the stimulation of philosophical play, whether they be fairy tales, picture books or the re-telling of the stories overheard and written down from observations of children at play. In order to identify what is philosophical in the play of 3–5-year-olds, practitioners and researchers need to critically examine how we understand the young child. Wall (2010) reminds us that children are born into an existing world that shapes them, but is also shaped by them. Children and adults share a capacity for meaning-making, where play is an opportunity for world creativity. The problems and wonderings of any society or community, regardless of age, prompt us as humans, to wonder and generate age-less questions such as: Is this person my friend? Is this behaviour acceptable? Is this fair? This desire to make meaning from the children’s conversations and play necessitates a respectful understanding from practitioners that the children’s interests include the unknown, the unseen, the mysterious, the challenging, the puzzling, the possible and the impossible. Sutton-Smith (1997: 158) draws our attention to this abundant phantasmagoria whereby children work to fabricate other worlds through play that are their ‘storied interpretations of the world’ and arise directly from their feelings and imaginations. The focus for Sara’s work is the rhetoric of the imaginary and its capacity to use play as a resource for philosophical enquiry. What we call ‘philosophy by children’ differs from mainstream P4C in that the philosophical is generated by children in play, in their conversation and in their intra-active relationships with people, all living organisms and the material environment (Lenz Taguchi 2011). 53

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Unlike mainstream P4C, the children are the initiators of the stimuli the facilitator works with. As facilitators and guardians of children’s play and stories we have to act without adult epistemic privilege, that is, the idea that adults are superior beings with knowledge, wisdom and therefore power awarded by age only. This privilege we believe, leads to ‘child blindness’, where the child’s thoughts and actions are routinely not valued as ‘mature’ or ‘developed’ (Murris 2016). Building on a quarter of a century’s experience working in an early years classroom (Stanley 2008: 2011), we identify that what is happening in addition to both ‘philosophy for children’ and ‘philosophy with children’ is recognition of philosophy by children through immersion in conceptual play through the body. Responsive listening to and observation of the children’s actions and bodily movement leads to the pedagogical intervention of philosophical play to enable continuation of the children’s philosophical wonderings. Common disruptions in the status quo of the classroom, for example, physical/verbal conflict over sharing of resources or fall-outs between friends are also opportunities to conceptualize the philosophical: ‘Why do I have to share?’, ‘Who is the boss of this game?’, ‘Why can’t I be at the front of the line?’, ‘Why won’t they let me play?’. These are documented by the teacher as philosophical flashpoints for further exploration. The children’s verbal and non-verbal ‘conversations’ observed by adults in ‘story-spying role’ are kept alive through the process of reading recorded enactments back to the children as classroom stories. These snippets of the ebb and flow of their social and material interactions with each other and their environment over time become part of the classroom educational resources (thereby going beyond the one-off philosophy session), allowing not only the facilitator to tune in, but also the children. The children trust that the ideas and thoughts expressed in their shared stories will become purposeful components of the growing story belonging to the larger classroom community. Their conversations are embodied enactments of philosophical concepts that are explored collaboratively with facilitator(s) who have sensitive philosophical ears. The practice of philosophy by children takes into account that children, like adults, often play with unfamiliar concepts with an underlying sense of puzzlement. Recognition of the potential in children’s play does not happen without specialized training. Working together both in the classroom as practitioners and researchers looking at philosophy by children and drawing on Deleuzian concepts and ideas, we argue that philosophical play creates a multiplicity of possibilities for children’s thinking that can be thought of as emergent assemblages (Prout 2004). The context of the play – the connections with other human beings, living organisms and material objects – endlessly constructs and reconstructs ‘child-story-artefact-movementtalk’ assemblages that take on ‘lines of flight’ and create something new as the process goes along (Davies 2014). Philosophy by children utilizes this assemblage to extend the child’s capacity for philosophical play. Inspiration for making sense of the interactive dialogues comes from the practice of Vivian Gussin Paley. Over a career lasting more than thirty-seven years she collected thousands of recordings of her children talking (see Paley 1987, 1991). Paley (2005) asserts that ‘pretending enables us to ask “what if?”’ questions, and fantasy play should be the foundation of early childhood education, because it enables children to move from one strong emotion (concept) to the next, ‘from pleasure to jealousy, from power to abandonment to recovery’ (Paley 2005: 13). An environment where philosophy is initiated and driven by children should be saturated with fantastical stories to stimulate philosophical play. Classroom stories are created and collected in spaces where children engage in free play. Teachers walk around, listen in to children telling their own stories to each other during play and write those stories down. Adults’ ears tune into children’s imaginative play, their social 54

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interactions and their engagement with the material environment, in the process creating notebooks full of stories collected from role-play areas, sand boxes and play outdoors. Not all stories are shared with the whole class. It is made clear to the children that they can tell ‘story collectors’ that their play is not a story for sharing and many go into the child’s learning journal to share with parents or are shared in the book corner with individuals or small groups who seek out the pleasure of re-reading the stories they created through play. Philosophically interesting interactions happen in the nursery classroom all the time, and are documented through the story collector’s note-taking in a diary. Take this example from 3-year-olds explaining why a friend is crying: Jessica: James has made Sarah sad. Cybelle: Yes, Sarah should let James be her then James will be sad like Sarah. Jessica: Maybe on another day we have to dress him up as Sarah? In this example, careful listening by the facilitator identifies the value of this snippet of dialogue and documents it in her diary. The children seem to express the belief that empathy is somehow linked to the concepts of appearance and identity. Their assumption is ‘James needs to look like Sarah to feel like Sarah’. A facilitator with a philosophical ear is alerted to the philosophically complex connection between the two concepts of ‘empathy’ and ‘identity’ and provokes further philosophical exploration by, for example, asking ‘What happens to “me” when I play at becoming someone else?’, or, ‘Can I be you and feel the things you feel?’. In order to create new understandings the facilitator then shares her curiosity about the children’s conceptual and imaginary play, and in this case in particular the ‘who am I?’ question, by offering further provocations for enquiry, for example, by suggesting the use of dressing-up clothes and roleplay games, or reading picture books and fairy tales with similar concepts and philosophical ideas in them. Building on the previous example, the following diary extract recorded by the facilitator shows the children exploring the difference between their ‘real’ and ‘costumed’ identities. Kennedy: Jessica: Kennedy: Ella: Jessica: Kennedy:

Where’s the real me gone? I’ve lost her. I made her disappear, I’m a cheeky fairy. Where is she? I’m not Kennedy anymore. I’m Princess Belle. And I’m snow white lady. Ella has gone, my real Ella is gone. I made all you disappear. I must find the real Kennedy, I’m worried . . . now I’ve lost my daddy now. [Kennedy changes out of her princess costume] I’m back, I’m back!

This conversation was read back to all the children in a whole group session. In what followed Sara the facilitator asked the children to help her make sense of what was happening: Sophia:

 he real Kennedy did disappear ’cos she was a princess. Kennedy can’t be T a princess and a little girl can she? Sara: Can you still be you if you are pretending to be someone else? Kennedy: No, because that’s not how you play that game. Poppy: Yes, you can because she is only dressed up. She’s still under her dress isn’t she? Chloe: But she was talking in a princess voice. Sara: So where did the girls go when they were dressed up? 55

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Tayla: They was in the house. Kennedy: No, we was on the carpet with Jessica. (from Stanley 2011: 19–20) The transcript supports Matthews’ (1992, 1996) contention that children younger than six can philosophize. Further support comes from Egan (1983, 1991, 2002, 2005) who focuses our attention on the power of children’s emotions and imaginations and alerts us to the abstractions of the fantasy world of the young child and their capacity to engage with metaphor. Egan (1988) argues there is no cognitive gain if the affective is not engaged. Unless we care about the topic and have some emotional engagement with it, the cognitive will not follow – it is not a case of either/or; for deep learning to take place we must have both. He points out that the story is the primary way in which we think about our lives and our worlds; we live and breathe through story; without story we don’t exist. Find a good story and you will get emotional engagement with the characters. For us, as Lyle (2000) argues, narrative understanding is the primary meaning-making tool – for instance, when a child asserts that this is ‘only a game for beautiful princesses’ or that an ‘ogre with sharp teeth is a baddie’. Through their imaginary play (e.g. pretending to be a beautiful princess and what would happen if they were such a person) children already express curiosity about abstract concepts such as ‘beauty’, ‘identity’ and ‘power’. The children are experiencing in an embodied way concepts that are recognized as philosophical problems (when philosophers try to define them). The children play different philosophical positions out in the stories they create and in their interactions with each other. For example, they experience that you can be beautiful, but find out that even as a princess you can have very little power over the ogre with sharp teeth. Edminston (2007) argues that children can be authoring selves in dramatic playing as much as, if not more than, they can be when they act in everyday life. Story and play is at the heart of the process as children project into the consciousnesses of characters to create and coexperience events with them. At the same time, they are called upon to give reasons for their judgements about the morality of those characters’ actions by the facilitator who challenges children to make sense of and be accountable for the thinking that happens in imaginary worlds. Philosophical play therefore needs an experienced philosophical listening ear from adults who can connect with children’s imagination. Unless children are offered opportunities to play with imagination they cannot be expected to engage contextually with moral imagination. And unless teachers can engage with their own imagination there is a likelihood that children will not be challenged. As Guroian (1998: 26–7) asserts, ‘When the moral imagination is wakeful, the virtues come to life, filled with personal and existential as well as social significance’. The following transcripts from Sara’s story diaries illustrate the progression from overheard play to help children ‘step inside’ the philosophical concepts their stories have identified. The facilitator moves within the framework of imaginative play to pick up on aspects of children’s play around power. Sara presented them with a letter demanding that they build a new home for a queen. The children decided from the tone of the letter that this was a ‘nasty queen with no friends’: Katie: Sara: Cara: Kyle:

It has to be a biggest castle. Why does she need it to be big? Maybe she wants to jump on every bed and have all the food to herself? That’s not very nice. 56

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The children here assumed that a queen would have and want the biggest and the best, indicating their understanding of what a position of power might bring. Also, the dialogue shows a real embodied understanding of power: children are often not allowed by adults to jump on beds, but as queens they would be allowed to! In the following discussion their ideas about queens gleaned from many texts and images were brought to bear as they considered how to create a castle to play in and what might happen in that castle. Their dialogue revealed that queens are not all the same: some might be good and some might be nasty. Some have magic powers and evil friends who want to come and play video games; ‘Her friends might magic people into frogs’. Themes of ‘good and bad’, ‘power’ and ‘leadership’ emerge as the children play with the castle. Some children thought that queens are bossy and will need a place in the castle to put ‘baddies’ and a queen will need ‘girly’ things. Burglars will want to steal her throne and birds might eat the queen’s dinner: Lucas: And burglars can’t get into it to steal the special chair. Tegan: And the queen has to hide her food so the birds can’t get it. Their dialogue contains inter-textual references and inferences revealing the children’s prior knowledge and understanding of other existing story and fantasy worlds. For example, in the fairy-tale of the same name, Cinderella might have birds who help her, and queens are usually evil: Chloe: The nasty queen might want everyone to like her castle. Katie: Because maybe she wants everyone to know that she is the queen. Holly: Queens are the boss of good queens too. I think she actually wants people to know that she is good, not bad, so she lets them in and lets them look around the castle. James: Not in the cellar – she pushes them in there. Following this conversation, the children built a castle in the classroom including a dark dungeon and gaming room, and stories containing these philosophical issues emerged. Consider this example of dialogue documented by Sara in the castle-role-play area where the concept of identity re-emerges: Kennedy: Ella: Kennedy: Lucy: Demi: Lucy:

I am a queen called Majesty. I thought you was a pirate? I’m a queen that turned into a pirate. We’re trapped, Demi trapped us. I’m a pirate that’s what they do. Queen, can you pretend me was a pirate? A fairy pirate?

As the children project themselves into imaginary play they also judge their characters as right or wrong. Like Edminston (2007), we regard such authoring as ethical; as the children give shape to their selves in the aesthetic space of play their moral viewpoint is articulated. They connect concepts and take responsibility for them from inside the story experientially. Through ‘doing’ a concept such as ‘power’ they are building learning vocabulary based on the feelings, questions and opinions raised in play. How a concept is used has consequences, which need to be explored philosophically. This is not only what the child thinks about evil queens, but what it feels like to behave like one and to be responded to as one, thereby exploring what it is that motivates badness or the desire for revenge or power. 57

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The philosophical play community is an experimental space for thinking and doing; the adult has to be alert to what is puzzling the children through observation of their many ‘languages’. It requires stepping into a world with the children where there is time to stop and stare, to poke ants with sticks, to daydream out loud, to construct materials, to mix mud and water. To ask ‘what if’: ‘What if ants were so big they stepped on us? Where would we live? How would we go about our daily lives with this danger?’ To be able to suggest to the children: ‘Let’s be ants; let’s build a world where ants have to make decisions to save their lives’. Connecting the children’s world with story and imagination leads to the questions of facilitation not just from the adult, but from peer interactions. The children take group responsibility for organizing what the play feels like. The facilitator adds the vocabulary of philosophical concepts in the same way she might introduce words such as ‘triangle’ or ‘ochre’. Her interactions challenge children to think about such things as power: ‘Can you have leadership in an ant colony? Who decides the rules for ant society?’ The facilitator works to challenge binaries through the exploration of the concepts, offering alternatives to the ‘good goodie’ or the ‘bad baddie’. Facilitating the blurred boundaries of play (between real and fantasy) allows us to stretch the boundaries of philosophical possibility through extended provision to explore the ‘what if’ and the ‘I wonder’. Opportunity for further facilitation is provided through a range of strategies that are detailed elsewhere (Stanley 2008, 2011) and follow on from the philosophical concepts the children are enacting or talking about. For example, a recurring puzzlement played out by the children in the castle was that of ‘the Boss’. To further extend opportunities for philosophical play the picture book I am the King (Timmers 2010) was introduced, which raised the idea of leadership. The story explores which of the animals in the story should claim the lost crown and become king. Sara wrote the following dialogue in her diary after the class had shared the book together. Sara: James: Laura: Jessica: Holly: Jessica: Poppy: James: Holly: Jessica: Tyler: Sara: Ryan: Cybele: Tyler: Luke: Cybele: Holly: Ella:

Why did lion get to be king? Because he thought he was the king. Because the crown fitted his head. He can make a crown if that one doesn’t fit. He’s king because he’s a lion. Lions are always the king. Not in our country. King of Africa isn’t in charge of me. Grown-ups are in charge of people. The queen likes people to say ‘hello your royal highness’. And then she says, ‘Everything I say is right and everything you say is wrong’. Would anyone here like to be king? Not me, it would be boring. You would have to sit on your throne all day. They can have princesses. And cut the forest down. It would be fun if girls be the king. And wear a dress. But that’s a queen not a king. When I’m the queen I will get to sit and have a drink and rocks my baby and sing to it. The king doesn’t sing he stamps his feet. Kings are bad.

It is the dialogue between the children that enables each one to make a philosophical contribution to the always-evolving story of their community. Following this dialogue, the 26 children 58

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in the class were asked to take part in an election to test out their ideas about who would be a good leader. The three adults working in the classroom each chose an animal role and campaigned for the children’s votes by first presenting manifestos. The candidates in this instance were Monkey, who promised no rules, Lion, who promised fierce protection and Elephant, who promised wisdom and age. A democratic voting method was explained and after hustings and ballot, the majority vote was for Monkey who had promised that everyone could do what they liked and there would be no rules to stop the fun. The parents were informed that the next session would be overseen by the children’s choice of leader (teaching assistant was in the role of Monkey). The experiencing of philosophical concepts through philosophical play is central to the practice of philosophy by children. The directed play supported children’s meaning-making to understand what it means to be a leader, the differences between kings and queens as leaders (distinctions), what happens when you have a bad leader who doesn’t take responsibility (implications) and whether you can have freedom without rules. Through play each child had the opportunity to experience what it was like when Monkey tried to lead without rules. This immersion into the ‘just imagining’ helps create recognition of moments of injustice or misuse of power in the nursery environment, in turn creating more stories to stimulate dialogue about challenging issues.

Challenges and barriers Recent trends in research across the world have identified the early years as a place where children are prepared for the next stage in formal education with an emphasis on skills development to prepare for teaching literacy and numeracy (Brown & Patte 2013). This focus has detracted from the value of play in general. Children increasingly find themselves in classrooms doing tasks that are controlled by the teacher with an emphasis on direct instruction. This style of interactivity imposes discursive patterns and functions which detract from philosophical dialogue. Any discussion of philosophical play must acknowledge that in many countries the presence of a National Curriculum and standardized testing through paper and pencil tests has marginalized teachers’ opportunities to engage in open-ended play activities in favour of teacher-directed tasks (Miller & Almon 2013). Our discussion of practice in philosophical play exposes a gap between mainstream practice and the importance of play and the power of the assemblage ‘child-story-artefact-movement-talk’ in the process of making meaning. Philosophical play challenges the striated space where learning outcomes are decided in advance and opens up a smooth space to allow lines of flight (Lenz Taguchi 2011). Yet even in such classrooms lines of descent are always in play waiting to transform the children’s thinking into evidence of achieving a level against standards laid down by governments (Davies 2014). The power relationship between teachers and learners is often a stumbling block to genuine dialogue in classroom settings (Lyle 2013). Few teachers are trained to plan effective philosophical play and as a result the pedagogic potential of such learning is unrealized. Having a National Curriculum means teachers have an overriding practical concern with ‘covering’ the curriculum. Philosophical play has no pre-determined learning outcomes and many teachers who are expected to work to strict timetables and content-led curriculum requirements struggle to see how philosophical play can become a regular feature of classroom practice. Philosophical play challenges the striated space where learning outcomes are decided in advance. It instead uses discovery and wonderment as tools that also challenge the traditional P4C models which focus only on the discursive set within the framework of a timetabled lesson. 59

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Working with children in the early years (3–5) requires an emergent curriculum that challenges the idea of separate philosophy ‘lessons’. Philosophy by children starts with children’s own stories as part of imaginary play. We have considered in this chapter what is different about philosophical play as a means to identify what distinguishes philosophy in the early years. Drawing on transcripts from Sara’s classroom, theoretical perspectives that influence this practice have been clarified. Challenges and barriers to this way of working have been identified, both from mainstream education and mainstream philosophy for and with children. Our examples show how philosophy is generated by the children’s conversations in the first instance and then through the practice of adults listening in to the philosophical concepts to create more philosophical opportunities through facilitation or provision of further resources. Sometimes the children’s recorded dialogues are the starting point for a facilitated enquiry; at other times further play opportunities are planned to build on concepts and ideas. Adults’ ears must be tuned into the philosophical potential arising out of play in order to be able to identify concepts emerging that demand to be explored further: philosophy by children with adults.

References Brown, I. & Patte, M. (2013) Rethinking Children’s Play. London: Bloomsbury. Davies, B. (2014) Listening to Children: Being and Becoming. London: Routledge. Edminston, B. (2007) Forming Ethical Identities in Early Childhood Play. London: Routledge. Egan, K. (1983) Education and Psychology: Plato, Piaget, and Scientific Psychology. New York: Teachers College Press. Egan, K. (1988) Teaching as Story Telling: An Alternative Approach to Teaching and the Curriculum. London: Routledge. Egan, K. (1991) Primary Understanding: Education in Early Childhood. New York: Routledge. Egan, K. (2002) Getting It Wrong from the Beginning: Our Progressivist Inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Yale: Yale University Press. Egan, K. (2005) An Imaginative Approach to Teaching. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Guroian, V. (1998) Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2013) The Realm of Meaning: Imagination, Narrative and Playfulness in Philosophical Exploration with Young Children. In P. Costello (Ed.), Special Issue: Developing Children’s Thinking in Early Childhood Education. Early Child Development and Care 183(8): 1,084–1,100. Haynes, J. (2014) Already Equal and Able to Speak. In: S. Robson and S.F. Quinn (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding (pp. 463–75). London: Routledge. Lenz Taguchi, H. (2011) Going Beyond the Theory/Practice Divide in Early Childhood Education: Introducing an Intra-Active Pedagogy. London: Routledge. Lyle, S. (2013) The Implications of Research into the Successful Implementation of P4C for the Development of Theory and Practice. Paper presented at ICPIC CONFERENCE 2013, Critical Thinking, Enquiry-based learning and Philosophy with Children, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Lyle, S. (2000) Narrative Understanding: Developing a Theoretical Context for Understanding How Children Make Meaning in Classroom Settings. Journal of Curriculum Studies 32(1): 45–63. Matthews, G. (1992) Dialogues with Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Matthews, G. (1996) The Philosophy of Childhood. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Miller, E. & Almon, J. (2013) Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School. College Park, MD: Alliance for Childhood. Murris, K. (2016) The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks. London: Routledge. Paley, V-G. (1987) Wally’s Stories: Conversations in the Kindergarten. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Paley, V.-G. (1991) The Boy Who Would be a Helicopter: Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


Philosophical play in the early years classroom Paley, V.-G. (2005) A Child’s Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play. (New edition), Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Prout, A. (2004) The Future of Childhood. London: Routledge. Sendak, M. (2000) Where the Wild Things Are. (New edition). London: Red Fox. Stables, A. (2008) Childhood and the Philosophy of Education: An Anti-Aristotelian Perspective. London: Continuum. Stanley, S. (2008) But Why? London: Continuum Stanley, S. (2011) Why Think? London: Bloomsbury Sutton-Smith, B. (1997) The Ambiguity of Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Timmers, L. (2010) I Am the King. Wellington, NZ: Gecko Press. Wall, J. (2010) Ethics in the Light of Childhood. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.



What is philosophical about Philosophy for Children?

Introduction Grounded in different analytical, pragmatist and continental philosophical traditions this section engages with philosophically conflicting ideas about not only what counts as ‘philosophy’ and ‘philosophical progress’ in P4C, but also what provokes researchers and practitioners to (re)consider the dominant focus and desire to develop methods for establishing the essence of a philosophical question. In his chapter, ‘Getting better ideas: A framework for understanding epistemic philosophical progress in Philosophy for Children’, Clinton Golding offers a framework for measuring ‘epistemic philosophical progress’ – the development of philosophical ideas in communities of inquiry. With detailed reference to the P4C literature, Golding explains how the problem of deciding on progression keeps (re)emerging, but also lacks clarity. This chapter introduces important questions for readers of this section to consider. For example, how do you decide what counts as better philosophical understanding when exploring philosophical problems and questions? What is the difference between philosophical methods and other methods, for example, scientific, economic, psychological or historical? The diversity in this section cannot be summarized by referring to the authors’ answers to these questions, but involves an enquiry into the sheer legitimacy of asking certain questions about P4C practice and how they are phrased. In their chapter, ‘Questioning the question: A hermeneutical perspective on the ‘art of questioning’ in a community of inquiry’, Barbara Weber and Arthur Wolf resist the ‘certain trend or desire in the existing literature’ to focus on questions such as ‘what is philosophy?’ or ‘what makes questions philosophical (as opposed to psychological, for example)’, and to develop methods or frameworks for doing philosophy. Approaching the topic differently, they connect Plato’s notion of the ‘philosophical attitude’ with Gadamer’s notion of a ‘hermeneutical experience’, because philosophical questioning – they argue – is always contextual and situated, and must become an ‘attitude’, which can be modeled, but not taught. Catherine McCall and Ed Weijers’ chapter, ‘Back to basics: A philosophical analysis of philosophy in Philosophy with Children’, also responds directly to the concern ‘are-we-gettinganywhere?’ raised by Golding, and like Weber and Wolf disrupts a focus on philosophical questioning. Their analysis of a transcript from Socrates for Six Year Olds – a documentary 63

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broadcast by the BBC in 1990 and a real milestone in the popularization of P4C – is published here for the first time. One of the authors, McCall is chair (not ‘facilitator’) of the philosophical inquiry which proceeds, they claim, through logically structured argumentation using the content of Western academic philosophy. This practice assumes that young children are able to do philosophy without adults directing the enquiry in terms of content. Stefano Oliverio’s chapter, ‘Dimensions of the sumphilosopheîn: The community of philosophical inquiry as a palimpsest’, shows how Ann Margaret Sharp and Matthew Lipman were able to revive and educationally operationalize the Greek idea of philosophy as a way of life and to graft it onto the pragmatist notion of inquiry as social life. The chapter argues that the cross-fertilization of these two philosophical strands allows us better to make sense of P4C, both at the theoretical and at the methodological level.


8 GETTING BETTER IDEAS A framework for understanding epistemic philosophical progress in Philosophy for Children Clinton Golding

When we participate in a Philosophy for Children (P4C) class, we can improve or make progress in several different ways. We can develop as critical and creative thinkers, we can improve at thinking together and conducting a Community of Inquiry, and we can construct and discover better philosophical insights as a result of our inquiry. In this chapter I focus on the last kind of progress, which I call epistemic philosophical progress. It is epistemic because it is about getting better ideas, insights or understandings (rather than getting better skills or procedures, or developing greater maturity), and it is philosophical because it is about getting better philosophical ideas by addressing philosophical problems and questions, using philosophical methods (rather than scientific, economic, psychological or historical progress). For the rest of this chapter I will use ‘epistemic philosophical progress’ and ‘epistemic progress in P4C’ interchangeably. My preliminary claim is that children can and sometimes do make epistemic philosophical progress in P4C (not that they certainly will). When children treat P4C as an inquiry, rather than as a chat (as Gardner 1995 might put it), they can make epistemic philosophical progress by articulating a troubling problem, suggesting resolutions, making connections and distinctions, agreeing and disagreeing, offering examples and counter-examples, seeing things in new ways, and suddenly realising new insights. My aim is to illuminate this vague sense of epistemic philosophical progress. Epistemic philosophical progress is often mentioned as an important goal of P4C, though not by this name, and usually only briefly and in passing. For example, P4C writers argue that a Community of Inquiry should show ‘discernible movement and growth’ (Splitter and Sharp 1995: 79), ‘successive increments of understanding’ (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: 112), a ‘progressive elaboration of ideas’ (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: 175), or a ‘movement or development of ideas and arguments’ (McCall 2009: 12). The inquiry is cumulative (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: 112) and should build (Burgh, Field and Freakley 2006: 165; Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: 104), grow, emerge and develop (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: 104).We make epistemic progress in P4C by following the inquiry, argument or reasoning where it leads (Lipman 1988, 2003; Splitter and Sharp 1995); and the goal is ‘progress in coping with the philosophical questions’ (Gregory 2008: 11) or to ‘arrive at one or more reasonable philosophical judgements regarding questions or issues that occasioned the dialogue’ (Gregory 2008: 19). 65

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My aim in this chapter is to elaborate and systematise these suggestive hints about epistemic progress in P4C. By focussing on epistemic philosophical progress I can also address one of the most common problems P4C practitioners face: the ‘Are we getting anywhere?’ problem. In philosophy in general, and P4C in particular, when we have an open philosophical discussion it is difficult to tell if the discussion is productive, and so students may complain ‘But we haven’t got anywhere! We just talked around in circles!’ For a philosophical discussion to be intellectually satisfying we must end up epistemically better off, but it is difficult to say what this means, and so it is difficult to judge. This problem arises primarily because we have only a vague sense of what it means to make progress in philosophy: we think that philosophical inquiry will lead to things ‘making sense’ (even when we don’t have ‘answers’), and we think that the intellectual play of ideas in a philosophical discussion will result in us seeing things ‘freshly’, but this is not precise enough. How do you judge whether thing ‘make sense’ or whether we do see things ‘freshly’? We need a more precise account of epistemic philosophical progress, so we can judge whether and to what extent we are epistemically better off after a P4C session. In this chapter I present a framework for making sense of epistemic philosophical progress. I claim that this framework can be useful for solving the ‘Are we getting anywhere?’ problem, and for illuminating epistemic philosophical progress in any account of P4C. For any account, if we identify the starting point for inquiry, the epistemic improvement that is our aim or intended destination, the path of inquiry and the milestones that can be achieved along this path, then we can facilitate and track epistemic philosophical progress. We can use this framework to analyse epistemic philosophical progress for individuals (‘I made progress’) or for the distributed thinking of the whole Community of Inquiry (‘We made progress’) (Golding 2013). I also claim that despite theoretical differences between accounts of P4C, in practice epistemic philosophical progress is similar for all accounts of philosophy for and with children. The focus on epistemic philosophical progress in this chapter is also useful for illuminating what is distinctively philosophical about P4C. One typical, but limited approach is to isolate and analyse the elements that make P4C philosophical, and then present each as a disconnected, isolated snapshot: here are the philosophical questions we address, or the philosophical methods used, or the philosophical goals we seek. But we can better understand the philosophical nature of P4C by considering the dynamic journey of philosophical inquiry, and so understand how philosophical questions, methods and goals intertwine in a process of philosophical progress: Where do we start? What is our intended destination? What paths do we follow? and What milestones mark our progress?

The starting point Philosophical inquiry starts with identifying a philosophical problem with which to grapple. For example, we might read a story and experience a philosophical tension that needs resolution, which we articulate as a question. Lipman (2003: 95–96) describes these philosophical tensions or problems as unsettling, troubling or provoking. I identify them as inadequate and incongruous conceptions which can only be resolved through dialogue and thought, and which cannot be resolved merely by gathering more empirical evidence (Golding 2011a: 2009).

The epistemic aim (the theoretical destination) To understand epistemic progress in P4C we also need to understand the kind of knowledge, meaning or understanding that is sought by addressing a philosophical problem; we must 66

Getting better ideas

understand the epistemic aim of P4C. What sort of epistemic improvement do we seek? Do participants seek better ideas or truth? Do they want to clarify, understand or solve? This epistemic aim gives their inquiry a direction and a purpose, and they can make epistemic philosophical progress from the problem and towards this epistemic aim. My focus here is on the specific epistemic aim of P4C, rather than the epistemology of P4C in general. Others have discussed the nature of knowledge and truth involved in the collaborative philosophical inquiry of P4C (for example, Bleazby 2013; McCall 2009; Rollins1 1995). Different authors in the broad P4C tradition (and their philosophical precursors) advocate different epistemic aims for P4C. I will outline five illustrative positions, and the conception of epistemic philosophical progress that each implies.2 I chose these five because they illustrate five distinctive positions about philosophical progress in P4C, and I am not attempting to be comprehensive of all possible accounts. I have not situated every P4C author on this list because I do not want to unfairly pigeon-hole anyone, especially because many accounts of P4C simply suggest a position about epistemic philosophical progress, and sometimes suggest more than one. Some of the positions I identify come from outside the P4C tradition, but I include them because they are key to understanding collaborative dialogue, because they are influential on the practice of P4C, and because they have been explicitly discussed by P4C authors in relation to epistemic philosophical progress. 1

Socratic dialogue and the epistemic aim of seeking true conceptions (for example, Davey Chesters 2012; Gardner 1995, 1998, 2015; Nelson 1970, 2004). We make epistemic philosophical progress by working towards truth as the goal of inquiry (Gardner 1995), even if the truth is more or less partial and complete (Rollins 1995). 2 Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) and the epistemic aim of falsifying incorrect conceptions (for example, McCall 2009; Popper 1963). We make epistemic philosophical progress by rejecting falsehoods (because truth may be unobtainable in practice). 3 Pragmatism and the epistemic aim of developing meaningful conceptions that work better, are more in equilibrium, or are more warranted (for example, Bleazby 2013; Dewey 1933, 1938; Golding 2009, 2011a, 2013, 2015; Gregory 2007, 2008; Lipman 2003; Splitter and Sharp 1995). We make epistemic philosophical progress by developing more meaningful or warranted conceptions. 4 Hermeneutic dialogue in the spirit of Gadamer (1975), where the epistemic aim is to build a common understanding, without necessarily agreeing (for example, Kennedy 1990). We make epistemic philosophical progress by realising our own preconceptions and biases and reaching a full and common understanding of the different conceptions of our dialogue partners. 5 Bohmian dialogue or Rortian conversation, where the epistemic aim is free and open dialogue with no epistemic goal or agenda (for example, Bohm 1996; Rorty 1991, 1998). We make epistemic philosophical progress by continuing the conversation in a satisfying or edifying way (Rorty 1979), where there is ‘the free flow of meaning among all the participants’ (Bohm 1996: xix) and a collective dance of the mind (Davey Chester 2012: 76). I am not aware of any P4C theorists who advocate a pure version of this position without also advocating some other epistemic aim. However, many seem to be influenced by this tradition of dialogue, and we can better understand the other four positions by contrasting them with this tradition. My purpose is to outline a range of possible positions. So even though I refer to specific authors, I do so mainly to illustrate the possible positions and I will not attempt to give an accurate, 67

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precise account of what these authors actually meant. I acknowledge that I have given simplified, possibly simplistic, descriptions of these positions. In order to further clarify the range of epistemic aims possible for P4C, I also situate the five illustrative examples in a continuum (see Figure 8.1), which is developed from Rollins (1995), Bleazby (2013) and Golding (2011b). This continuum does not capture every epistemological nuance. It is designed purely for the purpose of highlighting some important similarities and differences between the epistemic aims from various conceptions of philosophical inquiry. I argue that any account of P4C could be placed somewhere on this continuum (after teasing out the implied epistemic aim and conception of epistemic philosophical progress). At the extreme left of the continuum is any inquiry with the epistemic aim to get the absolute, objective truth. Socratic dialogue tends towards this end. In the middle of the continuum the epistemic aim of an inquiry is to develop epistemically better conceptions (without seeking one absolute, right conception). One conception can be better than another in a variety of different ways: a Deweyan might aim for more warranted conceptions, conceptions that improve lived experience, or more congruous and adequate conceptions (Golding 2009), while further to the right, a hermeneutic inquirer might aim for greater understanding. At the extreme right of the continuum, beyond the illustrative positions, there is no longer any possibility of epistemic philosophical progress. We may still have dialogue, but there is no epistemic aim, and so no inquiry. All views are treated as equally good, which means there is no way to have any epistemic improvement, not even a better understanding (though there may be other nonepistemic aims for the dialogue). I have placed Bohmian or Rortian dialogue near the right because they do not involve inquiry in the normal sense of resolving a problem or answering a question. But they may not be at the extreme right of the continuum because they do not seem to involve complete epistemic relativism: Bohmian and Rortian dialogue seems to have an epistemic aim – free and edifying dialogue – and free, edifying dialogue seems to be epistemically better than unfree, unedifying dialogue.

The epistemic aim in practice (the practical destination) Despite the theoretical differences between different epistemic aims for P4C, in practice they tend to cluster towards the middle of the continuum. In practice the epistemic aim of P4C





One absolute epistemic aim


No epistemic aim

Right and wrong conceptions

Better and worse conceptions

Equally good conceptions

Absolute, final, certain

Reasoned, reflective judgements

Personal, relative conceptions

Literal description of world

Answerable to the world

Private conceptions




Conceptions correspond to the one reality (usually seeking consensus)

Public, social constraints on conceptions (but not necessarily seeking consensus)

No external constraints on the private conceptions (and not seeking consensus)

Figure 8.1 Continuum of epistemic aims in P4C, or what we seek through inquiry, with the five illustrative examples indicated by numbers


Getting better ideas

tends to be some variety of epistemically better views, understandings, conceptions, insights, answers or resolutions. In most accounts of inquiry in P4C we seek answers and resolutions because these are better than the questions and problems we start with, and we seek better and better answers and resolutions. We can use objective standards to distinguish the better from the worse answers or resolutions. Lipman suggests we use standards such as impartiality, comprehensiveness and consistency (Lipman et al. 1980: 174), or precision, relevance, acceptability and sufficiency (Lipman 2003: 233–4). More specifically, one answer or resolution is better than another if it has greater consensus to support it, has survived more attempts at falsification, has stronger reasons in support and fewer plausible alternatives, and so on. For example, an answer to a philosophical question which has objectively strong reasons to support it, and which has survived all attempts to falsify it, is better than an answer that has weaker reasons to support it and which can be falsified. Although we might say that we have reached the ‘truth’ with this answer, in practice what we have achieved is closer to what Dewey (1938) would call a ‘warranted’ judgement. It is a fallible, revisable conclusion we are warranted to use for further inquiry, but with further inquiry we might reject this judgement and develop something better. Even for accounts of philosophical inquiry where truth is the theoretical aim, like Socratic dialogue (Nelson 2004), the practical aim is actually seeking consensus or falsification or some other better conception. For example, even though truth is the theoretical aim of the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (position 2), McCall is explicit that the practical aim is to reject falsehood rather than to seek truth: collaborative philosophical inquiry ‘does not claim to reveal truth, but rather to strip away what cannot be the case’ (McCall 2009: 83). Likewise even Gardner, who strongly advocates that P4C aims for truth (Gardner 1995: 38), acknowledges that in practice we seek something else – we seek better answers that have strong supporting reasons and/or evidence that is not faulty, and that are not discredited by ‘superior competing claims’ (Gardner 2015: 71). Similarly, accounts of P4C that seem close to the right of the continuum in theory, like a hermeneutic account, are nearer the middle of the continuum in practice. Even though they do not seem to seek answers or resolutions, in practice these accounts of philosophical inquiry still seek some other sort of epistemic improvement or betterment. For example, they might seek a better understanding by exploring and articulating what participants ‘have not said or even thought before’ (Vansieleghem and Kennedy 2011: 176, attributed to Gareth Matthews), or they might seek less biased or more comprehensive conceptions by thinking ‘beyond totality, dualism and exclusionary categories’ (Vansieleghem and Kennedy 2011: 176, attributed to Ekkehard Martens).

The direction of inquiry (the paths we can take) As we progress towards our epistemic aim, we follow different paths through an inquiry process, from the stimulus for inquiry, and towards the end goal. For example, as we move along a path we are epistemically better than where we started because we have progressed from the question or problem and moved closer to a solution or answer or some other epistemic aim. There are several distinctive features about the path an inquiry follows when we progress from our question or problem and towards our resolution (or towards whatever is the epistemic aim of the inquiry). We progress into uncharted territory and so have to create our paths rather than follow established trails (Cam 1995: 52–3; Burgh, Field and Freakley 2006: 190). The paths we create tend to be indirect, and we make progress like a ‘yacht tacking this way and that into the wind, rather than an arrow speeding unerringly to a fixed and predetermined target’ (Splitter and Sharp 1995: 25). There may be false-leads, and we might circle back to 69

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a previous point, but this can be part of the indirect progress of the inquiry. Also, there need not be a single path in the inquiry, because we tend to progress by branching out into multiple paths like ‘building a spider’s web’ (McCall 2009: 101), or like a plant sending forth new shoots (Dewey 1933: ch18, §3). We can make progress by following multiple lines of inquiry. As an aside, it is important to find a balance between sticking to the emerging path and going off on tangents. Sticking to a path too rigorously can mean the teacher controls the inquiry, and may miss unexpected paths forward. Going off on too many tangents will mean the inquiry doesn’t get anywhere – the topic keeps changing, and the discussion resembles an aimless chat rather than an inquiry. Most importantly, an inquiry that is making progress is self-propelling – each step along the path from problem to epistemic aim requires the next step. Lipman describes this as being like a writer, halfway through a book, finding that it dictates what must be written (2003: 89); or it is like throwing ourselves off balance when walking. ‘Each step forward makes possible a further step forward; in a dialogue, each argument evokes a counterargument that pushes itself beyond the other and pushes the other beyond itself  ’ (2003: 87). This self-propelling path of an inquiry ‘involves a falling out of previous balance in order to establish one on a higher level. Inquiry progresses through continual disruptions’ (Kennedy 1994: 10).

The milestones along the path We can track our progress along the paths of inquiry by the milestones we reach. I use the term ‘milestone’ in the sense of project management rather than road markers. Inquiry milestones indicate that a significant stage has been reached in our inquiry process towards the as-yetunknown resolution (or other epistemic aim), rather than marking the distance to a known destination (Golding 2012: 690). My account of inquiry milestones builds on my previous account in Golding (2009, 2012, 2013) and draws on a similar account from Gregory (2007). Because we need not, and often do not, reach the epistemic aim in a philosophical inquiry, if we want a sense of progress we have to be satisfied with what Lipman (2003: 279–81) refers to as ‘mediating judgements’ (as distinct from the ‘culminating judgement’ of reaching the epistemic aim). ‘Mediating judgements’ is another way of referring to the milestones we reach on the path of inquiry. For example, before we can reach the culminating judgement about whether killing is always wrong we have to make mediating judgements about what we mean by ‘killing’ and what reasons there are to think some killing might be right, and what reasons there are to think it is wrong. Each of these judgements is a philosophical milestone and an indicator of philosophical progress. Put in a different way, because philosophical inquiry rarely reaches any final, settled finish-point, we are best to judge progress by the milestones we achieve along the path, not by whether we have reached our aim at the end of the path. Reaching inquiry milestones is an epistemic advancement that is valuable in its own right, and indicates progress towards the as-yet-unknown final destination. The milestones indicate we are further along the path of inquiry, and we are epistemically better to be further along this path, away from the problem and towards our aim (Golding 2012: 690). There tends to be a high degree of agreement about the milestones that indicate epistemic progress, even though there are different candidates for the epistemic aim of P4C, and different paths an inquiry might take. For example, if a P4C student gives a plausible reason, this is a milestone on the path towards any of the epistemic aims, as is finding agreement or considering a counter-example. Also, progress towards any of these epistemic goals starts with a philosophical question (even though these questions could be conceived of as problems to be resolved, hypotheses to be falsified, issues to be explored or questions which require true answers). 70

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Importantly, milestones provide an uncontroversial way to measure progress. Everyone can agree on whether we have or have not reached a milestone, even though there is rarely agreement about whether we have reached the epistemic aim. For example, it is often clear whether we have given a plausible reason or a counter-example, even though it is rarely clear if we have resolved the problem we were inquiring about. Reaching an inquiry milestone only indicates epistemic philosophical progress if it indicates we have moved further along the path of inquiry. For example, just giving a reason for the sake of it would not indicate epistemic philosophical progress. Giving a reason is only progress if it moves us from our philosophical problem and towards a resolution of this problem (or, using a different epistemic aim as an example, towards a greater understanding of the different possibilities). Giving a reason to support one possible answer to our initial question can indicate progress if we next go on to evaluate the reason, to consider possible objections, and then to make a conclusion about which answer is best. However, if we instead get bogged down in a debate, with both sides doggedly giving reason after reason to support their view without listening to the ‘opposition’, this would not indicate progress. The following five steps indicate a simple and general path of inquiry in P4C, and the series of milestones for making progress along this path.3 Other accounts of P4C with different epistemic aims may have a different account of the path of inquiry and different milestones, or they may emphasise some milestones over others. We make progress by articulating a problem as a question, then hypothesising resolutions, then elaborating these possible resolutions and then evaluating the possibilities, before judging which best resolves the problem. For some of the steps I have also indicated some more specific milestones from the different accounts of P4C I illustrated above, and I give more details about these specific milestones (described in brackets) in the lists that follow. General milestones for collaborative philosophical inquiry in P4C: 1 2 3 4 5

Identify and articulate a philosophical problem. Hypothesise possible resolutions to this problem. Elaborate each possible resolution (including 3a pushing for depth and 3b conceptual analysis). Critically evaluate the possible resolutions (including 4a falsification). Resolve the problem.

3a Pushing for depth: i Suggest a possible answer. ii Give reasons to support it. iii Ask the second why (and the third and fourth . . .) to uncover the underlying reasons (Gardner 1995). 3b

Conceptual analysis: i Define a concept. ii Suggest examples to support this definition. iii Suggest counter-examples to challenge the definition. iv Refine the concept to avoid the counter-examples.

4a Falsification: i Suggest a possible answer. ii Find reasons to reject the answer, such as counter-examples or inconsistencies. iii Change your mind and suggest a different answer that does not fall prey to the counterexamples or inconsistencies. 71

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We are often clear about potential inquiry milestones, but not always clear about how to order them to make progress. The lists above give some guidance, but the issue is still a matter of judgement. •• •• ••

To judge which milestone we should aim for so we can make progress we need to consider: what is the next step that will take us forward from the question and towards our epistemic aim? To judge when to use particular milestones such as giving a reason, or suggesting a definition, we need to consider: at what stage of the inquiry would this be helpful and when would it hinder the inquiry? To judge whether a milestone indicates progress or not we have to consider: does this take us one step closer to our epistemic aim? For example, how is reaching this milestone relevant for resolving the initial problem?

Conclusion In this chapter I have presented a framework for understanding philosophical progress in P4C that can assist teachers and students to make satisfying epistemic progress. The framework enables them to track their inquiry, plan their path forwards and judge whether they are ‘getting somewhere’ philosophically. This chapter is merely a sketch to show how we can understand epistemic philosophical progress in any account of P4C by understanding the relationship between the starting point, aims, paths and milestones in an inquiry. But this sketch can be used to clarify and make explicit what is meant by epistemic philosophical progress for any account of P4C, and also how teachers can enable students to make epistemic philosophical progress. It may be that fostering epistemic philosophical progress is an art and teachers require degree-level philosophical training to master it (McCall 2009 and Gardner 2015 argue this), but nevertheless, we can guide the less experienced by making explicit some aspects of this art. This is what I have tried to do in this chapter. Based on my experience as a philosophical facilitator, I have tried to make explicit what I see, judge and do to make epistemic progress in P4C.

Notes 1 Note that Maughn Rollins is now named Maughn Rollins Gregory. 2 My analysis draws on comparative analyses by Davey Chesters (2012) and McCall (2009). 3 I identified these milestones by sequencing the products of philosophical inquiry according to the stages of inquiry. For other versions of this fairly standard account of philosophical inquiry see: Burgh et al. 2006; Cam 2006; Dewey 1933; Lipman 2003; Splitter and Sharp 1995.

References Bleazby, J. (2013) Social Reconstruction Learning: Dualism, Dewey and Philosophy in Schools. New York: Routledge. Bohm, D. (1996) On Dialogue. London: Routledge. Burgh, G., Field, T. and Freakley, M. (2006) Ethics and the Community of Inquiry. Melbourne: Thomson Social Science Press. Cam, P. (1995) Thinking Together: Philosophical Inquiry for the Classroom. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger. Cam, P. (2006) Twenty Thinking Tools. Melbourne: ACER Press. Davey Chesters, S. (2012) The Socratic Classroom. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think. New York: D.C. Heath. Dewey, J. (1938) Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. In J.A. Boydston (Ed.), The Later Works 1925–53, John Dewey, Vol. 12 (1986 edition). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.


Getting better ideas Gadamer, H.-G. (1975) Truth and Method. New York: Seabury Press. Gardner, S. (1995) Inquiry Is No Mere Conversation. Critical and Creative Thinking 3(2): 38–49. Gardner, S. (1998) Truth: In Ethics and Elsewhere. Analytic Teaching 9(9): 78–88. Gardner, S. (2015) Commentary on ‘Inquiry Is no Mere Conversation’. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 2(1): 71–4. Golding, C. (2009) That’s a Better Idea! Philosophical Progress and Philosophy for Children. Childhood and Philosophy 5(10): 223–69. Golding, C. (2011a) A Conception of Philosophical Progress. Essays in Philosophy 12(2): 200–23. Golding, C. (2011b) The Many Faces of Constructivist Discussion. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43(5): 467–83. Golding, C. (2012) Epistemic Progress. Educational Theory 62(6): 677–93. Golding, C. (2013) We Made Progress: Collective Epistemic Progress in Dialogue without Consensus. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47(3): 423–40. Golding, C. (2015) A Handy Account of Philosophy in Schools. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 1(1): 68–88. Gregory, M. (2007) A Framework for Facilitating Classroom Dialogue. Teaching Philosophy 30(1): 59–84. Gregory, M. (2008) Philosophy for Children: Practitioner Handbook. New Jersey: IAPC. Kennedy, D. (1990) Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Dialectic of Dialogue and the Epistemology of Inquiry. Analytic Teaching 11(1): 43–51. Kennedy, D. (1994) The Five Communities. Analytic Teaching 15(1): 3–22. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education (2nd edition). New York: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.M. and Oscanyan, F. (1980) Philosophy in the Classroom (2nd edition). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. McCall, C. (2009) Transforming Thinking. London: Routledge. Nelson, L. (1970) Progress and Regress in Philosophy. H. Palmer (Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Nelson, L. (2004) The Socratic Method. In R. Saran and B. Neisser (Eds), Enquiring Minds: Socratic Dialogue in Education (pp. 126–65). Sterling: Trentham Books. Popper, K. (1963) Conjectures and Refutations. London: Routledge. Rollins, M. (1995) Epistemological Considerations for the Community of Inquiry. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 12(2): 31–41. Rorty, R. (1979) Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton, NJ: University of Princeton Press. Rorty, R. (1991) Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rorty, R. (1998) Truth and Progress. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Splitter, L. and Sharp, A.M. (1995) Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry. Melbourne: ACER. Vansieleghem, N. and Kennedy, D. (2011) What Is Philosophy for Children, What Is Philosophy with Children: After Matthew Lipman? Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 171–82.


9 QUESTIONING THE QUESTION A hermeneutical perspective on the ‘art of questioning’ in a community of philosophical inquiry Barbara Weber and Arthur Wolf

In his famous work, Truth and Method, the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer writes: [T]he art of questioning is the art of questioning further – i.e., the art of thinking. It is called dialectic because it is the art of conducting a real dialogue . . . [A] person skilled in the ‘art’ of questioning is a person who can prevent questions from being suppressed by the dominant opinion. (Gadamer 1990: 373)1 As facilitators and members of communities of philosophical inquiry (CPIs), we are aware that the question often lies at the heart of a rich and productive dialogue. Yet we also know how difficult it is to cultivate this ‘art of questioning’. In this chapter we will (1) start with an overview on ‘the question’ in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) literature, (2) describe what Gadamer describes as a ‘philosophical question’, (3) explore how to recognize and cultivate such questions in a CPI, and (4) make suggestions for how so-called ‘closed questions’ (knowledge questions) can be transformed into open questions. We will approach these tasks by connecting Plato’s ‘philosophical attitude’ to Gadamer’s notion of experience and focus on the often hidden inter- and intrapersonal upheavals that forego the posing of a question.What this paper will not do is turn Gadamer’s specific description of ‘philosophical questions’ into a universal statement about the nature of a philosophical question, nor will we offer a step-by-step method. Rather, we suggest that a meaningful CPI sparks from the authentic desire to know.This desire to know can be encouraged, but not controlled.

Existing theories and practices on the facilitation of questions within a CPI Within the P4C literature that deals with the topic of ‘questions’2 we discern three main issues: (1) What is a (philosophical, good, open, etc.) question?, (2) What is the role of a question in a CPI?, and (3) How to elicit questions? With regards to the first issue, we can look at what Matthews calls ‘the naively profound questions of philosophy’ (Matthews 1984: 33) while Jackson (2011) adds a distinction between the mastery of the big questions or the canon in 74

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philosophy, which he calls ‘big P’ questions, and our inclination to wonder respectively, which he calls ‘little p’ questions. Gardner (2015) gives us actual criteria for suitable questions, such as: (1) non-empirical, (2) trapeze type (i.e., both positively and negatively answering the question for which reasonable arguments can be found), (3) sufficiently precise, and (4) relevant to one’s life. In addition, Gardner (1996, 2015) rules out those questions that remain at a psychological level, because they only lead to conjecture. An example would be, ‘Why did the bear say “I’m tired”?’. In order to make such a question ‘philosophical’, the facilitator has to ensure a response that focuses on how the concept in the question operates. Or, as Haynes and Murris (2011: 293) write, ‘how people use the concept in a variety of situated contexts’. Understood this way, a question like, ‘What is friendship?’ could lead to the giving of examples of ‘friendship’ and evaluating criteria determining why one example might be better than the other. Splitter and Sharp (1996: 303) also make a distinction between psychological questions, which are ‘about specific characters and their motivations, thoughts and actions’ and philosophical questions. In the case of friendship, this could mean fleshing out where and how the concept is relevant for the participants. This touches upon the second issue: what is the role of the question in a CPI? We can turn here to Lipman (2001: 410), who refers to ‘the philosophical move of questioning’. He describes suitable questions as ‘the tip of an iceberg’ (Lipman 2001: 408) where ‘the iceberg is the process of inquiry’ (Lipman 2001: 408), as part of ‘distributed thinking’ (Lipman 2001: 410), and finally as a ‘critical disposition’ (Lipman 2003: 187). For this disposition to develop, Lipman (2003: 151) argues that under the guidance of the facilitator, the asking of questions can become a thinking skill. The role of the question here conveys a sense of unfolding while also emphasizing its communal aspect. Yet if questions are of such importance for a CPI, whose questions are we talking about – those of the child or those of the facilitator? This raises the issues of who chooses, referring to the power (im)balances, and how a question is chosen.3 How one intends to elicit questions depends, in part, on how one recognizes the voice of the child (Kennedy 1996, 2004; Kohan 2002, 2011; Matthews 1994; Murris 2013; Weber 2009). Should the facilitator guide children toward posing questions or pose their own, prepared ones? While Jackson focuses on ‘student questions’ (Makalaiau and Miller 2012: 9–10), Fisher (2008: 115) points out that, especially in the early stages, it is better to have the teacher choose the question to ensure its philosophical potential. Wartenberg (2003: 286) uses ‘masterpieces of children’s literature as the vehicle for initiating philosophical discussions’. This approach allows teachers to choose stories and questions that contain concepts related to the curriculum and to address issues judged pertinent by the teacher. It could also be helpful, as Gregory (2007) suggests, to categorize questions based on conceptual relationships. Doing so would give the students a better insight into the different kinds of questions and their relationships. Jana Mohr Lone (2011) proposes a balanced approach and argues for ‘epistemological modesty’ when evaluating the questions of children.4 Drawing from personal experience, Mohr Lone explains that the facilitator might not always be the best judge for the most suitable question. This implies that the use of universal criteria for judging the profoundness of a question, like Gardner (2015) suggests, will not always suffice. Here Philip Cam developed a different didactical tool called the Question Quadrant, which is an extension of Laurance Splitter’s Quadrant (Splitter 1991; Haynes 2014). It provides a practical approach to organizing student’s questions by typifying them along two axes of closed to open and textual to intellectual (with the open/intellectual questions being the best candidates of inquiry). However, Cam (2008: 34) himself noted that this quadrant is ‘good enough for practical purposes’, reflecting the inherent limiting power of this tool. 75

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It seems that there is a certain trend or desire in the existing literature to (1) distinguish philosophical from non-philosophical (or ‘open’ and ‘closed’, etc.) questions and (2) develop a concrete method that will lead to the posing of the desired kinds of questions. This is where we would like to approach the topic from a different angle. Rather than ask ‘What is a philosophical question?’, we ask: ‘Who in the history of philosophers (e.g., who either call himself/herself and/or is called by others a ‘philosopher’) has thought about ‘philosophical questions’ and how can their deliberations help us expand and sharpen our own ability to ask questions in a CPI?’ For this paper, we chose the German philosopher HansGeorg Gadamer. Gadamer’s work has been consulted in this context before, for example in describing the connection between dialogue and play in P4C (Kennedy 1999; Lin 2013), to substitute philosophical dialogue with Gadamer’s conversation and play in the context of Gadamer’s ‘event of understanding’ (Pietzner 2014) and approaching texts hermeneutically to allow for a ‘dialogue across time and history’ (Weber 2011: 22). However, Gadamer’s account of the ‘philosophical question’ has not yet been explored. His focus on cultivating a ‘philosophical attitude’ steers away from finding a step-by-step method. Instead, it helps make questions visible within the context of questioner, facilitator, and dialogue partners as well as the discussion topic.

Hans-Georg Gadamer on the ‘philosophical attitude’: the question as the departure into an adventure Gadamer (1990: 304) writes in his famous work Truth and Method, ‘[T]he essence of a question is to open up possibilities and keep them open’. This is an appeal that is often found in P4C literature, for example, in the demand for ‘epistemological modesty’ (Mohr Lone 2011) or the suggestion that even presumably ‘closed’ questions about a ‘fact’ may be inspired by a deeper philosophical pondering. In that case, the question can be transformed into an open one.5 In addition, with regard to the distinction between open and closed questions, Peter Worley (n.d.) argues that closed questions can actually be a good stimulus for inquiry, while open questions can be problematic.6 A facilitator may be able not only to ‘open’ up a closed question, but also to get back on track when an open question leads the inquiry astray. An example of this happened in one of our P4C classrooms when we looked up the birth date of Socrates. One child raised her hand and asked, ‘Given that Socrates never wrote anything down, how can we know that a person actually lived?’ In that case, the closed question, ‘When did Socrates live?’ was opened up by an epistemological question. This is an example that the apparent open or closed structure of a question is only one side of the coin. The other side relies on the questioner and the process of questioning (within a CPI) in order to know what kind of answer or knowledge one is looking for (Murris 2000). This is why we suggest exploring the wider context of the posing of a question from Gadamer’s perspective. Gadamer calls those questions ‘philosophical’ that are (1) of crucial and existential relevance to the person asking the question and (2) bring the person’s belief, concept, or opinion into suspension (opens it up for discussion) (Gadamer 1990).7 However, he does not suggest a concrete method for asking questions. Rather, he says: There is no method by which to learn how to ask questions, how to become aware of what is dubious and open to discussion. Rather, the example of Socrates teaches us that what matters most is to know that one doesn’t know. (Gadamer 1990: 371) 76

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In order to make this statement more explicit, we will connect Plato’s notion of the ‘philosophical attitude’ with Gadamer’s account of the ‘philosophical experience’. Our hope is to guide the reader through a reflection on what may hinder and what may inspire the posing of these kinds of questions, that is, life-relevant and belief-challenging. Having faced one’s own hurdles, a facilitator might then be able cultivate and recognize such kinds of questions in a CPI.

Philosophical attitude The notion of a ‘philosophical attitude’8 is most vividly described in Plato’s well-known dialogue Symposium (1997): each person is encouraged to give a speech in honor of the god Eros during a banquet. But since Socrates ‘knows that he doesn’t know’, he does not give a speech himself, and instead refers to Diotima, who speaks first about the god Eros, and then applies her insights to the stereotype of the philosopher. More specifically, she claims that Eros is the son of Penia (i.e., poverty) and Poros (i.e., the ability to help oneself). Eros was conceived on the birthday of the goddess Venus (i.e., love). Of Eros himself, Diotima says, ‘In the first place, he is always poor, and he’s far from being delicate and beautiful (as ordinary people think he is); instead, he is tough and shriveled and shoeless and homeless’ (Plato 1997: 203d). But Eros is also a son worthy of Poros and so the dialogue explains: But on his father’s side he is a schemer after the beautiful and the good; he is brave, impetuous, and intense, an awesome hunter, always weaving snares, resourceful in his pursuit of intelligence, a lover of wisdom through all his life, a genius with enchantments, potions, and clever pleadings. (Plato 1997: 203d) Following this allegory about Eros, Plato then applies to the philosophical attitude of Socrates where he claims that, similar to Eros, the philosopher has to become aware of his inner poverty and recognize that he is not wise (Penia). At the same time he knows how to help himself, is brave, a ‘hunter’ (Poros), and is driven by the desire and love for wisdom (reference to Venus, the goddess of love). He sets out on his way to have an adventure, that is, an experience that leads to personal change and growth. The Symposium describes the ‘philosophical journey’, which is the departure into what is unfamiliar and strange. This might happen by exploring a topic that is as yet unknown or by experiencing that what we thought we know, we actually don’t know. This courage to depart cannot be planned or controlled by a method; rather, it springs from an insatiable desire to grow.

Philosophical experience and the readiness to question Gadamer picks up the notion of ‘leaving behind what is familiar to us’ from Plato’s Symposium and is particularly interested in the departure that might lead to what he calls an ‘hermeneutical experience’ and ‘expanding of the horizon’. Gadamer’s notion of ‘horizon’ ‘is the range of vision that includes everything that can be seen from a particular vantage point’ (Gadamer 1990: 307). Here, to have a horizon means to see beyond what is nearby. Asking a question creates the opportunity for a situation in which one limits visibility, that is, to generate a standpoint from which its vision is determined by the horizon. Consequently, the term horizon might sound restrictive, but this is not the sense in which Gadamer used it. Rather, the concept of ‘horizon’ implied a situatedness of knowing, such as a context, culture, and history, yet also entailed the possibility of change for the future. The horizon is therefore not static but ‘something 77

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into which we move and that moves with us. The horizon changes for a person who is moving’ (Gadamer 1990: 309). Most importantly, one can ‘in this motion become aware of oneself’ (Gadamer 1990: 309). Going back to the idea of seeing beyond what is close, this act in itself already implies a horizon. When two or more people understand each other, Gadamer (1990: 311) calls this a ‘fusion of horizons’. The initial difference before understanding takes place leads to a transformation of the self and the Other with the fusion being the motion, the dynamic, or the ongoing aspect of this process. We then have to acknowledge that we cannot see from another person’s perspective; instead, we always see from within our own horizon. Thereby, it is the encounter with the Other that changes our own horizon. Becoming aware of one’s horizon, realizing its limitations, and encountering other ways of seeing are tied to the productive quality of experience (Erfahrung). This is why any genuine experience is at first irritating, confusing, or disturbing. However, through this negation we acquire a more complex knowledge of something, because we see it in a new light. This is a dialectical process. When ‘the experiencer has become aware of his experience; one is “experienced.” One has acquired a new horizon within which something can become an experience for him’ (Gadamer 1990: 359). When we apply this to the context of the classroom, it is pivotal to recognize that teachers and students have to address problems that are part and parcel of ‘the motivational context of questioning’ (Gadamer 1990: 382). This is the ‘soil’ or sediment where a question obtains its meaning. The ‘questioning opens up possibilities of meaning, and thus what is meaningful passes into one’s own thinking on the subject’ (Gadamer 1990: 381). Therefore, the questions that are raised in a CPI must be linked to the content of a specific problem that is relevant to the participants and functions as the joint between the problem (or concept) and the experience.9 Any question (including a scientific or empirical question) that lacks this connection will be an empty or pseudo question. This leads us to an exploration of different forms of questions in a CPI. According to Gadamer (1990), the structure of a question can have three forms: (1) ‘open’, (2) ‘slant’, or (3) ‘closed’, depending on whether it (1) touches the space of openness, (2) leads half way into the openness, but still relies heavily on doxa (i.e. belief or opinion), or (3) remains entirely closed.10 However, philosophical questions do not simply open up an infinite and indistinct expanse. Rather, they are always pointing in a certain direction within which the answer is meaningful for the questioner. Gadamer writes, ‘The question positions the questioned in a certain viewpoint. Hence, the logos that explicates this opened-up being is an answer. Its sense lies in the sense of the question’ (1990: 368). Therefore, the question one asks defines the limitations of the field within which a meaningful answer may arise. Relating the question to the specifics of the situation is important in order for one to know what classifies as an answer. Here we can think about the question, ‘What is time?’. Without any context, this question is too open; one does not know if the questioner seeks to have the clock explained, or if the questioner is referring to the human experience of time, or perhaps desires an explanation by physics. This is why Gadamer points out that a question is only meaningful with regard to the inner yearning of the questioner: ‘To be able to question means “to want to know” and “to want to know” means “to know that one doesn’t know”’ (1990: 369). The ‘not knowing’ (docta ignoranctia) has to be related to a ‘something’, that is, a specific aspect of the question. Gadamer says, ‘The essence of the question is that it is meaningful to the questioner. This meaning is the space that the question opens and within which only a meaning­ ful answer can be given’ (1990: 368). In this sense, the question is not ‘completely’ open, because it would become meaningless (i.e., unrelated to a specific human experience). Rather, the very aspect of the world that becomes ‘questionable’ is placed in a clear relationship to 78

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my own being in the world and answering it will change how I position myself towards or within the world. Only then will the answer be a real ‘experience’, that is, result in a change in how I live or perceive the world.

Differentiating between various kinds of questions As outlined previously, Gadamer distinguishes between different levels of a question’s ‘openness’. An example of a ‘slant’ question would be: ‘Why is it better to be courageous than cowardly?’ Here, a decision has already been made and now we consider reasons that support only one side, excluding the opposite side or the context. In order to open up the question, follow-up questions are helpful.11 For example, ‘Are there situations when it might be “better” to be a coward than to be courageous?’ And ‘What do you mean by “better”?’. However, and as previously discussed, Gadamer also teaches us that it makes little sense to look only at a question in itself. We ought to consider the questioner as well as the social context. After all, any dialogue is situated between people in the interpersonal chiasmatic space where intentions and perceptions interweave. Thus, when we ask about being ‘cowardly’ and ‘courageous’, we need to understand what those concepts mean to the members of a CPI. For example, we can ask, ‘Is it valuable or desirable to be courageous?’. In other words, every question already entails assumptions and suggests values that need to be opened up. The beginning of a genuine dialogue in a community of philosophical inquiry is when we become aware and start to reconsider our assumptions. Such situatedness within a social and political context finally leads us to the last aspect, where Gadamer distinguishes between the ‘open question’, the ‘rhetorical question’, and the ‘didactical question’. Gadamer writes: The openness of the questioned contains the openness of the as yet undetermined answer . . . It has to be brought into suspense . . . Every real question demands this openness. If it lacks this openness, then it is only a ‘fake question’ . . . for example, the didactical question. (1990: 369) Both the didactical as well as the rhetorical question already entail an answer. Consequently, the questioner neither brings any of their own assumptions (or doxa) into suspension nor makes themselves vulnerable to the question. The opposite occurs instead as the posing of a didactical question transforms the (ideally) horizontal relationship of a CPI (where the participants engage openly in the question) into a vertical relationship of unequal power: the didactical question positions the listener in an inferior position, because the questioner ‘knows’, whereas the one being questioned still has to ‘prove’ that she knows. But still more subtle, even the evaluation of what ‘knowing’ (or the ‘correct’ answer) can entail will be solely decided by the questioner.

Cultivating a ‘philosophical attitude’: Maybe more than a ‘method’? In a CPI many kinds of questions come up. For example, ‘Where can I buy the same jacket the bear is wearing?’, ‘Why is the bear cold, but Christopher Robin not?’, or ‘Who is the bear’s friend?’. All of these questions – no matter if they are open or closed, challenge core beliefs or not – are important as long as they are initiated by an authentic interest of the questioner. In our view, similar to that of Worley (n.d.), even the seemingly ‘closed questions’ can be opened 79

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up in the process of trying to find an answer. The only ‘guideline’ is ‘the emphasis . . . on the beliefs, questions, and topics that arise from the students themselves’ (Goering, Shudak and Wartenberg 2013: 109). This process of questioning the question, however, is dependent on the facilitator’s sense for the depth and complexity of each concept at stake in the questions. Here, the facilitator can cultivate, inspire, and even model this by continuously scraping away layers of assumptions from concepts, values, and beliefs that are dear to their own life.12 This process cannot be captured by a method only, however, but requires what Gadamer calls the ‘philosophical attitude’. With this notion, Gadamer focuses on the underlying and hidden processes that precede the posing of an open question and emphasizes the importance of anchoring the question in the concrete lifeworld context. The metaphor of the god Eros in Plato’s Symposium describes the ‘philosophical attitude’ as the courage to question and perhaps even abandon the familiar in order to understand something new – to become comfortable with being uncomfortable and learn to dwell in the unfamiliar. This departure becomes an inwardness that penetrates the mind: ‘Those kind of experiences are always an adventure and, like every adventure, they are dangerous’ (Gadamer 2004: 51). They are dangerous because they often involve a painful falling apart and recomposing of established opinions (doxa) or core values as well as an awareness of the profundity of one’s own ignorance and how this uncertainty affects one’s life. It is this tension between (1) the ‘not knowing’ and (2) the relevance for one’s life that evokes a deep desire and urge to explore further. This is why, for Gadamer, the questioning process can never be fully captured by a method (although methods can help scaffold this process), but rather must become an ‘attitude.’ And while it can’t be taught, it can be role-modeled. To display such an attitude is similar to Socrates in the Symposium, where he is characterized as the one who never gets tired of disputing, asking, and pondering, even after an entire night of drinking and discussing philosophy. And so at the very end of the dialogue, Plato (1997: 223d) describes how everyone else is either asleep or drunk, and only ‘Socrates, having laid them to sleep, rose to depart’.

Notes 1 Quotes are from the original German publication‚ Wahrheit und Methode and translated from German to English by B. Weber and A. Wolf. 2 For a history of the question in philosophy and in Philosophy for Children (P4C), albeit from an Anglo American perspective, see Turgeon (2015). 3 For how dramatically opinions diverge here see, for example, Burbules and Bruce (2001); Scholl (2005, 2010); Haynes and Murris (2011); Mohr Lone (2011); Kohan (2013) and Haynes (2014). 4 See also Scholl (2005) and Haynes and Murris (2011). 5 See also Worley (no date). 6 See also Scholl (2005, p. 37). 7 Gadamer himself calls those kinds of questions ‘philosophical’ because they often entail traditional philosophical problems, i.e., recurring problems within the history of philosophy. However, and as emphasized in the beginning, there exists many other kinds of philosophical questions and this is just one perspective or approach among many. 8 ‘Philosophical’ in Gadamer’s sense – we avoid making any general statements here. 9 David Kennedy (1990, p. 43) says: ‘the “fusion of horizons” and risking one’s own point of view for the emergence of something unexpected [is called . . .] an epistemological event, which is an example of the “structure of dialogue”’. 10 See page 369 of Truth and Method. 11 Gardner (1996, 2011) calls those the ‘second why’. 12 On this point see Walter Kohan (2013, p. 370): ‘Only through self-questioning can an educator help others question themselves’.


Questioning the question

References Burbules, N.C. and Bruce, B.C. (2001) Theory and Research on Teaching as Dialogue. In V. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (4th edition). Washington DC: American Educational Research Association. Cam, P. (2008) Twenty Thinking Tools (2nd edition). Victoria: ACER Press. Fisher, R. (2008) Teaching Thinking: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom (3rd edition). New York: Continuum. Gadamer, H.-G. (1990) Wahrheit und methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen hermeneutik. Mohr Publisher: Tübingen. Gadamer, H.-G. (2004) Hermeneutik als Praxis. In H.M. Schönherr-Mann (Ed.), Hermeneutik als Ethik. Munich: Ferdinand Schöningh. Gardner, S.T. (1996) Inquiry Is No Mere Conversation (or Discussion or Dialogue): Facilitation Is Hard Work! Analytic Teaching 16(2): 102–11. Gardner, S.T. (2011) Questioning to Hesitation Rather than Hesitating to Question: A Pragmatic Hermeneutic Perspective on Educational Inquiry. Philosophy Study 1(5): 353–9. Gardner, S.T. (2015) Commentary on ‘Inquiry Is No Mere Conversation’. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 2(1): 71–91. Goering, S., Shudak, N.J. and Wartenberg, T.E. (2013) Philosophy in Schools: An Introduction for Philosophers and Teachers. New York: Routledge. Gregory, M.R. (2007) A Framework for Facilitating Classroom Dialogue. Teaching Philosophy 30(1): 59–84. Haynes, F. (2014) Teaching Children to Think for Themselves: From Questioning to Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 1(1): 131–46. Haynes, J. and Murris, K. (2011) The Provocation of an Epistemological Shift in Teacher Education Through Philosophy with Children. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 285–303. Jackson, T. (2011) P4C Hawaiian Style: We Are not in a Rush. Paper presented to the American Philosophical Association’s Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, April 20–23. Kennedy, D. (1990) Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Dialectic of Dialogue and the Epistemology of the Community of Inquiry. Analytic Teaching 11(1): 43–51. Kennedy, D. (1996) Forming Philosophical Communities of Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms. Early Childhood Development and Care 120(1): 1–15. Kennedy, D. (2004) The Role of a Facilitator in a Community of Philosophical Inquiry. Metaphilosophy 35(5): 744–65. Kohan, W. (2002) Education, Philosophy and Childhood: The Need to Think an Encounter. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 16(1): 4–11. Kohan, W.O. (2011) Childhood, Education and Philosophy: Notes on Deterritorialisation. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 339–57. Kohan, W.O. (2013) Plato and Socrates: From an Educator of Childhood to a Childlike Educator? Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(3): 313–25. Lin, C.C. (2013) Dialogic Pedagogy and its Discontent. In M.B. Glina (Ed.), Philosophy for, with, and of Children (pp. 111–30). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Lipman, M. (2001) Philosophy for Children: Some Assumptions and Implications. Ethik und Sozialwissenschaften 4(4): 405–16. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Makalaiau, A. and Miller, C. (2012) The Philosopher’s Pedagogy. Educational Perspectives 44(1–2): 8–19. Matthews, G.B. (1984) Dialogues with Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Matthews, G.B. (1994) The Philosophy of Childhood. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mohr Lone, J. (2011) Questions and the Community of Philosophical Inquiry. Childhood & Philosophy 7(13): 75–89. Murris, K. (2000) Can Children Do Philosophy? Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(2): 261–79. Murris, K. (2013) The Epistemic Challenge of Hearing Child’s Voice. Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(3): 245–59. Pietzner, J. (2014) Expanding their Horizons: Hermeneutic Practices and Philosophising with Children. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Melbourne, Melbourne. Plato (1997) Symposium. In J.M. Cooper and D.S. Hutchinson (Eds), Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett.


Barbara Weber and Arthur Wolf Scholl, R. (2005) Student Questions: Developing Critical and Creative Thinkers. Thinking 17(4): 34–46. Scholl, R. (2010) The Question Quadrant: A Stimulus for a Negotiated Curriculum. Primary & Middle Years Educator 8(2): 1–19. Splitter, L.J. and Sharp, A.M. (1996) The Practice of Philosophy in the Classroom. In A.M. Sharp and R.F. Reed (Eds), Studies in Philosophy for Children: Pixie (pp. 285–314). Madrid: Ediciones de la Torre. Splitter, L. (1991) Critical Thinking: What, Why, When and How. Educational Philosophy and Theory 23(1): 89–109. Turgeon, W.C. (2015) The Art and Danger of the Question: Its Place Within Philosophy for Children and Its Philosophical History. Mind, Culture, and Activity 22(4): 284–98. Wartenberg, T. (2003) Teaching Philosophy Through Teaching Philosophy Teaching. Teaching Philosophy 26(3): 283–97. Weber, B. (2009) Hans-Georg Gadamer and the Art of Understanding. In E. Marsal, T. Dobashi and B. Weber (Eds), Children Philosophize Worldwide: Theoretical and Practical Concepts (307–22). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Weber, B. (2011) Toward a Democratic Culture of Philosophical Discourse: Gadamer’s Philosophical Hermeneutics as the Fundament for Intergenerational Dialogue. In A. Wiercinski (Ed). Gadamer’s Hermeneutics and the Art of Conversation. Münster: Lit. Weber, B. and Gardner, S.T. (2009) ‘Back to the Future’ in Philosophical Dialogue: A Plea for Changing P4C Teacher Education. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Practice 29(1): 25–30. Worley, P. (n.d.) Questioning Questions: an ‘X’ and a Box. [Online]. Retrieved May 9, 2015 from http://


10 BACK TO BASICS A philosophical analysis of philosophy in Philosophy with Children Catherine C. McCall and Ed Weijers

This chapter is a philosophical analysis as opposed to a description, an empirical study or a literature review, of the importance of philosophy in Philosophy with Children1 (pwc). We argue that philosophising should be done for its own sake because philosophical assumptions underlie all aspects of both individual and collective human life. They underlie every judgement and judgement underlies action, and so bringing to light and understanding the underlying philosophical assumptions empowers individuals. Philosophical assumptions also underlie science, art, morality, politics and social life. And this understanding you only get with philosophising, not with an exchange of opinions. For example, when a person says ‘I think it’s good when people are fair to everyone’ although the person uses the words ‘good’ and ‘fair’ this is not a philosophical comment or argument, it is a statement of opinion.2 One might begin to move towards philosophising by investigating (1) what ‘good’ means and (2) what ‘fair’ means. Philosophical investigation might then reveal a contradiction between ‘good’ and ‘fair’ in real life situations, and understanding why and how it might not be good to be fair to everyone changes people’s judgements and then actions.3 We claim that if an activity is promoted as ‘Philosophical Inquiry with Children’ then it should be both philosophy and done in dialogue, and that the key question for pwc in general is: ‘How to ensure that the activity is philosophical?’ Matthew Lipman explained philosophical dialogue thus: What we consider philosophy is an inquiry: it’s an exploration of ideas and . . . it’s a quest. And it follows a certain line of investigation as a detective might follow a line of investigation, there’s a spoor, there’s a trace, there’s something that you’re looking for. And that doesn’t mean you go straight. I mean children in a classroom or philosophers will tack back and forth like a boat trying to go into the wind, they will go this direction, they will go that direction. But on the whole they go forward. And that’s the difference between philosophical dialogue and a mere conversation: there’s a forward movement.4 We contend that beginners cannot know what ‘you’re looking for’ without having either materials designed to guide them such as Lipman’s P4C curriculum, or a facilitator with the knowledge of what ‘you’re looking for’. We hold that in the absence of materials that supply 83

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these for beginners, a necessary but not sufficient condition for ensuring that the dialogue is philosophical is that the facilitator has a knowledge of philosophy. We contend that a knowledge of philosophy is necessary because philosophy is done in arguments that are structured logically where the content of the arguments are philosophical ideas, and both children and adults need to learn how to make arguments and how to think logically,5 and they need to learn how to distinguish, for example, empirical information from philosophical ideas. This does not happen by itself any more than learning to read happens by itself. Philosophical knowledge is required to be able to identify philosophical argument even before a facilitator can learn skills in how to elicit philosophical argument from participants. We use a transcript6 of part of the 1990 BBC documentary feature film Socrates for Six Year Olds to illustrate philosophising7 as opposed to ‘mere conversation’8 because this film has been used world-wide as an example of pwc for twenty-five years and so many have seen and used it. The film shows edited parts of a 1990 Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) session chaired by one the authors of this chapter. However, in relation to the number of people who use it, few have been taught what the CoPI Chair9 is doing in the video. Even to many experienced pwc teacher-trainers it looks as though all the Chair is doing is managing turns, re-stating what children have said and getting the children to respond to each other (a view that was held by one of the authors for more than ten years as a teacher trainer10 before he learnt about CoPI and was trained in Chairing CoPI sessions).11 One of the aims of the CoPI Chair is to be as invisible as possible while structuring a CoPI dialogue, thus in a successful CoPI session the chairing is not visible. One cannot see the criteria that the CoPI Chair is using to make the judgments about which child to select to speak, and when and why. Even though the chairing is largely invisible, because so many people use this video we think it will be useful to explain what is happening in this dialogue.12 In CoPI we elicit contradictory, contrasting or inconsistent ideas. The Chair does this by analysing the underlying philosophical potential in what the participants say and then calling in specific participants on the judgement of what kind of underlying philosophy each participant will bring to the dialogue – not necessarily what the participants actually say, but rather the philosophical potential in what they say. To analyse the philosophical potential requires knowledge of philosophy. Note, however, that in a live CoPI dialogue, such as the one below, the Chair has to make multi-level judgements; they cannot follow all the philosophical possibilities simultaneously, but the Chair aims to run several themes throughout the dialogue. The commentary in the dialogue shown in Table 10.1 falls into three categories: •• •• ••

Plain type describes what the Chair is doing and why. Bold type explains what the child is saying and its role in the dialogue Underlined type describes the underlying philosophical potential in what the child says, that the Chair is using to help decide which child to call in to the dialogue.

The children in this session have been practising CoPI four days a week for eighteen weeks. They have reached the CoPI stage where most of the participants are excited to move the dialogue forward by contributing ideas that may not be their own opinions: they experiment. They have learnt how to use the CoPI reasoning process, which structures their thinking and contributions13 and now have no problem waiting to be called in, rather than expecting to take turns. They have learnt through practice which kinds of topics work in CoPI – philosophical topics that sustain dialogue. In week one, when the children were learning the CoPI reasoning 84

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structure, Christian asked, ‘Why don’t we just vote?’ and Clarissa said, ‘You don’t understand, that’s not the point of philosophy’. By week eighteen both Christian and Clarissa (and many other children) can be relied upon always to offer a different philosophical point. And they have reached the stage in CoPI, which only happens through sustained practice, where the focus of the dialogue is the philosophical topics and not the thinking of any individual: they understand that the dialogue is about investigating the topic and not simply about saying what you think. These skills and abilities and the joy they experience in generating alternatives empower the children to understand and interrogate the concepts that underlie academic subjects such as maths, science and language, as well as wider social issues. The children are now philosophical thinkers and, as Karin Murris explains, ‘What is important is that children can, and do, pick up “the general spirit of such activities”, and, as such, are being taught a philosophical form of life.’14 Table 10.1  Six-year-olds’ dialogue from Socrates for Six Year Olds Marsha: ‘I agree with Joanna because your brain is for learn and powerful.’

The Chair has called in Marsha at this point because from experience of Marsha’s contributions in previous dialogues the Chair judges that Marsha will contribute epistemological arguments: that there are no limits to what one can learn, and ontological arguments; that it is the brain that does the learning. Marsha does. Marsha agrees with Joanna’s earlier (cut from film) contribution and adds that it is the function of the brain to learn. Potential for: 1 The functions of the brain 2 Ontology of the learning entity: a What is the entity that learns; you, your brain, something else? (e.g. can your muscles learn?) 3 4 5 6

Mind–brain relationship Immaterialism versus Materialism Dualism versus Monism Epistemology: a How do we learn? b What is possible to learn?

7 Ontology:

Chair: ‘So you agree with Joanna that your brain thinks and you don’t agree with Clarissa who said it’s you that thinks?’ Marsha: ‘What Clarissa say?’

a Is there a limit to the brain of what it can learn? b Is the brain the only thing that can learn? The Chair has recognised in Joanna and Clarissa’s earlier contributions (cut) two of the philosophical positions in Dualism. The Chair says this in order to make these philosophical positions explicit and to cue the participants that these contributions are important (philosophically). Dualism is the classical philosophical mind–body problem. Descartes made a sharp distinction between the res extensa (reality of extensive things, things that need physical space, material world) and the res cogitans (reality of thought, things that do not need space, immaterial world). Clarissa’s argument was made about 15 minutes earlier. (continued)


Table 10.1  (continued) Chair: ‘She said it’s you that thinks, not your brain. That’s an interesting thing to say Clarissa.’ Christian: ‘That’s a connection!’

Chair: ‘It’s a connection, you’re right Christian. Philip . . . ’ Philip: ‘Well I disagree with Clarissa because if you didn’t have a brain you wouldn’t be even thinking about the words that I’m talking right now! So it would be impossible without your brain.’ Clarissa: ‘I think it could be possible without your brain because you have a heart, and the heart can beat, and it could think that it’s beating. And I disagree with Joanna and Adele . . . ’

The Chair uses Marsha’s question as an opportunity to emphasise again the tension between Unity of Consciousness and Materialist philosophical positions and to open up the philosophical possibilities of Dualism, the nature of self, unity of consciousness (material or immaterial) – by stressing the word ‘you’ and emphasising Clarissa’s argument saying ‘not your brain’, further cueing the children that this is philosophically important by saying it is interesting. The Chair called in Christian on the judgement that Christian might pick up on a Personal Identity theme as he had in earlier dialogues, in order to open out the philosophical possibilities. The Chair is unsuccessful in this ‘orchestration’, as Christian does not. Note – if participants do not say anything that might raise an underlying theme such as Personal Identity, then the Chair in CoPI does not put it in. The Chair always comes ‘from behind’, using what the Chair analysed as the philosophical potential in what the participants have said. Christian gets the cue that this is important and responds by referring back to an earlier dialogue, which investigated the nature of connections and relationships. The Chair signals to Christian that this is good to refer back, but immediately calls in Philip in order to keep the dialogue within the philosophical themes of Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology and Metaphysics, on the Chair’s judgment that Philip might bring in some kind of counter argument that will develop, deepen and broaden those themes and that he will not follow Christian. The Chair is successful in this ‘orchestration’, as Philip does. Philip refers to the (cut) statement of Clarissa that ‘it is you that thinks not your brain’ Philip argues that the physical brain is a necessary condition for thinking. There cannot be any cognitive activity/thinking if there is no physical brain. Potential for 1 2 3 4

Philosophy of language (thinking and talking) Mind–brain relationship Materialism versus Idealism Dualism versus Monism.

The Chair judges that Clarissa will counter Philip’s Materialist argument that the brain is necessary for thinking because Clarissa has put in earlier the holistic idea that the whole person is thinking (cut). And calls her in to add this to the dialogue at this point (calling in is cut from the film). Clarissa is trying to explain what she meant by ‘it is you that thinks, not your brain’ (cut): that the whole person is involved in thinking. The brain is not the only organ involved in thinking. She proposes the possibility that the heart could think. Potential for 1 2 3 4 5

Unitary consciousness Materialism (the human as biologic entity) The nature of thinking Aristotelian view that the heart is the centre of the intellect The whole body as a neural network.

Chair: ‘Bradley?’

Bradley: ‘ . . . and I disagree with Clarissa because you can have, if your heart beats that’s just your heart thinking and you don’t know if your heart thinks.’ Chair: ‘You don’t know if your heart thinks?’ Bradley: ‘And if you have your brain, like we really do, you would know all the thoughts.’

The Chair judges that Bradley will counter Clarissa’s Monism with a Materialist view and knows that he usually comes in with complex arguments. So the Chair calls in Bradley (rather than another child) in order to widen the philosophical potential in the dialogue. The Chair is successful in this ‘orchestration’, as Bradley brings in an extra philosophical theme of epistemology. Bradley points out an epistemological problem. That you cannot know whether your heart thinks. Potential for 1 Classical metaphysical position of Dualism: mind (you, consciousness) is clearly distinct from the body 2 Nature of physical reality 3 Knowledge is in consciousness, not in physical organs. This is a big epistemological question. By putting stress on the word ‘know’ the Chair emphasises the epistemological problem and cues the children that it is important, because it is a new philosophical element that deepens and enriches the dialogue, cueing the children that this is important. Bradley follows this cue about what you can know. He is building an argument that the heart does not think: we do have a brain and with the brain we know thoughts. We don’t know that the heart thinks and so the heart does not think. [The argument is not valid, but it is an argument.] Potential for

Chair: ‘Lauren.’

Lauren A: ‘I agree with Clarissa because you think and your brain stores your thoughts.’

1 Materialism 2 Idealism 3 Dualism. The Chair calls in Lauren because she sees that Lauren disagrees with Bradley, and Lauren usually gives complex ideas to the dialogue that introduce new philosophical elements. (The Chair is successful in this ‘orchestration’.) Lauren A brings in a new philosophical idea: the positive identification of the function of the brain, which is to ‘store your thoughts’. She argues a new idea of the distinction between you and the brain: that the brain does not actually think. You think. Potential for 1 Radical Dualism 2 Personal Identity questions of the nature of ‘you’ a is it the whole biological entity? (a possibility from Clarissa’s contribution) b is ‘You’ a non-material entity?

Chair: ‘So it’s really you that’s doing the thinking?’

3 The concept of functionality to think about the brain-thinking relationship 4 Nature of thoughts 5 Ontological status of thoughts. The Chair emphasises the philosophical dimension of Personal Identity.


Table 10.1  (continued) Lauren A: (nods) There is about half an hour of the dialogue cut here, and we moved on to another question ‘Can you have people without brains?’ Chair: ‘Robbie.’ Robbie: ‘Well, if you didn’t have a brain you would say: what’s that poem? What’s that? What’s this, and . . . ’

Philip: ‘How would you know what is happening? And how would you know to spell the word if you didn’t think about the word?’ Rikki: ‘You won’t know anything, so you won’t know what you’re saying and you’re, like, you don’t know it.’

Chair: ‘So you can’t even say “what’s that”? Is that what you’re saying Rikki?’ Greg: ‘Yeah, because when you don’t know it, it is like: “I don’t know what that is”, you even don’t know where you are.’

Robbie is saying that the function of the brain and the function of the mind are very closely connected. The brain is needed to identify things, to give meaning to things. Potential for: 1 Distinction between concept of mind and brain (body) 2 Relation between sense perception and cognition 3 Theory laden perception (you need to have a concept before you can identify something) 4 Distinction between noumena and phenomena (Kantian distinction) 5 Phenomenology. (Film is cut for some seconds then Chair calls in Philip.) Philip brings in a new philosophical idea: consciousness. Without thinking there is no consciousness. Potential for: 1 Problem of identifying things that happen in time (not only objects) 2 Kantian categories 3 Relationship between knowledge, thinking and speaking. Rikki sees the consequence of the thoughts of Robbie and Philip and formulates it on a higher, more abstract level: there is no knowledge at all (if you don’t have a brain). Potential for: 1 Nature of knowledge 2 Epistemology 3 Decoding sounds as language (sounds and the meaning of sounds as words) (flatus vocis). The Chair cues the importance of this line of argument, and intends to give a slight pause to allow time to think through the consequences.

Greg develops Rikki’s argument: It is not only that you don’t know anything about the world outside of you (objects) but also the consequence is that you don’t know anything about yourself as subject. Potential for: 1 Destruction of subject and object a Monism or b Nihilism. 2 Subject–object relationship (where does the subject end and the world begin?) 3 Category of space 4 Nature of space (location)

Rikki: ‘You don’t even know what to say.’

Philip: ‘You can’t even talk because you don’t know what the words are.’

Chair: ‘Christian?’

Christian: ‘I think I can sort of answer Robbie’s question, because if you didn’t have a brain, I know why they say you would die. Because you wouldn’t have a brain you would keep falling down. You would keep falling down into the street and would get run over. So you would be immediately dead if you didn’t have a brain.’ Clarissa: ‘I disagree with Christian because you would walk. And I disagree with Patrick . . . Because.’

Christian: ‘Yeah, but your brain wouldn’t tell you that you would walk.

You wouldn’t have anything to say. Potential for: 1 Relationship between thinking and the brain 2 Relationship between thinking and words (language) 3 Thinking without language (analytic philosophy). Philip is thinking through his own previous thought and building on Rikki and concludes that you even don’t have language. Potential 1 Relationship between reality and language 2 Relationship between talking-knowing and words (philosophy of language). The Chair calls Christian to prevent the dialogue from following one line of thinking because the Chair knows that Christian will add a new philosophical element. Earlier in the dialogue the concept of death has been introduced (cut). Christian reintroduces the concept of death as consequence of having no brain. At this stage he stresses that the brain is necessary for the body to function, like walking, standing. He explains by giving an example. Potential: 1 2 3 4

Existential dimension Materialism (unity of brain and body) Definitions of death Nature of human being.

(Cut in film.) Clarissa gives an example – Body does not need brain to function. She suggests that the body could walk without the brain. Potential: 1 Body Knowledge 2 Holistic view of consciousness 3 Functioning and consciousness 4 Question of personhood 5 Function of the brain? 6 Meaning of being alive. Christian explains what the function of the brain is: it ‘tells’ the body that it has to walk. And gives an example. Christian formulates the consequences. There is even no consciousness if you don’t have a brain. And without consciousness you are not alive. (continued)

Table 10.1  (continued) I’m thinking that I’ve got to talk. And if I didn’t have a brain I wouldn’t be talking. Or if I didn’t have a brain I couldn’t hear you, and I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be at school, or I wouldn’t be doing anything because I wouldn’t be alive!’ Long cut Patrick: ‘When Laura and Paul grow up and if they get really old they won’t know anything because they’ve used up all of their thoughts!’

Potential for: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Medical ethics (definitions of death and life) Personal identity Consciousness and being alive Necessary and sufficient conditions for consciousness Nature of the will Self (I) and the brain Consciousness and action The origin of thought/brain activity.

Another (earlier) theme is picked up. Laura and Paul are the characters in the book the children read as stimulus for the dialogue. Patrick intends to make a joke (but it has potential). Potential: 1 2 3 4

Nature of thoughts and ideas Location of thoughts Origin of thoughts Finitude of thoughts a What does it mean ‘use up’? b Is the opposite also possible: multiplication of thoughts (or sharing thoughts)?

Chair: ‘Lauren, do you agree with Patrick, that you could use up all your thoughts when you are young and then you wouldn’t have any more?’ Lauren B: ‘I agree you can use up all of your thoughts, because sometimes I have thoughts to begin with and then I don’t have any more for the rest of the day.’ Chair: ‘So that means that you only have a certain amount of thoughts and then they are all used up?’

5 Nature of you as distinct from your thoughts 6 Aging and thinking 7 Difference between thoughts and ideas 8 Relationship between knowledge and thinking. For the first time in this dialogue the Chair asks (Lauren) directly if she agrees with Patrick for several reasons: (1) in order to signal that although Patrick intended it as a joke, it has philosophical potential; (2) to cut off the possibility of further jokes and remind the children to stay in dialogue by reminding them of the CoPI reasoning structure; (3) to give time to consider Patrick’s joke as a contribution to dialogue rather than a joke.

Lauren B brings in a real experience she (sometimes) has. Lauren’s point is different from Patrick’s because she is talking about one day, not about getting older. Potential: 1 Distinction between you and your thinking 2 Nature of thinking (what do you do with thoughts?)

The Chair asks this question in order to cue the possibility of disagreement (unlimited amount of thoughts and that thoughts are not yours). And to move away from personal experiences.

Back to basics Lauren B: ‘For one day.’

Lauren B stresses that she only means one has a limit of thoughts for one day, not that there is a total limit as Patrick has suggested. Potential: 1 2 3 4

Chair: ‘Stevie?’

Stevie: ‘I disagree with Lauren because you always have thoughts! Everybody has thoughts! There’s never, um, no thoughts. There’s always at least one thought in the world because even when you say to yourself ‘I don’t have any thoughts’ – that’s a thought! So there’s always at least one thought in the world!’

Origin of thoughts: where do you get the thoughts for the next day? Relationship between thoughts and ideas Ontological status of ideas Epistemological question of how do you know ideas? Remember ideas (Plato)? Chair calls in Stevie rather than another child, in order to give a counter argument to the finitude of thoughts, because the Chair saw in Stevie’s eyes that he has reacted to the cue and knows that Stevie always has something philosophically interesting to say. Stevie takes the cue and provides a logical negation to Patrick’s ‘finitude of matter’ argument. His argument is close to Descartes’ reasoning that proves that you can doubt about everything (including having a body) but not about the fact that there is doubting, that is thinking. Stevie introduces the possibility of Immaterialism. The only thing we are sure of is that thoughts exists – and there is always one thought in the world. Stevie argues that (Lauren’s) thinking you ‘have no thoughts for the rest of the day’ is a thought in itself. Potential: 1 2 3 4 5

Cartesian philosophy (dualism) Relationship of the self to thoughts Ontological status of thoughts (how are thoughts in the world?) Berkeley: the idea that there is only our (immaterial) consciousness Solipsism: impossible to connect to a materialistic or immaterialistic world outside of your consciousness.

The side benefits of practising philosophising, such as developing communications skills, listening skills, patience, tolerance of difference, and respect for others,15 could all be achieved in other ways. But we propose that the deep understanding of what underlies individual and collective human life can only be achieved by philosophising. It is our experience that internationally the emphasis in pwc has shifted from the core benefits of philosophising to attention to the side benefits. And we think that the loss of the primacy of philosophy in pwc is a huge loss for the children. In conclusion we would claim that it is misleading children, teachers and parents to call an activity pwc when there is no philosophising happening. This is important because, while we acknowledge that training facilitators in philosophy as well as the art and skill of eliciting philosophical dialogue is expensive and time consuming, we think that failing to do this deprives children of an opportunity to gain a fundamental understanding of human life.

Notes 1 We use the term ‘Philosophy with children’ as the generic term to encompass different methods of philosophising with children. 2 We are not here claiming lack of metacognition as the reason that this example is not philosophy (as used by e.g. White 1992), but rather that there is no argument.


Catherine C. McCall and Ed Weijers 3 For examples of such philosophising leading to changes in people’s lives see McCall, C. (2009). 4 Matthew Lipman, quoted from Socrates for Six Year Olds documentary feature film, BBC 1990. 5 While we claim that philosophising is done in argument, there is not room here to give an analysis of the logical structure of the children’s arguments. For an analysis of the logic in 6-year-old children’s CoPI dialogue see McCall (2009). 6 Transcribed from Socrates for Six Year Olds documentary feature film, BBC 1990. 7 Unfortunately the film was heavily edited by the producer so that much of the more complex reasoning has been lost. 8 Matthew Lipman op cit. 9 ‘Chair’ is the name of the person who guides a CoPI session.The term ‘Chair’ was chosen to distinguish this role from that of a facilitator, as a CoPI Chair is responsible for orchestrating the contributions of participants into a dialogue that is philosophical and as such, exercises more control over the dialogue than the word ‘facilitator’ (making easy) implies. 10 At the University of Professional Education Alkmaar, Netherlands (1990–2000). 11 Experiencing CoPI sessions in 2007 in the University of Porto and training to be a Chair in 2008 at the University of Professional Education in Nijmegen (Netherlands). 12 Although postgraduates have been taught how to chair a CoPI session and what the Chair is doing in this dialogue, this is the first time the account of the role of the Chair in this film has been published. 13 See McCall (2009). 14 See Murris (2000). 15 As described and measured by Rob Bartels (2013).

References Bartels, R. (2013) Democratie Leren door Filosoferen, Denken, dialoog en verschil in de basisschool. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Utrecht. Budel: Damon. McCall, C. (2009) Transforming Thinking: Philosophical Inquiry in the Primary and Secondary Classroom. London: Routledge. Murris, K. (2000) Can Children do Philosophy? Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(2): 261–79. White, J. (1992) The Roots of Philosophy. In A.P. Griffiths. The Impulse to Philosophise (pp. 73–88). Cambridge University Press.


11 DIMENSIONS OF THE SUMPHILOSOPHEÎN The community of philosophical inquiry as a palimpsest Stefano Oliverio

Introduction Speaking of the notion of the community of philosophical inquiry (CPI), Splitter and Sharp (1995: 18) warned that ‘[t]here is always the danger that a phrase or concept which forms the corner-stone of an emerging pedagogy will degenerate into a mere slogan’. However, they soon added that it had been confirmed by teachers’ and students’ experience ‘that [the CPI] really is far from trivial’ (Splitter and Sharp 1995: 18). The present text provides some philosophical-educational perspectives that can contribute to elucidating the non-triviality of the CPI as a pedagogical device. In particular, it will be shown how the CPI, on the one hand, rejuvenates a neglected and to some extent hidden strand of the Western philosophical tradition, and, on the other, operationalizes that tradition within the classroom by recasting it in a pragmatist mode. Matthew Lipman was clear about what level of the philosophical heritage he hoped to uncover. In discussing the ‘surviving’ value of philosophy he comments: ‘[A]pplying philosophy and doing it are not identical. The paradigm of doing philosophy is the towering, solitary figure of Socrates, for whom philosophy was neither an acquisition nor a profession but a way of life’ (Lipman 1988: 12; italics in the original. See also Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan 1980: xiii–xv). In the same period that Pierre Hadot (1981, 1995) and Michel Foucault (2001) were developing their interpretation of ancient philosophy as a manière de vivre, Lipman realigned himself with this long-standing tradition – not, however, for scholarly purposes but rather to re-actualize it in education. The CPI is the locus of this ingenious combination of the rejuvenation of philosophy as a lived practice and its operationalization for educational purposes, and was itself the product of some tenets of pragmatism and Lipman and Sharp’s pedagogical innovation. The CPI is therefore a sort of palimpsest in which there are multiple historical layers which overlap, combine and dovetail with each other. It is in this perspective that it will be investigated here, by exploring some possible theoretical sources of this pedagogical device. The interest is not merely genealogical but aims at enabling us as educators to inhabit it with a broadened awareness.


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Aristotle’s philosophical friendship: the classical layer We could define the CPI as the chronotope of philosophizing-together. The term ‘chronotope’ has become popular in educational and learning theory from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and is here used to emphasize the constitutive space-time character of the kind of (philosophical) thinking that happens within a CPI. This reference to the space-time situatedness of the activity of thinking within the CPI is anything but trivial. Indeed, it counters an enduring theme of the Western philosophical tradition that thinking implies staying ‘nowhere’ (Arendt 1978).1 The chronotopical situatedness of the CPI is intimately related to the kind of ‘togetherness’ intrinsic to it, which is not merely a being-together – though it builds on that (see Kennedy 1997) – but a co-philosophizing, a sumphilosopheîn (see Volpone 2006). The Greek expression comes from a passage of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (IX, 12, 1172, a 1–7) where it refers to a form of friendship that constitutes a kind of community (koinōnía gàr hē philía). Construing the CPI in terms of sumphilosopheîn means, accordingly, understanding the community element as a kind of philosophical friendship.2 It has been noted that ‘in writing these words [in the Nichomachean Ethics] Aristotle could not have forgotten the twenty years spent in Plato’s Academy’ (Berti 2010: VII). Does this mean that we should see the CPI as a form of Academy realized within the classroom? In most respects precisely the opposite is the case. At one level the Academy was surely a form of philosophical life and of living among friends. But what was the meaning of this ‘Academic’3 living-together? We can capture it if we think of Plato’s Seventh Letter (341c), in which Plato relates both being-together (sunousía) and living-together (suzên) exclusively to the object of his speculation. The ‘Academic’ philosopher lives primarily with the object of his theory and the sumphilosopheîn among friends is in principle, if not in practice, a derivative phase. In Plato’s Academy there occurred a momentous re-signification of what the philosophical activity should be. Peter Sloterdijk (2010: 56) has emphasized that Plato’s insight was that ‘the [contemplative] absences of his teacher, Socrates, did not have to take place in the hallways and in the public squares any more, where every passer-by might poke fun at him’. For this reason, Plato invented a place appropriate for ‘the precarious condition of the complete devotion to thought’ (Sloterdijk 2010: 56). In this interpretation, the Academy is the space in which to preserve the heritage of Socrates, not as one who insisted on philosophy as ‘deed’ (Lipman 1988: 12), but rather as one who withdrew from the world of the appearances and got immersed in his own thoughts. Thus, Plato’s Academy gave shelter to the theoretical and contemplative, more than to the activist and dialectic Socrates. The German philosopher Paul Landsberg (1923) likewise insisted that at the very centre of Plato’s Academy is the philosopher with his vision of the eternal truths, which represents the ‘first reality’ of philosophy. At this level, philosophy is a solitary, autarchic and purely theoretical activity, that is, being and living with the object of one’s own theory alone. The circle of the disciples, to whom the philosopher communicates (only part of) his vision, is the ‘second reality’ of philosophy. In the ‘Academic’ device, while the first level reality can exist without the second level (the thinker as theoretikós does not need a community of co-inquirers), the second is nothing without the first. In this perspective, the circle of disciples is only a bridge between philosophy in its real essence and its socialization. Students are not a part of the very reality of philosophy; they do not participate in the production of thoughts. There is no community of philosophical inquiry stricto sensu but only communication as dissemination and transmission. In this understanding, the ‘Academization’ of philosophy consists precisely in the theoreticist turn that 94

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displaces the co-inquirers from the very core of the philosophical activity, which is, accordingly, resolved in pure contemplation. The CPI, in contrast, instantiates another understanding of philosophy, and I would suggest reading the IAPC (Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children) principle for facilitators of philosophical inquiry – being pedagogically strong and philosophically self-effacing – also in this perspective. It is not just the case that the facilitator ‘isn’t teaching what to think, but how to think [and] exchanges content expertise for procedural expertise’ (Gregory 2008: 10; italics in the original), or that the facilitator ‘displays scholarly ignorance’ (Splitter and Sharp 1995: 149) at an early stage of growth of the CPI. What in principle gets effaced from the CPI, insofar as the latter represents an alternative to the ‘Academic’ model, is the presence of the philosopher as the first reality of philosophy, in which inquiry is a solitary process, while the others appear only subordinately as the addressees of a communication as a transmission. By contrast, it is only in communication (in a very different sense) that philosophy – constituted as philosophizing, and, more precisely, as co-philosophizing – exists in its reality. I will call this alternative understanding of philosophy ‘dialectic’, by marshalling some Aristotelian ideas. The CPI as the chronotope or time-place enactment of the sumphilosopheîn is also the chronotope of the ‘dialectics’ as a privileged form of dialégesthai (being-incommunication-as-a-dialogue). It should be noted that the middle voice of the verb in Greek indicates that the action of dialogue is received by the subject him/herself and it expresses the subject’s peculiar involvement and interest in the action.Through an intense re-interpretation of parts of the Organon, the contemporary Italian philosopher Alessandro Volpone (2015) has argued that Aristotle clearly distinguished between two logical stances in philosophical inquiry: the ‘epistemic-scientific’, which is fundamentally predicated upon true and first premises (and is, accordingly, connected with the autarchic approach of a philosophical master withdrawing from the world of appearances and absorbing himself in the contemplation of truth); and the ‘dialectic’, which demands the presence of fellow co-inquirers with whom one establishes the shared points in an argumentation and without whom – in their actual presence and participation – the inquiry cannot take place (and this expression should be understood in its chronotopical significance). In this latter stance, the ‘location’ of (this sort of) thinking and of philosophical inquiry is in-between the interlocutors. Volpone (2015) speaks of the ‘heteronomy of the argumentative elements’, which means that the elements of an argumentation do not exist unless and until they emerge in an act of co-philosophizing, in an actual dialogue among the participants of an inquiry. The starting points of a dialectic argumentation are not purely logical premises but ‘éndoxa’ – things which are shared and agreed upon (see Aristotle’s Topica). This is typical of the CPI procedure, and a relevant part of the task of a facilitator is, as a matter of fact, to help the community to identify the ‘éndoxa’ that work as the hinges for the inquiry. The dialectics so understood is a ‘common work’ (koinòn érgon: see Top. 161 a 20), that is, the work of people involved in a discussion, in which the elements of the argumentation emerge and are constantly tested through dialogical exchanges, and not – as for Plato – the work of thinkers who, even if they participate in a shared examination of concepts, are ultimately engaged not with other thinkers but with the structure of concepts, as the latter exist apart from the dialogue. As mentioned above, and as will be argued in more detail in the next section, Lipman and Sharp were able to revive this tradition through an insightful combination with the pragmatist reflection on community and communication. 95

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Inquiry as social life: the pragmatist layer The themes developed thus far were beautifully summarized by Kennedy (2004: 744) as follows: Lipman’s and Sharp’s synthesis reconstructed philosophy as a communal, dialogical activity. So conceived, community of philosophical inquiry (CPI) is a recapitulation of Socratic practice with a major and determinative difference: in CPI, the controlling factor in the direction of the argument, and the source of its self-correcting movement, is no longer one powerful, dominant member of the group, but the systemic, dialectical process of the group itself. In CPI, the deconstructive/reconstructive process that Socrates takes solely upon himself is distributed among all members, and has its source between them – that is, in their interactions. In the vocabulary of the present reflection this means, on the one hand, that the CPI is the domain of the dialectics where the ‘heteronomy of the argumentative elements’ obtains and, on the other, that a major distinction between the CPI and Socratic pedagogy is that an element of the latter is the predominance of one member of the group – an element which will then be expanded in the ‘Academy’ as a school formed around a charismatic theoretician. This ‘return with a difference’, in John Dewey’s words (1981/1928: 295), to the Socratic approach, occurs through an appropriation of the pragmatist tradition. Lipman and Sharp referred to Dewey and George Herbert Mead and their attention to an activist pedagogy starting from the experience of children as major sources of his approach. The foundational role of Dewey’s thought in particular and pragmatism more broadly to the CPI pedagogy is a recurrent topic of P4C scholarship (see Kennedy 1995, 2012; Sharp 1995; Daniel 1997; Lipman 2004; Cosentino and Oliverio 2011; Granger and Gregory 2012). For this reason I will focus on this specific philosophical tradition, without addressing other possible influences on P4C or other theoretical frameworks compatible with it. If, in exploring the CPI as the chronotope of the sumphilosopheîn, the stress has been on friendship (koinōnía gàr he philía) as the condition of philosophical co-inquiry, the pragmatist layer of the CPI’s palimpsest encourages us to take into consideration the idea of community. It is interesting that the Greek word koinōnía can mean both community and communication. This etymological note resonates in the Deweyan discourse, highlighting the intimate bond between being common, community and communication (Dewey 1980/1916: 7ff). The CPI is, accordingly, the space of communication in a Deweyan sense, that is, the space where there is ‘participation, sharing’, through which the emergence of meanings occurs (Dewey 1981/1928: 132). This Deweyan idea of community/communication is closely connected to Mead’s theory of the mind and to his idea of the social nature of learning. In a course at the University of Chicago in 1910–11, Mead observed that ‘[t]he thought process is dependent on intercourse. This is very important in education. [. . .] What we are insisting is that the intellectual processes are not already going on [. . .] The social relationship comes before thought’ (Mead 2008: 85; italics in the original. See also Lipman 2003: 84–85). I will draw attention to two consequences of this view. First, meanings do not pre-exist dialogue. Indeed, a fateful inversion of the two, subverting the priority of the community (of inquiry), led to the predominance of autarchic theory in philosophy and education. As Dewey (1981/1928: 133) highlights, it is not surprising that meanings, under the name of forms and essences, have often been hailed as modes of Being beyond and above spatial and temporal existence, 96

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invulnerable to vicissitude; [. . .]. Yet there is a natural bridge that joins the gap between existence and essence; namely communication, language, discourse. Failure to acknowledge the presence and operation of natural interaction in the form of communication creates the gulf between existence and essence, and that gulf is factitious and gratuitous. A few pages later Dewey argues that this consideration of meanings as ideal essences resulted in the Platonic model of the dialectics as the theoretical operation of an autarchic thinker. In contrast, the CPI, by rediscovering the emergence of meanings from and within social intercourse, re-actualizes also the idea of the dialectics as the being-in-the-communication-of-a-dialogue. Second, this understanding of the CPI has a powerful import for how we can interpret what happens within it. Philosophical inquiry in the CPI should never been an intellectualistic and abstractly rationalistic playing with concepts. Rather, it should be the communal activity of making sense of a problematic or ambiguous situation, either by means of constructing on or inventing new concepts, or, if existing concepts/meanings are marshalled, by reconstructing and vivifying them through communication as sharing. In this perspective, being ‘pedagogically strong’ as a facilitator by fostering participation, establishing bridges and acting as a trigger (Kennedy 2004), is the most fundamental philosophical work, insofar as communication – in this pragmatist view of the dialectics – is not the second reality of philosophy but the first, because philosophy exists only in co-philosophizing. The view of inquiry as an instance of social life is, of course, also derived from Peirce (Lachs 1999), who first spoke of community of inquiry.4 In analysing this layer of the CPI palimpsest I want to highlight two things: first, Peirce used the notion of a community of inquiry to explain the scientific undertaking as a particular method of ‘the fixation of belief’ (1877) or deciding what to believe. Peirce wrote that ‘the sole object of inquiry is the settlement of opinion’, or belief, in order to eliminate ‘the irritation of doubt’. He described four distinct methods for fixing belief, each more adequate than the last, culminating in scientific inquiry. It is interesting to note that the passage from one method to another – from tenacity to authority to a priori reasoning to science – is characterized by a process unfolding at two closely interrelated levels: •• ••

At each stage the possibility of being exposed to doubt increases, and at the final stage of science there is even the willingness to take advantage of doubt, by making it the driving force of the inquiry. At each stage the ‘social tenor’ of the method of the fixation of belief increases, up to the point that the scientific community of inquiry should be imagined as unbounded in space and time.

The Peircean community of inquiry is the apex of these two tendencies. Indeed, in order for experimentive inquiry to take place, there should be both the utmost openness to, and even the promotion of doubt, which implies a willingness to receive criticisms and suggestions from wherever they may come, provided that they are supported with good reasons, and the broadest social participation, insofar as experimentation thrives on the idea that no one can claim to be the holder of truth and, therefore, everyone is entreated to take part in the process of the testing of beliefs. In practice, of course, all the methods of the fixation of beliefs may occur in an actual CPI: the members may stick tenaciously to their individual beliefs and be unready for self-correction; they may yield to authority – that of other members or even of the facilitator, if the latter fails as a facilitator; or propositions agreeable to reason alone can be settled on, rather than considered with a genuine pragmatist attitude, as hypotheses to be tested in lived experience. From this 97

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perspective, if the CPI should meet the pragmatist requirements of inquiry as social life, the chief strategy to follow is to broaden participation and critical communication as the condition of possibility for meanings to emerge.

Concluding remarks: Lipman and Sharp’s synthesis In this chapter I have endeavoured to revisit the CPI as a pedagogical device by identifying two layers of its complex functioning. It could be argued that Lipman’s and Sharp’s creativity was to consolidate the strengths of the two deployed philosophical-educational traditions and to contain their weaknesses precisely by drawing upon their interaction. In particular, the pragmatist understanding of communication and inquiry enabled Lipman and Sharp not only to make the Socratic model operationable in the classroom but also to avoid some unwelcome ‘Academic’ drifts, by re-discovering at the same time the significance of Aristotelian dialectics. It is within this complex constellation, oscillating between a re-discovery of the meaning of the ancient dialectics (as opposed to the purely theoretical epistéme) and its re-signification in the light of the experimental attitude of modern science that the CPI thrives in its educational potentiality. This implies also that the inventive combination put into operation by Lipman and Sharp cannot be established once and for all, but has to be always recreated in the life of the CPI itself, by interweaving the dialectic thrust with the experimental one. As Dewey put it, we must experience dialogue not as a ‘merely connective, merely mediating’ procedure, as was typical of the classical logic, but rather as a mode of invention, which ‘goes from the known to the unknown’, as is typical of scientific inquiry in modern sense (Dewey 1976 [1900]: 166, 168). Tensions between these two thrusts may develop in the actual life of a CPI, but the task of the facilitator should be, not to stifle such tension, for instance by narrowing the work of the CPI to a fixed methodology, but in fact to cultivate it as a factor of the community’s growth. If the facilitator understands her/his role only in terms of ancient dialectics, by scaffolding the dialogue in such a way as to promote philosophical friendship as the elaboration of the community’s ‘éndoxa’, the experimentalist character of the inquiry as an irruption into the unknown may be lost. If, in contrast, the facilitator focuses solely on pragmatist experimentalism, by re-activitating the ‘irritation of the doubt’ and highlighting the indeterminacy of the situation under inquiry through questions, thought-experiments and so on, the dialogue as an exchange of lógoi among philosophical friends risks fading into the background. If, however, P4C facilitators can pedagogically orchestrate these two dimensions, they thereby engage in a unique kind of philosophical practice consistent with ‘philosophical self-effacement’ and participates as friends in the ‘common work’ of the sumphilosopheîn.

Notes 1 For a critique of Arendt by appealing to the epistemology of the CPI, see Cosentino and Oliverio (2011: 291 ff ). For a different evaluation of the contribution of Arendt’s tenets to the reflection on the CPI, see Glaser (1998). 2 Through investigating friendship as ‘the non-contradictory organizational structure by which “complex wholes” express a single unit’ within the Socratic pedagogy, Glaser (1997: 29) brilliantly pinpointed some relevant differences from the CPI device. I cannot here rehearse nor discuss Glaser’s arguments. 3 I will use ‘Academic’ (between quotation marks) when I refer to Plato’s Academy as a model of understanding philosophy and to the (derivative and subordinate) role that communication among men has in it. 4 For more on how the Peirce notion has influenced the CPI as a pedagogical device and upon how, by appropriating that notion and developing it with a focus on philosophy, Lipman and Sharp were able to re-activate some ideas of Peirce’s notion of inquiry (and its relationship to philosophy) and deploy it in educational settings, see Oliverio (2011, 2012).


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References Arendt, H. (1978) The Life of Mind. New York, London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Berti, E. (2010) Sumphilosophein. La vita nell’Accademia di Platone. Roma-Bari: Laterza. Cosentino, A. and Oliverio, S. (2011) Comunità di ricerca filosofica e formazione. Pratiche di coltivazione del pensiero. Napoli: Liguori. Daniel, M.-F. (1997) La philosophie et les enfants. Les modèles de Lipman et de Dewey. Paris-Bruxelles: De Boeck & Belin. Dewey, J. (1976/1900) Some Stages of Logical Thought. In J.A. Boydston (ed.) The Middle Works of John Dewey, 1899–1924, vol. 1. Carbondale (IL): Southern Illinois University Press, pp. 151–174. Dewey, J. (1980/1916) Democracy and Education. In J.A. Boydston (ed.) The Middle Works of John Dewey, 1899–1924, vol. 9. Carbondale (IL): Southern Illinois University Press. Dewey, J. (1981/1928) Experience and Nature. In J.A. Boydston (ed.) The Later Works of John Dewey, 1825–1953, vol. 1. Carbondale (IL): Southern Illinois University Press. Foucault, M. (2001) L’herméneutique du sujet, Cours au Collège de France 1981–1982. Paris: Gallimard-Le Seuil. Glaser, J. (1997) Socrates, Friendship and the Community of Inquiry. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 16(4): 22–46. Glaser, J. (1998) Thinking Together: Arendt’s Visiting Imagination and Nussbaum’s Judicial Spectatorship as Models for a Community of Inquiry. Thinking, The Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(1): 17–23. Granger, D. and Gregory, M. (eds) (2012) John Dewey and the child as philosopher [Special issue]. Education and Culture: The Journal of the John Dewey Society 28(2):1–111. Gregory, M.R. (ed) (2008) Philosophy for Children Practitioner Handbook. Montclair (NJ): IAPC. Hadot, P. (1981) Exercices spirituels et philosophie antique. Paris: Etudes augustiniennes. Hadot, P. (1995) Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique? Paris: Éditions Gallimard. Kennedy, D. (1995) Philosophy for Children and School Reform. Dewey, Lipman and the Community of Inquiry. In J.P. Portelli and R.F. Reed (eds) Children, Philosophy, and Democracy. Calgary-Alberta (Canada): Detselig Enterprise Ltd, pp. 159–177. Kennedy, D. (1997) The Five Communities Inquiry: Critical Thinking across Disciplines 16(4): 66–86. Kennedy, D. (2004) The Role of a Facilitator in a Community of Philosophical Inquiry. Metaphilosophy 35(4): 744–765. Kennedy, D. (2012) Lipman, Dewey, and the Community of Philosophical Inquiry. Education and Culture 28(2): 36–53. Lachs, J. (1999) Peirce: Inquiry as Social Life. In S.B. Rosenthal, C.R. Hausman and D.R. Anderson (eds) Classical American Pragmatism: Its Contemporary Vitality. Chaimpaign (IL): University of Illinois Press, pp. 75–84. Landsberg, P. (1923) Wesen und Bedeutung der Platonische Akademie. Bonn: Verlag von Friedrich Cohen. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (2004) Philosophy for Children’s Debt to Dewey. Critical & Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy in Education 12(1): 1–8. Lipman, M., Sharp., A.M. and Oscanyan, F.S. (1980). Philosophy in the Classroom. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Mead, G.H. (2008) The Philosophy of Education [course pack edited by G.J.J. Biesta & D. Tröhler]. Boulder and London: Paradigm Publishers. Oliverio, S. (2011) ‘Outfoxing nature’: Matthew Lipman and the Prolegomena to a Pedagogy of Science. Childhood and Philosophy 7(13): 141–160. Oliverio, S. (2012) All that Is Inquiring Is Communal and All that Is Communal Is Inquiring with Peirce Beyond Peirce: Lipman’s Community of Inquiry. In C.-S. Lee and J.-W. Park (eds) Thinking Education Through Philosophy. Seoul: The Korean Academy of Teaching Philosophy in School, pp. 30–44. Peirce, C.S. (1877) The Fixation of Belief. Popular Science Monthly (12): 1–15. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from Sloterdijk, P. (2010) Scheintod im Denken. Von Philosophie und Wissenschaft als Übung. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag. Sharp, A.M. (1995) Habit in the Thought of Charles S. Peirce. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 3(1): 43–47. Splitter, L. and Sharp, A.M. (1995) Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry. Melbourne: Australian Council Educational Research (ACER).


Stefano Oliverio Volpone, A. (2006) Le pratiche filosofiche da un punto di vista epistemologico: filosofia del sumphilosopheîn. In C. Brentari, R. Màdera, S. Natoli and L. Vero Tarca (eds) Pratiche filosofiche e cura di sé. Milano: Bruno Mondadori. Volpone, A. (2015) Eteronomia degli elementi argomentativi nella dialettica antica, con cenni a qualche sua conseguenza. Phronesis: Semestrate di filosofia, consulenza e pratiche filosofiche 13(23–24): 23–64.



The community of inquiry in action Epistemology and pedagogy

Introduction The complex relationship between epistemology and pedagogy is at the heart of education. Traditionally, epistemological questions such as what might ‘truth’ mean? and are certain beliefs, values and actions more reasonable than others? are taken up in philosophy, while pedagogical questions such as what is intelligence? and are there more and less effective ways to learn? are taken up in psychology. Philosophy for Children was deeply informed by pragmatism, which arose at a time when philosophy and psychology were not distinct disciplines. As the chapters in this section recount, early pragmatist thinkers saw epistemology and learning theory as intimately related and defended communal inquiry as a normative practice for both. Dewey, in particular, drew parallels between how experts construct new knowledge through inquiry in disciplinary fields, and how students learn through their own active inquiry in and out of schools. The chapters in this section explore the community of inquiry in P4C as a practice that is necessary, both for a constructivist, inter-subjective epistemology and for a constructivist learning experience. Peter Ellerton’s chapter, ‘Pragmatist epistemology, inquiry values and education for thinking’, summarizes pragmatist epistemology in terms of the principles of fallibilism, non-relativism and non-absolutism, and argues that this epistemology provides the kind of foundation that must support any kind of education in thinking. Ellerton further argues that Thomas Kuhn’s notion of ‘inquiry values’ may be adapted to enhance the traditional understanding in P4C of what it means to be reasonable. What it means to be reasonable is the focus of two other chapters in this section. Renia Gasparatou’s chapter, ‘Philosophy for/with Children and the development of epistemically virtuous agents’, identifies epistemic character traits from the literature of virtue epistemology, such as intellectual courage and autonomy, that Philosophy for/with Children (P4C) can rightly claim to cultivate, and that distinguish P4C’s epistemic (pedagogical) aims from those of other educational programs. On the other hand, Gasparatou argues that the theory and practice of metacognition in P4C should be recognized as an epistemic virtue. Among the similarities Gasparatou finds between virtue epistemology and P4C are the connections made in each between epistemology and ethics (epistemic virtues exercised in community) and between thinking and emotion. Both of these connections are central to 101

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the chapter ‘Thinking as a community: Reasonableness and emotions’, by Dina Mendonça and Magda Costa-Carvalho. These authors discuss reasonableness as a regulative ideal for the community of inquiry in terms of ethical dialogue, and of a process of meta-emotional selfregulation. Their chapter is also relevant to learning theory, as they discuss how meaningful learning requires a particular social environment, typified by the ethos of the community of inquiry. That ethos makes the community of inquiry an ideal format for the professional learning of teachers, as Vivienne Marie Baumfield argues in her chapter, ‘Changing minds: The professional learning of teachers in a classroom community of inquiry’. Baumfield draws on pragmatism to explain that meaningful learning is always inquiry-based. She reports that teachers who practise philosophical inquiry with their students become more reflective, curious and experimental themselves, and she argues that teachers are more likely to openly inquire into their own pedagogical methods and habits in a professional community of inquiry – even one not directly devoted to philosophical concerns. This model of professional learning would be the quintessential Deweyan model of a professional and pedagogical community of inquiry.



Introduction This paper aims at providing a new insight on the epistemology of Philosophy for Children (P4C), highlighting its co-relevance with contemporary virtue epistemology. Virtue epistemology roughly claims that in order for someone to know something, they would have to manifest some epistemic virtues when acquiring their beliefs. In line with virtue epistemology, some philosophers today turn to education and explore ways of promoting epistemically virtuous agents (Baehr 2013; Kotzee 2013; Prichard 2013). I believe that P4C can help the nurturing of such agents. In fact, I suggest that both virtue epistemology and P4C can benefit from each other’s principles.Thus, first I will give a brief introduction to virtue epistemology and outline some similarities between its ideal of an epistemically virtuous agent and P4C’s model of a reasonable person. Then I will argue that virtue epistemology can contribute to P4C and help amend some of its epistemological shortcomings; and, vice versa, that P4C can contribute to virtue epistemology, both by showing how epistemically virtuous agents may be cultivated and by improving this very ideal.

Epistemic virtues and reasonableness Virtue epistemology (hereafter VE) refers to a variety of accounts about epistemic virtue and its relevance to knowledge. However, there is a minimal, propositional common ground underlying all such approaches: (1) attributing or acquiring knowledge presupposes the manifestation of epistemic virtues in the knower; (2) epistemic concepts are normative and can fully be investigated within a vocabulary of standards, values, even duties; and (3) instead of focusing on the epistemic status of beliefs and propositions, epistemologists should shift their attention to the evaluation of epistemic agents (Sosa 1980, 1991; Montmarquet 1987; Code 1987; Kvanvig 1992; Zagzebski 1996; Greco 2002; Kawall 2002; Roberts & Wood 2007). The main question for virtue epistemology is: What does it mean to be a reliable and/or responsible knower? 103

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Reliability and responsibility mark two distinct trends within virtue epistemology. Reliabilists (Sosa, Goldman, Greco etc.) view epistemic virtues as cognitive faculties, such as perception, memory and intuition. Responsibilists (Zagzebski, Code, Montmarquet etc.) think of virtue in terms of character traits, such as open-mindedness, intellectual courage, autonomy and responsibility for one’s beliefs. P4C can nurture both cognitive faculties and epistemic character traits. However, since every educational practice can claim to exercise cognitive faculties, in this paper I will focus on P4C’s ability to cultivate virtuous epistemic character traits. Hence, the emphasis will be on the responsibilists’ side of VE. Within the responsibilists’ frontier there is a further dispute about what counts as an epistemic good: Is it only knowledge or does it include other epistemic outcomes? Or can certain epistemic dispositions be valued independently of the outcomes of their exercise? Those who favor the former view see virtue epistemology as a way to resolve traditional problems about knowledge. Those who favor the latter view tend to pursue novel questions about epistemic agency. An example of the former view is found in the work of L. Zagzebski (1996: 137), who defines a virtue as ‘a deep and enduring acquired excellence of a person, involving a characteristic motivation to produce a certain desired end, and reliable success in bringing about that end’. Following Sosa, Zagzebski underlines the notion of an epistemic outcome as a result of a disposition. The outcome is knowledge or more generally some kind of ‘cognitive contact with reality, which includes, but is not reducible to, knowledge’ (Zagzebski 1996: 137). As I see it, this emphasis on epistemic outcomes presents a potential conflict between VE and P4C. While P4C theorists are not a homogenous group either, and there is great disagreement about what, if anything, P4C is for, many would dispute whether P4C should be limited or even connected with the pursuit of knowledge or truth; or with any specific epistemic outcome (Murris et al. 2009; Kohan 2014; Vansieleghem 2014). Thus, defining epistemic virtue only in terms of pursuing ‘cognitive contact with reality’ might undermine my claim that P4C can cultivate epistemic virtues. Other accounts of epistemic goods imply a much looser bond between the epistemic outcome and the virtuous disposition. J. Baehr (2011: 102), for example, suggests that ‘an intellectual virtue is a character trait that contributes to its possessor’s personal intellectual worth on account of its involving a positive psychological orientation toward epistemic goods’. Here the notion of epistemic good is connected with the epistemically virtuous character per se. Such definitions of virtue partly disengage VE from the evaluation of knowledge claims in traditional epistemology. Baehr (2011), Roberts and Wood (2007), Kvanvig (1992), and others take the value turn so that they can address novel issues about the virtues and vices of intellectual character and of the communities that built them. It is this work that supports my argument that P4C can cultivate epistemic virtues. To pursue this argument, I will highlight the similarities between the epistemically virtuous agent and P4C’s ideal of a reasonable person. Lipman first suggested that P4C does not aim solely at cultivating critical thinking skills or argumentation techniques, or even reason, but at nurturing reasonable persons. And to be a reasonable person is to ‘exercise good judgment while remaining cautious and open-minded with regard to beliefs’ (Lipman 2003: 47). ‘Reasonableness’, after all, ‘is a regulative idea for the development of the character structure’ (Lipman 2003: 204). Significantly, reasonableness is connected with character traits such as open-mindedness and caution that can only be practiced within a community. As Splitter and Sharp write: ‘Reasonableness is primarily a social disposition: the reasonable person respects others and is prepared to take into account their views and their feelings’ (Splitter & Sharp 1995: 6). Like P4C, VE underlines the role of community and of social interactions in the practice and the cultivation of epistemic virtues (Kvanvig 1992; Kawall 2002; Vansieleghem 2006). 104

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One learns to think well individually, by thinking with others. Moreover, VE, even in its most traditional moments, does not limit epistemic goods to knowledge, but re-introduces notions of understanding or even phronesis (practical wisdom) to epistemological discussions (Kvanvig 1992; Zagsebki 1996). P4C theorists, too, have re-introduced such ideals in education (Murris et al. 2009; Steel 2014). Likewise, the virtue turn in epistemology emphasizes the relation between ethics and beliefs (Code 1984; Zagsebki 1996). Being a responsible agent has to do with how one acts, as well as with what one knows and believes. P4C practitioners also imply such a view. They see dialogue and critical thinking as integrated with democratic values, tolerance, respect and responsibility. Each person is both a moral and an epistemic agent within the community of philosophical inquiry, and each kind of agency requires the other (Sharp 1995, 2007b). Virtue epistemologists also focus on the connection between thinking and feeling (Zagzebki 1996). Beliefs and emotions are not easily distinguished (Gasparatou 2016). P4C has long emphasized the role of emotions (Lipman 2003; Sharp 2007a). Reasonableness or good judgment includes solid reasoning, but also the emotional ability to take the context and other people into account (Weinstein 1988; Splitter & Sharp 1995; Pritchard 1996; Lipman 2003). Reasonableness is an explicit epistemic goal of P4C. Such a goal implies the cultivation of character within a community and in many respects it resembles VE’s ideal epistemic agent. P4C theorists then, also share the minimal, propositional common ground that unites VE. P4C and VE both (1) agree that epistemological discussions should include a virtuous agent in a social context, (2) ascribe normativity to epistemic concepts, and tie them with ethical duties, emotions and values. Furthermore (3), both emphasize the cultivation of virtuous agents. Due to the similarities of the two movements, it is worth investigating whether P4C and VE could work together and benefit from each other in certain respects.

VE’s contribution to P4C: epistemic goods and epistemic ends P4C theorists dispute about the epistemic goals of their practice, and even about whether it has or should have any explicit pre-determined epistemic ends (Murris et al. 2009; Vansieleghem 2014; Kohan 2014). The ideal of reasonableness seems to provide some common ground, yet the way P4C theorists characterize reasonableness can be rather vague: Reasonableness is a feature of one’s moral character, it relates to the ability to provide justification and select criteria, it belongs to individuals, it is required for democracy. In any case, reasonableness is not just solid reasoning, critical thinking skill or a path to true beliefs (Pritchard 1996; Lipman 2003). Reasonableness, then, remains a rather ambiguous concept. It aims at good thinking, but again it is rather hard to define good thinking. This ambiguity is not accidental. After all, being able to think well, or even to think at all is a very broad ability. However, it would benefit P4C to have a more robust account of epistemic goods, for only when you have such an account can you go on to argue what education should aim at with regard to those goods and, subsequently, how P4C programs cultivate them. Keeping in mind, then, that an epistemically virtuous agent is intuitively much like a reasonable person, I propose that P4C borrow some of VE’s propositions. VE can help P4C provide more tangible accounts of reasonableness, by connecting it with specific character traits. There is already some mention of virtues, such as open-mindedness and caution, in the P4C literature about reasonableness. The mere mention of virtues however, will not do. Some analysis is needed of what it means to be virtuous or cautious, open-minded and so on. P4C theorists, even when referring to such virtues, hardly offer detailed elaborations of them; nor do they systematically explain why these traits are worth pursuing. VE can fill this gap: it has 105

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proposed detailed analyses of what a virtue is, even as opposed to talents, faculties, temperaments and skills (Baehr 2011). Moreover, it provides robust accounts about the content of specific virtues and about how each of them relates to a broad spectrum of epistemic goods. VE’s analyses can thus help P4C be more precise about the content of the virtues it aims for, about its epistemic ends and about the worthiness of such ends. Consequently, such analyses may even help P4C defend or, in some cases, even refine some of its methods. Let’s outline some examples. Baehr’s (2011) analysis suggests that open-mindedness, for instance, not only has to do with facing conflicting ideas. It also relates to trying to grasp new or difficult ideas and/or methodologies. Moreover, it is a kind of intellectual empathy that helps see the world in different ways. P4C can use such an analysis to highlight how exposing children to different ideas and different points of view about any given issue in philosophical stories and in the community of inquiry enables them to meaningfully engage with these ideas. P4C can also claim to cultivate intellectual courage, an epistemic virtue explored and defended by Robert and Wood (2007), Baehr (2011) and others. According to their analyses, part of being intellectually virtuous has to do with being able to argue for what one believes, but also with feeling OK when others disagree. P4C programs can help children do both. A community of inquiry builds respect and trust in others, as well as in oneself. P4C can therefore encourage intellectual autonomy, as defended by Robert and Wood, for instance. In their view, to be intellectually autonomous is to be able to think on one’s own even when one is with others and even when one’s thinking presupposes discussing with others. Autonomy involves a willingness to tap the intelligence and knowledge of others when needed. It also involves an intelligent ability to resist different forms of pressure to conform (Robert & Wood 2007: 256–258). Since P4C helps children learn to think for themselves while discussing with others, intellectual autonomy is among the virtues it can claim to encourage. In addition, epistemic responsibility, as defended by Code (1987), can be added to the list of virtues that P4C may promote. Within P4C discussions, one learns to feel responsible about one’s beliefs. And, as Code suggests, arguing for something is always a moral choice: one becomes accountable for one’s beliefs by learning to either own them or alter them. These are just some examples of epistemic virtues that P4C can explicitly add to its goals. VE’s analyses can, furthermore, highlight how P4C’s epistemic ends differ from those of other programs. Critical thinking programs, rhetoric classes and so forth teach critical thinking skills in a very straightforward way. They give prescriptions about how to build valid arguments, they ask children to argue and defend different views and they may produce measurable results (Erduran et al. 2004; De Bono 2009; McCormack et al. 2014). There is no question that many of these programs benefit children today. They can also claim to promote open-mindedness or intellectual courage, for example, as in such programs children are typically asked to argue and counter-argue for different points of view. However, it is again important to pause and explore what exactly it means to be open-minded or courageous, as virtue epistemologists do. Openmindedness, as related to intellectual empathy, goes beyond the ability to argue for alternative opinions from a detached intellectual viewpoint; it also means opening one’s mind to explore difficult ideas or concepts and it relates to actually sympathizing with different world-views in a concerned manner (Baehr 2011). The virtue of open-mindedness is different from the skill of counter-argument. The same goes for intellectual courage. The virtue of intellectual courage does not just refer to the ability of speaking up in front of a crowd; it has to do with daring to speak one’s mind even if one knows that the others truly disagree. It is related to epistemic responsibility: being accountable for one’s beliefs, just as one is for one’s actions. Neither the virtue of intellectual courage nor that of epistemic responsibility can be cultivated in discussions of hypothetical 106

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issues unrelated to the student’s actual lives. To mimic authentic dialogue has certain limitations (Crooks 2009). Epistemic agents need to truly discuss their own beliefs. Skills, then, differ from virtues (Baehr 2011), and P4C ought to emphasize this distinction. It can borrow from VE’s doctrines and focus more on the epistemic goods it can provide, argue for the worthiness of specific epistemic virtues and provide analyses of what it is to have certain virtuous traits and of how P4C programs cultivate them. In the next section, I will argue that P4C can return the favor, by actually nurturing epistemically virtuous agents and by clarifying further this very ideal.

P4C’s contribution to VE: metacognition, philosophy and the development of a virtuous character P4C can be a robust educational practice for the cultivation of epistemic virtues. The philosophicality, so to speak, of both its method and its content is a normative investigation into meanings and judgments. Hence, it can cultivate virtues in a way that most critical thinking programs cannot. For P4C is not about the art of conversation; it is a real discussion among peers. Whereas other critical thinking programs promote skillful agents, P4C can nurture virtuous ones. As Lipman (2003: 46–48) points out, method and content are indistinguishable in P4C programs. P4C is not a recipe of producing valid arguments in a detached intellectual exercise. Children bring their own – often very strong – views, while facilitators practice philosophical ambivalence (Lipman 2003; Gregory 2007; Haynes 2008). This already creates an unsettling setting that provokes full-blown judgment: emotion and argument together. Often children themselves claim they have become more open-minded or tolerant, and seem to recognize the quasi-epistemic and quasi-moral value of such traits (Gasparatou & Ergazaki 2015). They do not just develop skills. In fact, sometimes they may not – as far as we know – develop skills at all (ibid.). They do, however, develop virtues. P4C does not teach children critical thinking; it invites children to practice critical thinking (Lipman 2003). This includes being able to think about our ways of thinking, realize there are alternative interpretations and viewpoints, and appraise them. The cultivation of metacognition or meta-thinking is probably the best gift a P4C program can give (Murris 2008; Stokes 2013). One learns to ask oneself what one thinks on any given issue and whether what one thinks is justified, correct, moral and so on. In fact, philosophy is so deeply connected with meta-thinking that the most usual objection to P4C is that children cannot philosophize because they have not developed their metacognitive skills. Others suggest that children do have such abilities (Matthews 1980 & 1984; Murris 2000; Kuhn & Pearsall 2000; Kuhn & Park 2005; Haynes 2008). It seems to me, though, that this discussion misses the point: education should include practices that promote metacognition, especially if or when these skills are not fully developed. It has been established that P4C can cultivate metacognition (Murris 2008; Stokes 2013). Again, other educational practices claim to cultivate metacognition as well; for example, science education. However, their definitions of metacognition tend to reduce it to the ability to successfully synchronize our theories about the world with the evidence at hand (Kuhn & Pearsall 2000; Kuhn & Park 2005). On this view, metacognition is a meta-skill, not a virtue. Of course, being able to think about one’s thinking while one thinks, and to synchronize different kinds of data with interpretations and judgments, is indeed a key ability of an epistemically rigorous agent. One should realize, however, that this ability includes values as well (Kuhn 1991; Gasparatou 2007; Crooks 2009). To make a judgment or to decide how one will arrange 107

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the data at hand includes emotional and ethical (or social) evaluations; hence, it is within the realm of virtue. P4C’s vision of metacognition can advance VE’s ideal agent by adding metacognition within their traits. It is rather surprising that virtue epistemologists do not typically include metacognition in their discussion of virtues. Just a few of them have argued for metacognition as a regulative mechanism that relates to cognitive faculties (Lepock 2014; Broncano 2014). Zagzebski (1996) speaks of the Aristotelian virtue of phronesis or practical wisdom as the queen of all virtues. It is a meta-virtue that allows one to determine which other virtues should be exercised in a given situation. It consists in the ability to strike a balance between different virtues. Some of the virtues we briefly encountered before, such as open-mindedness and intellectual courage, for example, can pull an agent in opposite directions: when is one to keep an open mind to others’ perspectives and when to defend one’s own view? The virtuous agent needs an overall grasp of the situation in order to decide which virtue they should prioritize. The functions that Zagzebski attributes to phronesis are very similar to those of metacognition. Speaking of phronesis as a reflective, regulative virtue is actually a way of seeing metacognition as a virtue and not as a skill. And this is how P4C theorists have seen it all along: metacognition has to do with decision-making, self-accountability and evaluations about what is more important in a given situation. P4C, then, can positively contribute to VE’s agenda by relating metacognition with phronesis, and claim it as a virtue. VE argues for the development of an epistemically virtuous character. A list of virtues, however, does not qualify as an agent’s character. To be a whole agent, one should be capable of reflection, self-determination and self-evaluation. Metacognition should be added to VE’s list of virtues and P4C can highlight its importance. Philosophy sessions ideally cultivate such metacognitive skills insofar as they engage the young in a philosophical – that is, reflective – way of life. One should not forget that the P in P4C stands for Philosophy. Among the many criticisms of P4C, some argue that P4C is too philosophical in some way or another: too demanding for children; not multi-cultural enough since philosophy is seen within the Western philosophical tradition; too focused on truth seeking, or on the development of the reasoning and argumentation styles of philosophers (Hand & Winstanley 2009; Murris et al. 2009; Gregory 2011). It seems to me, however, that often the problem is the opposite: discussions in the classroom may lose any relevance with philosophical issues or methods because of some facilitators’ poor training in philosophy (Weber & Gardner 2009). Whatever the reason, when P4C sessions lose their philosophical relevance, the cultivation of intellectual character is minimized. P4C promotes metacognition as a virtue as far as it invites the young into the philosophical life. To live philosophically is to feel, act and think about one’s own thoughts, acts, and emotions while one thinks, acts and feels. This is the special gift that P4C can give not only to its participants and practitioners, but also to VE: the development of metacognition as a virtue.

References Baehr, J. (2011) The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Baehr, J. (2013) Educating for Intellectual Virtues: From Theory to Practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47(2), 248–262. Broncano, F. (2014) Daring to Believe: Metacognition, Epistemic Agency and Reflective Knowledge. In: Fairweather, A. (Ed.) Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 49–66. Code, L. (1987) Epistemic Responsibility. Providence RI: Brown University Press.


Developing epistemically virtuous agents Crooks, S. (2009) Teaching for Argumentative Thought. Teaching Philosophy 32(3), 247–261. De Bono, E. (2009) Six Thinking Hats. London: Penguin. Erduran, S., Simon, S. & Osborne, J. (2004) TAPping into Argumentation: Developments in the Application of Toulmin’s Argument Pattern for Studying Science Discourse. Science Education 88(6), 915–933. Gasparatou R. (2016) Emotional Speech Acts and the Educational Perlocutions of Speech. Journal of Philosophy of Education 50(3), 319-331. Gasparatou, R. (2017) On ‘the temptation to attack common sense’. In: Peters, M. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Singapore: Springer. Gasparatou, R. & Ergazaki, M. (2015) Students’ Views about Their Participation in a Philosophy Program. Creative Education 6(8), 726–737. Greco, J. (2002) Virtues in Epistemology. In: Moser, P. (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. New York: Oxford University Press. Gregory, M. (2011) Philosophy for Children and Its Critics: A Mendham Dialogue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2), 199–219. Gregory, M.R. (2007) A Framework for 
Facilitating Classroom Dialogue. Teaching Philosophy 30(1), 59–84. Hand, M. & Winstanley, C. (Eds.) (2009) Philosophy in Schools. New York: Continuum. Haynes, J. (2008) Children as Philosophers. London: Routledge. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2012) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy. London: Routledge. Kawall, J. (2002) Other–Regarding Epistemic Virtues. Ratio 15(3), 257–275. Kohan, W.O. (2014) Philosophy and Childhood: Critical Perspectives and Affirmative Practices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Kotzee, B. (Ed.) (2013) Education and the Growth of Knowledge. London: Wiley Blackwell. Kuhn, D. & Pearsall, S. (2000) Developmental Origins of Scientific Thinking. Journal of Cognition and Development 1(1), 113–129. Kuhn, D. & Park, S.H. (2005) Epistemological Understanding and the Development of Intellectual Values. International Journal of Educational Research 43(3), 111–124. Kuhn, D. (1991) The Skills of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kvanvig, J. (1992) The Intellectual Virtues and the Life of the Mind. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Lepock, C. (2014) Metacognition and Intellectual Virtue. In Fairweather A. (Ed.) Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 33–48. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Matthews, G. (1980) Philosophy and the Young Child. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Matthews, G. (1984) Dialogues with Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. McCormack, L., Odilla, E.F. and Mc Cloughlin, T.J.J. ( 2014) The CASE Programme Implemented Across the Primary and Secondary School Transition in Ireland. International Journal of Science Education 36(17), 2892–2917. Montmarquet, J.A. (1987) Epistemic Virtue. Mind 96(384), 482–497. Murris, K.S. (2000) Can Children Do Philosophy? Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(2), 261–279. Murris, K.S. (2008) Philosophy with Children, the Stingray and the Educative Value of Disequilibrium. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42(3–4), 667–685. Murris, K., Bramall, S., Egley, S., Gregory, M., Haynes, J. & Williams, S. (2009) What Philosophy with Children Is Not: Responses to Some Critics and Constructive Suggestions for Dialogue about the Role of P4C in Higher Education. Available at .547.4551&rep=rep1&type=pdf (Accessed 23 March 2016). Prichard, D. (2013) Epistemic Virtue and the Epistemology of Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47(2), 236–248. Pritchard, M. (1996) Reasonable Children. Kansas: University Press of Kansas. Roberts, R.C. & Wood, W.J. (2007) Intellectual Virtues. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Rollins [Gregory], M. (1995) Epistemological Considerations for the Community of Inquiry, Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 12(2), 31–40. Sharp, A.M. (1995) Philosophy for Children and the Development of Ethical Values. Early Child Development and Care 107(1), 45–55. Sharp, A.M. (2007a) Education of the Emotions in the Classroom Community of Inquiry. Gifted Education International 22(2–3), 248–257.


Renia Gasparatou Sharp, A.M. (2007b) The Classroom Community of Inquiry as Ritual: How We Can Cultivate Wisdom. Critical and Creative Thinking 15(3), 3–14. Sosa, E. (1980) The Raft and the Pyramid: Coherence Versus Foundations in the Theory of Knowledge. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5(1), 3–26. Sosa, E. (1991) Knowledge in Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Splitter L.J. & Sharp, A.M. (1995) Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Enquiry. Melbourne: ACER. Steel, S. (2014) The Pursuit of Wisdom and Happiness in Education. New York: SUNY Press. Stokes, P. (2012) Philosophy Has Consequences! Developing Metacognition and Active Learning in the Ethics Classroom. Teaching Philosophy 35(2), 143–169. Vansieleghem, N. (2006) Listening to Dialogue. Studies in Philosophy and Education 25(1–2), 175–190. Vansieleghem, N. (2014) What Is Philosophy for Children? From an Educational Experiment to Experimental Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46(11), 1300–1310. Weber, B. & Gardner, S.T. (2009) ‘Back to the Future’ in Philosophical Dialogue: A Plea for Changing P4C Teacher Education. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 29(1), 25–30. Weinstein, M. (1988) Reason and Critical Thinking. Informal Logic 10(1), 1–20. Zagzebski, L. (1996) Virtues of the Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Introduction The primary function of the classroom community of inquiry, which has become the primary pedagogy of Philosophy for Children (P4C), is the practice of a system of thought (Lipman 2003: 103) that constitutes an education in thinking. That practice is informed by certain epistemological commitments, on the one hand, and by pedagogical commitments on the other. In this chapter I will consider the relationship between those epistemological and pedagogical commitments and how, together, they constitute an approach to an education in thinking. In the first section of this chapter, I will show that the epistemology at the heart of P4C is pragmatic, drawing on the work of Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, and explain how that epistemology relates to the kind of thinking practiced in the community of philosophical inquiry. In the next section I will argue that the pragmatic epistemological commitments of P4C fulfill the characteristics that Harvey Siegel has set for any kind of education in critical thinking. In the final section I will argue that both the epistemological and the pedagogical commitments of P4C would be strengthened by incorporating the practice of ‘inquiry values’ such as clarity, precision and coherence, many of which were identified by Thomas S. Kuhn as central to scientific inquiry. Learning to think well involves identifying, understanding and applying a range of values which collectively provide the language through which we transmit our learned experience of inquiry. I will show that these values are consistent with the pragmatic epistemology informing P4C practice.

The epistemic heritage of P4C There is a variety of disciplinary perspectives from which the classroom community of inquiry is understood and practiced. Classroom communities may be formed around inquiry in disciplines such as history, mathematics and philosophy, and may be seen as training grounds for the broader professional disciplinary communities of inquiry to which graduates of these classroom communities can aspire (Gregory 2002; Seixas 1993). What these disciplinary variants have in common is a conceptualization of education itself as a process of school-based inquiry continuous with inquiry in academic and professional communities, first developed by John Dewey (2005). Dewey’s theory of education was, in turn, informed by the pragmatist epistemology 111

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of Charles Sanders Peirce (1955). As my focus is on the connection between epistemology and pedagogy in P4C, I will consider some salient epistemic points that Peirce and Dewey bequeathed to Matthew Lipman. It is no small compliment to Peirce that he is seen by many as having offered the solution to problems raised by Descartes. This is discussed in detail elsewhere (Gregory 2000; Pardales & Girod 2006), but I will represent Peirce’s point of view in brief in a few key ideas I choose for their pedagogical implications. First, unlike Descartes, Peirce does not think that systematic doubt is a mechanism by which we can dissolve uncertainty, leaving only epistemic bedrock from which we can then rebuild certain knowledge. Doubt, for Peirce, is simply a necessary fact of being in the world, so it would be nonsensical to say that we could not form beliefs or take actions with confidence unless we could first remove doubt. Peirce also employs doubt as a creative and instructive force, so that our doubt is expressed in degrees of epistemic confidence underpinned by warrants for belief. For Peirce, epistemology is not the binary situation prescribed by Descartes, according to which we must know for certain or abandon all presumption to knowledge. That we can and do doubt the beliefs we use to move forward in our inquiry requires that we keep our warrants strong and maintain an epistemic vigilance. Indeed, we cannot test our beliefs unless we use them as a basis for action, and once they have shown themselves reliable, we begin to ask for reasons to doubt them, rather than why we should continue to trust them (Gregory 2000: 47). But more than this, Peirce claims that we can never know that the beliefs we have at any moment will not be overturned in the future by better or continued inquiry. We can never have the epistemic certainly that Descartes craved. This pragmatic epistemic fallibilism is also a key pedagogic principle for Dewey, as I will show. Second, Peirce does not trust the Cartesian model of the individual as the isolated agent of cognition, at least in as much as that cognition may lead to truth. He rejects the proposition that truth can be found in introspection for the simple reason that, were it so, a person, being convinced of the truth of a proposition, even one gained experimentally, would feel she would ‘have done with reasoning, and should require no test of certainty’ (Peirce 1955: 229). Peirce saw knowledge as derived from, and used for engagement with, the world. It was not to be found in a priori analysis and, therefore, ideas found in introspection alone could not be called knowledge. As Descartes distrusted the senses, having been fooled by them in the past, and sought to ground his knowledge in what could be clearly and distinctly perceived with the mind, Peirce did not trust that the mind, isolated from the world and from other minds, could have any reliable understanding. Peirce found greater epistemic confidence in the combined inquiry of many, through which individual perspectives could be aligned into inter-subjective understandings that could approximate truth. ‘The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed upon by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth, and the object represented in this opinion is the real’ (Peirce 1955: 38). The third epistemic point to take from philosophical pragmatism is that knowledge itself is not something that sits apart from human experience. At this stage I move away from Peirce to Dewey, who articulated powerfully and in detail how we might understand knowledge, and did so in a way heavy with pedagogical implications – though he had no vision of philosophy as a methodology of education, as Lipman later did (Lipman 2004). Dewey argued that in educational contexts, knowledge must be arrived at, not received. He thought knowledge should not be abstracted from the process of inquiry that produced it, lest it seem more real and more certain than that process. He wrote dramatically that: The record of knowledge, independent of its place as an outcome of inquiry and a resource in further inquiry, is taken to be knowledge. The mind of man [sic] is taken 112

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captive by the spoils of its prior victories; the spoils, not the weapons and the acts of waging the battle against the unknown, are used to fix the meaning of knowledge, of fact, and truth. (Dewey 2005: 111) This type of abstraction from human inquiry results in what Dewey calls the ‘spectator theory of knowledge’, in which knowledge is taken to be something readymade or preexistent to inquiry, that students may attain rather than create for themselves by conducting their own inquiries (Dewey 2005: 75). Dewey sees no coincidence in the use of the word pupil to identify someone who passively receives knowledge in much the same way that the pupil of an eye simply allows light through to form an image (Dewey 2005: 84). For Dewey, knowing is rather a ‘mode of participation’ in the world (2005: 196), a mode which is better described as the interaction of an organism with its environment than as the apprehension of an object by an uninvolved. A subject and an object can be thought of as categorically distinct, ontologically independent and causally unconnected. Not so, an organism and its environment. In this section I have not attempted to represent pragmatic epistemology in its entirety and complexity, only to indicate key propositions in this epistemology that have influenced the theory and practice of the classroom community of inquiry. The three key epistemic proposition I have outlined – that knowledge is fallible, that the veracity of human knowledge is warranted by a community of inquirers and that knowledge is intimately linked to our being and acting in the world – are substantive enough to draw significant pedagogical conclusions. But before I do so, I will consider why a certain kind of epistemology is a necessary foundation for the pedagogy of an education for thinking.

Epistemology and pedagogy It is well known that P4C was designed in part as an approach to education for effective thinking, particularly in its pedagogy of the community of philosophical inquiry. I have explained how that pedagogy was informed by the pragmatist epistemology of Peirce and Dewey. In this section I will argue that the epistemological commitments of P4C fulfill the characteristics that Harvey Siegel has set for any kind of education in critical thinking. In a seminal paper (1989) Siegel argued that a particular kind of epistemology is a necessary component for any educational approach to critical thinking. In the first place, he noted that being a critical thinker means that one’s actions and beliefs are based on reasons evaluated in a rational framework, and that what constitutes ‘reason’ and rationality’ are decidedly epistemic concerns (Siegel 1989: 127). More particularly, Siegel pointed out that ‘it is reasons and evidence which confer warrant and justification’ to particular beliefs or actions (1989: 137), and that the relative strength of warrants and justifications depends on a determination of what reasons are good and the significance and relevance of evidence. But this kind of determination demands careful judgement, ‘enhanced by the skills and abilities . . . constitutive of critical thinking’ (Siegel 1989: 137). Thus, developing effective warrants and justifications requires a process of rational justification (inquiry) and that process, Siegel argues, presupposes three particular epistemological characteristics. In what follows I will discuss each of Siegel’s epistemological characteristics and explain how each is fulfilled by the pragmatist commitments that inform P4C. One characteristic of Siegel’s critical thinking epistemology is that it must reject relativism: the idea that truth is relative to individuals or cultures, or that there is no principled way to distinguish belief and actions that are more and less reasonable. Were relativism not rejected, there would be no sense of a warrant for belief or action that did not go beyond the personal 113

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or the communal. There could be no appeal to a higher rational court if an individual rejected a cogent argument or accepted an irrational one. Indeed, the entire notion of critical thinking as a method of basing beliefs and actions on sufficient reasons would become nonsensical. This is exactly Peirce’s problem with Descartes. The call that Peirce makes for knowledge making through the community of inquiry is a call to arms against the relativism he detected in Descartes’ method. Siegel’s rejection of relativism does not imply an absolutist conception of truth, however. Each of his other two epistemological characteristics describe aspects of fallibilism. Another characteristic of Siegel’s critical thinking epistemology, which might be thought of as non-absolutism, is that what is rationally justified may not be true, and what is true may not be rationally justified. Rational justification does not constitute truth in absolute or final terms. In an educational context, a student who follows a rational justification but is wrong is generally seen as a better thinker than someone who is right while accepting a poorly justified claim (Siegel 1989: 113). Truth and rational justification are therefore independent of each other, and this independence constitutes one aspect of fallibilism. Siegel claims that this contradicts Dewey, since Dewey defined truth as simply ‘warranted assertability’ (Siegel 1989: 132). I suggest, however, that Dewey is using truth in a different way. Dewey holds the epistemic credibility of any truth statement (knowledge) to be a function of the quality and integrity of the inquiry process that produced it, leaving aside any claims about truth apart from such a process. Knowledge, being knowledge of what is ‘true’, is constructed through a process of inquiry that engages the community with its environment. As the nature of knowledge is a function of inquiry these two cannot be separated in professional or educational contexts. Indeed, Dewey’s epistemology gives no support to the notion that human inquiry must move asymptotically closer to truth: ‘The conception that growth and progress are just approximations to a final unchanging goal is the last infirmary of the mind in its transition from a static to a dynamic understanding of life’ (Dewey 2005: 35). Hence, with some definitional maneuvering, Dewey’s epistemology becomes compatible with Siegel’s principle of non-absolutism, or not conflating rational justification with truth. Siegel’s third epistemic characteristic is the other side of non-absolutism: that while the relationship between truth and justification is problematic, we can, and indeed we must, regard beliefs justified by effective warrants as true. ‘Truth thus functions for us . . . as a regulative ideal: the upshot of justification is a prima facie case for truth’ (Siegel 1989: 136). Thus, though Siegel argues for the independence of truth and justification, he also maintains justification as a necessary condition for, and indicative of truth. Significantly, when Siegel writes of truth as a regulative ideal he means that it should regulate the process of rational inquiry. No particular truth claim can serve as such an ideal, for we do not know truth separate from warrant. Rather, Siegel has in mind the very notion of truth as constructed and warranted by certain modes of inquiry. In other words, the nature and form of the inquiry that lead us to a truth claim are paramount. And, as Siegel notes, this is just another way to arrive at fallibilism (1989: 137). Siegel’s notion of fallibilism, consisting of the principles of non-relativism, non-absolutism and truth as provisional warrantability, is essentially a pragmatist notion. If we are happy to understand truth as derived provisionally and inter-subjectively from a community of inquiry then the ‘regulative ideal’ which guides that process must be nothing other than the norms of inquiry which the community generates as a result of its meta-level inquiry. Siegel’s fallibilism demands resistance to relativism through epistemic vigilance. Peirce’s insistence that epistemic credibility is a function of the community of inquiry thus meets the requirements of Siegel’s epistemological criteria in plotting a middle way between absolutism and relativism. Those who imagine that if absolute knowledge such as Descartes sought is not possible we must then 114

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collapse into a quagmire of relativism, have not understood pragmatism. As Gregory (2000: 48) points out, the fallibility of our beliefs is procedural – it is a reflection of the forever unfinished process of inquiry that sustains them. The warrants that buttress them may remain upright indefinitely, and only future experience and inquiry can provide reasons for their maintenance or downfall. In summary, Siegel argues that an effective thinking education must be underpinned by an epistemology that rejects relativism, that is non-absolutist in that it sees truth and inquiry (or rational justification) as independent from each other, and that it is falliblist in taking truth to be a regulative ideal comprised of norms for rational inquiry. I have shown that the rationality of the community of inquiry can provide a bulwark against relativism and that its norms constitute that very kind of regulative ideal. I have also shown how the fallibilism of pragmatic epistemology satisfies Siegel’s own epistemic requirements of fallibility and non-absolutism. Having therefore demonstrated that the pragmatist principles that inform P4C constitute a firm epistemological foundation for an education in thinking, in the next section I will explore what those epistemic commitments mean for classroom pedagogy.

The place of inquiry values in P4C pedagogy What teachers do in P4C classes is no mystery. Lipman has clearly outlined what he sees as constitutive of teaching practice in the P4C paradigm and the epistemic underpinnings that support it (2003; see especially Chapter 1, ‘The Reflective Model of Educational Practice’). Splitter and Sharp (1995) have also described broad parameters for teaching in P4C which allow for significant variation in practice within the model of the community of inquiry. Many others have discussed the history, epistemological foundations, methods and results of this model (Pardales & Girod 2006; Gregory 2007; Millett & Tapper 2011). In what follows I will argue that both the epistemological and the pedagogical commitments of P4C would be strengthened by incorporating the practice of ‘inquiry values’ into the classroom community of inquiry. The first pedagogical implication of a pragmatic epistemology is to shift the focus from knowledge to inquiry. As I have indicated, the practice of P4C is centered on inquiry. But how can we best operationalize the norms of inquiry that Siegel calls for as a regulative ideal for rational inquiry in the classroom? One way is to consider what we value in the process of inquiry, identifying these inquiry values and making them a focus of attention in the community of inquiry. I turn to Thomas S. Kuhn, the philosopher of science, as a source for this idea of value, for three reasons. The first is that Lipman himself hints at the utility of values and mentions Kuhn as an example (Lipman 2010: 232). The second is that in their construction of the notion of communal inquiry, Peirce, a working scientist himself, took inspiration from scientific inquiry, and Dewey similarly used science as a paradigm case of fallibilistic, collaborative inquiry that could be adapted for education across the disciplines. The third reason is that a number of scholars have drawn on Peirce, Dewey and Lipman to develop pedagogies for science education based on the classroom community of inquiry and its epistemic traits such as fallibilism and a rejection of relativism (Burgh & Nichols 2011; Sprod 2011, 2014.). Kuhn (1970) notes that scientists select and apply values in ways that are crucial to decision making in the course of scientific inquiry. Variety in the ways in which values are applied, which may introduce variety in outcomes, can still be consistent with the methodologies of science. Kuhn gives several examples of these values, including simplicity, consistency and plausibility, and explicitly names them as values, meaning that they are normative in the context of inquiry. To these examples we might add precision, clarity, coherence, breadth and 115

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depth of treatment, reproducibility, logical development, and others typical in the work of scientists. Considering the role of these values, they might be called intellectual, or cognitive, values, but I will simply call them ‘inquiry values,’ in keeping with Peirce’s and Dewey’s notion of science as an exemplar of inquiry. Recall that Siegel’s epistemology relied heavily on warrants for belief and action. But what makes a warrant acceptable may be rephrased in the language of values. We might ask, for instance, ‘How precise?’, ‘How accurate?’, ‘How plausible?’, ‘How coherent?’ Values, therefore, provide the normative standards for assessing warrants, and these, in turn, are governed by broader values of relevance and cogency. According to Kuhn, variety in outcomes between scientific inquirers comes about through a range of possible value choices and of possible means of their application. For example, the weighting of inquiry values may change as the issues under investigation, or the manner in which they are investigated, change. Some values may not be relevant to one particular inquiry but may be considered critical to another. These values may also take on different meanings in different situations, and an inquirer’s personal understanding of these nuances may develop uniquely over individual practice and experience. The synthesis of judgement over the range of applied values, therefore, is a very organic process and complete uniformity of judgement is not to be expected or desired. As to the inquiry values most suitable for P4C, this is something of an open question in the sense that a definitive list would doubtless be found inadequate over time. There is no doubt that values such as clarity, accuracy, precision of thought and word, relevance of information and evidence, soundness of arguments, coherence, and logical development can all be employed to strengthen philosophical inquiry. While many inquiry values are shared among philosophy and science, some of those important for scientific inquiry, such as reproducibility or falsifiability, may not be generally suitable in P4C. Elder and Paul (2013) have provided what they call Intellectual Standards to guide the development of effective thinking, including clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness. Seen through a Kuhnian lens, these are clearly examples of inquiry values, and do seem to cohere well with the values of science and of inquiry in general. In any case, it would be consistent with the Lipman/Sharp model of the classroom community of inquiry for students and teachers to inquire together about which inquiry values are most conducive to their best inquiry. While Kuhn has shown how shared values can give rise to difference through variety in selection and application, there is no doubt that the appeal to these shared values, and a common understanding built on and through their use, is a unifying and defining characteristic of inquiry (Kuhn 1970: 84). Significantly, in professional, scientific communities as in classroom communities, they are developed socially, through collaborative practice and reflection, and do not appear, fully formed, in the Cartesian, individualist mind. I suggest that an education for thinking should incorporate inquiry values in three ways, which may be stated as pedagogical objectives. The first is to know that something is a value. The second is to know why it is valued. The third is to know how to apply that value. This last, the application of value in the pursuit of inquiry, must be experiential (Ellerton 2015). This is to say that students must learn how to apply an inquiry value, rather than just that it could be applied. For this to happen, students must be given the opportunity to inquire and to do so independently. Just as a surfing coach will watch a novice surfer, and the music teacher will listen carefully to the novice musician, the P4C teacher must observe, and draw students’ attention to how inquiry values are employed by developing thinkers during live inquiry episodes, and with what consequences. These values provide a language for feedback, in that they can provide a normative component of teacher-student and student-student interaction. 116

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Conclusion: methodological pragmatism The norms of pragmatic inquiry are a consequence of pragmatic epistemology, which I have shown to be a successful contender for an epistemology underpinning an education for thinking, of the kind called for by Siegel. Hence both pragmatic epistemology and the values of pragmatic inquiry have a normative force in an education for thinking, of which P4C is an exemplar. Conscripting such an epistemology for a methodology of inquiry and of teaching does not require any corresponding ontological commitment. In the first place, it is a methodology built on assumptions about the nature of knowledge, not about the nature of reality itself. In the second place, in cultivating doubt, the pragmatist must doubt also these epistemological assumptions, when there are reasons to do so. Indeed, the great generative force of pragmatic inquiry is a function of doubt and fallibilism, which were weaknesses for Descartes. Pragmatism is largely a methodology for inquiry into what constitutes reasonable belief and action. Many educational philosophers (e.g., Jasinski & Lewis 2015) have come to suspect the objectives of teaching for critical thinking, argumentation skills and scientific rationality as narrowly instrumentalist – a way of colonizing childhood for adultist purposes – and ethically and politically naïve, as these abilities are so often used for immoral and oppressive purposes. While it is not within the scope of this chapter to respond to these concerns in detail, it is important to note that they are mitigated in P4C in at least three ways. First, the practice of careful thinking in P4C – even the logical exercises found in the Lipman/Sharp curriculum – is meant to be undertaken in the context of an inquiry into some question, problem or point of wonder raised by the students themselves, about some aspect of their lived experience. Second, that inquiry is meant to be philosophical, meaning that it is part of a broader and centuries-old conversation, and that whatever the particular topic of inquiry may be, it is always mediated by political, ethical and aesthetic concerns. Third, critical thinking in P4C is always undertaken in a community of inquiry, in which the beliefs, desires and attitudes of the individual are challenged, enhanced and otherwise mediated by those of her peers. It is no coincidence that the first and third of these mitigating factors are attributable to P4C’s roots in pragmatist epistemology.

References Burgh, G. & Nichols, K.I.M. (2011) The Parallels Between Philosophical Inquiry and Scientific Inquiry: Implications for Science Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(10), 1045–1059. Dewey, J. (2005) Democracy in Education. Stilwell, KS: Publishing. Elder, L. & R, Paul (2013) Critical Thinking: Intellectual Standards Essential to Reasoning Well Within Every Domain of Thought. Journal of Developmental Education 36(3), 34–35. Ellerton, P. (2015) Metacognition in Critical Thinking: Some Pedagogical Imperatives. In: Davis, M. (Ed.) Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Gregory, M. (2000) The Status of Rational Norms: A Pragmatist Perspective. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 21(1), 53–64. Gregory, M. (2002) Constructivism, Standards, and the Classroom Community of Inquiry. Educational Theory 52(4), 397. Gregory, M. (2007) A Framework for Facilitating Classroom Dialogue. Teaching Philosophy 30(1), 59–84. Jasinski, I. & Lewis, T.E. (2015) Community of Infancy: Suspending the Sovereignty of the Teacher’s Voice. Journal of Philosophy of Education. doi: 10.1111/1467-9752.12154 (Accessed 3 May 2016). Kuhn, T.S. (1970) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions International Encyclopedia of Unified Science (2nd edition, Vol. 2). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (2004) Philosophy for Children’s Debt to Dewey. Critical and Creative thinking 12(1), 1–8. Millett, S. & Tapper, A. (2011) Benefits of Collaborative Philosophical Inquiry in Schools. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(5), 546–567.


Peter Ellerton Pardales, M.J. & Girod, M. (2006) Community of Inquiry: Its Past and Present Future. Educational Philosophy and Theory 38(3), 299–309. Peirce, C.S. (1955) Philosophical Writings of Peirce, Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Justus Buchler. New York: Dover Publications. Seixas, P. (1993) The Community of Inquiry as a Basis for Knowledge and Learning: The Case of History. American Educational Research Journal 30(2), 305–324. Siegel, H. (1989) Epistemology, Critical Thinking, and Critical Thinking Pedagogy. Argumentation 3(2), 127–140. Splitter, L.J. & Sharp, A.M. (1995) Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry. Melbourne: The Australian Council for Educational Research. Sprod, T. (2011) Discussions in Science: Promoting Conceptual Understanding in the Middle School Years. Melbourne: Australian Centre for Educational Research. Sprod, T. (2014) Philosophical Inquiry and Critical Thinking in Primary and Secondary Science Education. In: Matthews, M.R. (Ed.) International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Dordrecht: Springer, 1531–1564.


14 CHANGING MINDS The professional learning of teachers in a classroom community of inquiry Vivienne Marie Baumfield

Compelling evidence of the positive effect of Philosophy for Children (P4C) on learning in school classrooms from teachers and educational researchers has continued to accumulate since its development by the American philosopher Matthew Lipman. Teachers testify to the potency of P4C to change the dynamics of the classroom, as in this example: Overall there has developed an ethos of respect in the classroom during these activities as students actively listen to each other and engage in a dialogue that is increasingly based on mutual respect, this has been cultivated by the students themselves. As one seven-year old commented, ‘You can agree with people even if they are not your friend’. (Baumfield, 2002: 4) One consequence of the establishment of this kind of classroom ethos is a ‘mirror effect’ (Wikeley, 2000) in which teachers who practise community of inquiry with their students become more reflective, curious and experimental themselves.This chapter presents arguments and evidence to suggests that, in fact, the community of inquiry is an ideal vehicle for the professional development of teachers, as it provides a forum in which teachers are more likely to question, inquire into, and self-correct their own pedagogical methods and habits – a possibility that has only been partially theorized and studied in the researched literature on Philosophy for Children. Systematic reviews of published research (Higgins et al., 2004, 2005; Baumfield et al., 2005) and recent empirical studies (Trickey and Topping, 2014), including ‘gold standard’ randomized control trials (Gorard et al., 2015), demonstrate that establishing a classroom climate in which, ‘different intentions are met with respect, and there is room for changing one’s mind’ (Bae, 2009: 396) also raises achievement. These findings are in accord with Lipman’s intention to provide a means of enabling the classroom to become a democratic community of inquiry: The community of inquiry is a wholesome social organization that provides a positive sense of belonging to its participants. In it, the participants are able to realize the reasonableness they are seldom able to practice amid the turmoil and turbulence of the rest of their lives. It is within the community of inquiry, then, that they can appreciate their own heightened powers, which, in turn, leads them to enhanced self-esteem. (Lipman, 2003: 122) 119

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Eliciting ‘student voice’ and actively engaging students in determining the direction of their learning has been the focus of attention since the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but attempts to realize this in the classroom often fail (Fielding, 2004; Thomson, 2013). P4C’s success, therefore, in supporting the articulation of student voice and subsequent engagement in learning within a classroom community of inquiry is significant (Barrow, 2015). Indeed such is the potency of the community of inquiry structure that it can have a dramatic effect on eliciting student voice even when used in the classroom without recourse to the P4C programme, as the following example from my own practice indicates: I was invited by the teacher of a class of primary children (aged 7/8 years) to demonstrate how to facilitate a community of inquiry as part of a history lesson. I had never met the class before and neither they nor the teacher had any prior experience of a community of inquiry. As I was waiting in the staff room before the lesson, a teacher asked me if I was a supply teacher (someone brought in to cover classes when teachers are absent) and when I explained why I was there they replied, ‘That will be a challenge, they are a very difficult class!’ Needless to say, it was with some trepidation that I entered the class to begin the lesson. However, the potency of the approach is such that the clear structure and focus on the interest of the children meant that I experienced no discipline problems and was very pleased with the level of participation and quality of the discussion. At the end of the lesson, I was able to talk to a small group of children to find out what they thought about it. When I asked if there was anything different about the lesson, a girl immediately said that ‘different people’ had spoken and when asked to elaborate she pointed out that the boy who had been very actively engaged never usually spoke in class whilst some of the boys who normally disrupted the lesson with their comments had not said anything at all. When asked why she thought this was, she replied, ‘because they had to have a reason for saying something’. The teacher of the class was amazed by the change in the patterns of interaction she had witnessed and commented that the boy offering a lot of innovative ideas had never before spoken in front of the whole class. Wikeley (2000) has documented a ‘mirror effect’, whereby teachers develop the traits they seek to promote in their students.This effect is typical in classrooms where P4C is practised, although it has not received as much attention as the programme’s effect on student learning. Encouraging students to articulate and develop their thinking through inquiry leads teachers to question their own thinking about the relationship between teaching and learning and the impact of what they do in the classroom. This effect on teachers using P4C was born out in a scheme launched by the General Teaching Council in Wales in 2002, to provide funding for teachers to undertake small scale investigations into their practice. A number of these teachers focused on the impact of teaching thinking skills. Teachers were interviewed and asked how effective they considered the activity to have been. All of the respondents were positive about the benefits but it was teachers who had used the P4C approach who emphasized the impact on their own learning: It has made me look at what I do ‘day in, day out’. I haven’t really been doing anything new, but I have become aware of what I’m doing and have looked at the results of my strategies in the teaching and learning process. I have probably become even more aware of the needs of the pupils I teach and the need to continue to look for new ideas. I have most certainly become more confident in myself and it has given me the ‘feel good factor’. (Costello, 2010: 16) 120

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Such critically reflective responses from teachers after a relatively superficial encounter with P4C support Lipman’s conviction of its transformative power as part of the everyday practice of teachers in the classroom: the notion of democracy as inquiry, when taken together with the classroom community as the seedbed of inquiry, is suggestive of the participatory democracy guided by intelligence espoused by Dewey. (Lipman, 1991: 252) An influential study of what makes the biggest difference to the quality of student learning in classrooms emphasizes the importance of making learning ‘visible’ (Hattie, 2009) and of collaboration among educators. The synthesis of 800 meta-analyses of international educational and psychological research identified three ‘big ideas’ about children and young people’s achievement: •• •• ••

The fundamental purpose of schools is to ensure that all students learn and not merely that all students are taught. Student learning must be the lens through which educators look when examining all of their practices, policies and procedures. Schools cannot help all students to learn if educators work in isolation. Schools must create the structures and cultures that foster effective educator collaboration – collaboration that focuses on factors within our sphere of influence to impact student learning in a positive way Schools will not know whether or not teachers are learning unless they are clear on what students must learn, and unless they continuously gather evidence of that learning, and then use the evidence: {{ {{

To better meet the needs of students through systematic instruction and enrichment; and To inform and improve the individual and collective practice of educators. (Hattie, 2011: 62)

Such ‘big ideas’ resonate with evidence of the impact of P4C on learners but more needs to be done to support teachers in the development of the metacognitively rich, dialogic pedagogy it requires, Unfortunately, teachers’ professional learning is often neglected in the implementation of P4C, as noted by Trickey and Topping, who suggest that ‘fine-grain scaffolding of pupil/teacher dialog in communities of enquiry in diverse classrooms should be paralleled with scaffolding effective dialog in teacher communities of enquiry within and between schools’ (2014: 77). In what follows I will argue that greater awareness of the pragmatist foundations of P4C could help educators realize the potential of that practice to radically transform classrooms into places where students teach as they learn and teachers learn as they teach (Baumfield, 2015).

Changing teachers’ minds Menter et al. (2010) have identified four paradigms that dominate approaches to teachers’ professional learning: the effective teacher, focusing on performance through the development of teaching skills; the reflective teacher, in which understanding what is being learned is added to the performance of the teacher; the enquiring teacher for whom reflection becomes the stimulus for research into practice; and finally, the transformative teacher able not only to understand but also to change practice. As evidence accumulates from school improvement research across 121

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the world on the differences individual teachers make, more attention has been focused on the fourth paradigm and the development of teachers who are ‘continuously learning, collectively responsible, and shrewd in their judgments’ (Hargreaves and Fullan, 2012: 185). The challenge is to find a way of enabling the strong professional communities characteristic of teachers’ work (Menter and McLaughlin, 2015) to become equally strong learning communities so that innovation can thrive (McLaughlin and Talbert, 2001). Research on professional learning communities indicates that this change requires a shift from simply focusing on outcomes to an understanding of teacher development as a process of: (1) professional learning; (2) within the context of a cohesive group; (3) that focuses on collective knowledge, and (4) occurs within an ethic of interpersonal caring that permeates the life of teachers, students and school leaders. (Stoll and Seashore Louis, 2007: 3) The efficacy of teachers working as part of professional learning communities in raising the achievement of their students is endorsed by an exhaustive review of teacher development research commissioned by the International Academy of Education, based in Geneva. The review concluded that establishing an integrated cycle of collaborative inquiry and knowledgebuilding was the optimal means of promoting teacher development (Timperley et al., 2008). We do not, therefore, lack persuasive evidence about what needs to be done to realize the benefits of transformative professional learning; but what has proven difficult is ‘making it stick’ (Cordingley, 2015). Experience suggests that too often promising initiatives to promote learning in classrooms fail to survive past an initial ‘project’ stage (Boekaerts, 2002: 591). The inertia of the culture of conformity in schools makes it very difficult to alter the routine behaviour of teachers, even when they have not been averse to trying out new ideas (Hardman and Mroz, 1999). Given that it is what teachers do and think every day that is pivotal to securing effective learning (Muijs and Reynolds, 2000), evidence that P4C can effect lasting change to make collaborative inquiry part of the everyday practice of classrooms is significant. Teachers introducing P4C into their classroom gain insight into the ideas of their students, which frequently induces a sudden, radical shift in their perceptions of those students’ capabilities, as well as a shift in their understandings of the meaning of the school subjects. These shifts, in turn, stimulate teachers’ interest in finding out more about what is happening in their students’ thinking, in the school subject, and in their own thinking and pedagogy. This process is in line with a pragmatist theory of learning as outlined by Dewey in How We Think (1910) and key to the promotion of a democratic process of mutual inquiry. For Dewey, genuine inquiry must be prompted by a puzzling or disturbing event in one’s lived experience – what he termed a ‘forked-road situation’ (1910: 11). Joanna Haynes and Karen Murris (2011), the developers of a variant of Lipman’s approach using picture books as a stimulus (Philosophy with Children), highlight the potential of the ‘valuable disturbance’ afforded by the recurring moments of disequilibrium elicited by a community of inquiry to bring about change. Disturbance itself is not a novelty in the complex world of the classroom, where teachers frequently encounter the unexpected in ways that are not necessarily an impetus for professional development. Surprises in the classroom can be unwelcome and energy is spent on establishing smooth running routines to minimize risk, leading to the unintended consequence of limiting opportunities for learning (Brown and McIntyre, 1993). What makes a disturbance ‘valuable’ is the capacity of members of a community of inquiry to experience it as a state of positive dissonance, a welcome surprise that induces curiosity, wonder or even meaningful confusion and doubt. That experience prompts genuine questions and c­ ollaborative inquiry, 122

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in which the enthusiastic responses of the students often exceed the expectations of the teachers, thus inducing a state of positive dissonance for them, encouraging them to be curious about the complexity of their students’ thinking and the deeper meaning of the subject matter, and to inquire more deeply into their practice (Baumfield, 2006). P4C thus establishes a ‘virtuous circle’ as learners articulate their questions and ideas, their learning becomes visible, the teacher gains new insights and develops new questions, and understanding is negotiated. In this way, the cycles of inquiry necessary for transformative professional learning are sustained through the daily practice of inquiry in the classroom. The characteristics of P4C as an instance of a community of inquiry thus have the potential to be a critical framework for the reconceptualizing of pedagogy in formal education settings and a potent force for teachers’ transformative professional learning. The following episode from my own experience illustrates how changes in the patterns of classroom interaction can provoke critical reflection by all concerned: I was asked to demonstrate how to facilitate a community of inquiry with a class in a secondary school (11–18 years) being taught by one of my students on the Initial Teacher Education course. I knew that it was a very challenging school and quickly saw that the students were very lively and looking for an opportunity to test the credentials of this new teacher standing before them. Probably because of the fact that I was aware that my student was observing, my nerve failed me and I decided that rather than engage the whole class as one community of inquiry, I would ‘divide and rule’ by putting them into two smaller circles with myself and the student as facilitators. Chaos quickly ensued and I decided that enough was enough and I needed to regain control and assert my authority, which I quickly did through the time honoured techniques of ‘stop talking’, ‘look this way’ and ‘listen to me when I am speaking’. Having gained control, I proceeded to berate them, saying how disappointed I was in them and their behaviour and they were clearly not ready to take responsibility and benefit from the opportunity to participate in a community of inquiry. As I was in full flow a voice spoke up and said, ‘I disagree with Mrs Baumfield because we don’t know her and have never done this before. If we had another chance to do it we would know what to do now’. Another student followed on by saying, ‘I agree with Callum that we could improve and should have another chance.’ The class then continued as one large community of inquiry to question, discuss and analyse the challenges and benefits and make recommendations as to how the approach could be used in their lessons!

Denying the dichotomy: managing pedagogical tensions Whilst dissonance can be positive and disequilibrium valuable, inquiry involves uncertainty and a tolerance of ambiguity that is not always comfortable. Murris (2008) recognizes the perplexity induced by inquiry and the imperative to be reflexive by drawing upon Socrates’ analogy of the stingray to convey the need to have the capacity not only to sting but also to be stung! Teachers and students involved in original inquiry must learn to manage the tension between the stimulation of wonder and puzzlement, and the desire for reasonable answers. This is particularly true of teachers engaged in collaborative professional inquiry into their own pedagogy. The professional community of inquiry must guard against the desire for ready solutions to problematic pedagogical episodes that threaten/promise to disrupt teachers’ habitual beliefs about, and ways of interacting with their students. 123

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Another tension inherent to the community of inquiry is the need to hold both the power of the community and the power of inquiry in a mutually fortifying interaction. The danger in this tension is that if one is privileged above the other then potency is lost. The pursuit of community may result in premature consensus to keep the sense of belonging secure. This is particularly a risk in the context of a professional learning community, in which there is often a felt desire to reassure each other and not challenge each other’s teaching practices too strenuously. On the other hand there is the risk that the pursuit of inquiry may promote incommensurate individual and small group opinions, at the expense of building the foundations for shared understanding necessary for democracy. A third kind of tension that arises in the community of inquiry as practised in P4C is that between making philosophical or pedagogical knowledge a priority for teachers’ learning. This is sometimes associated with the juxtaposition of the philosophical with the psychological. When we trace the origins of the community of inquiry back to Dewey, James and Peirce, we enter a point in time when the bifurcation of philosophy and psychology was only just beginning (Condliffe Lagemann, 2000). When Dewey established a Laboratory School in Chicago and in two companion volumes, The School and Society and The Child and the Curriculum (1902), he described the development of an experimental approach to teaching and learning in the classroom through a process he later described as ‘psychologising the subject’ (Dewey, 1904). By that phrase, Dewey meant that learning should be driven by the curiosity of the learner, and that knowledge can only be achieved by testing ideas in action. Dewey saw that in order to be meaningful to students, school subjects must be ‘psychologized’ in terms of curiosity and relevance to lived experience, but that this must be balanced by the need for students to allow themselves to be challenged into growth by the integrity of the subject itself. The teacher in a community of inqury is therefore required to transact learning by exercising local, situated judgement according to their enhanced insight into how students are thinking and the meaning the subject has for them. Lipman has described P4C as ‘the only valid representative of Dewey’s educational theory put into practice’ (cited in Johnson, 1995: 124) and although the emphasis is on philosophical issues and concepts, he acknowledges the power of dialogue within a community of inquiry to transform the pedagogical relationship. In his later work (2003) Lipman begins to explore the possibility that what he and Ann Margaret Sharp developed as a model of a community of inquiry from the teaching of philosophy could be transposed into other areas of the curriculum – which, as other chapters in this Handbook relate, many others have done, in mathematics, science, social studies and literature. The use of the community of inquiry to facilitate inquiry-based, dialogic learning across the curriculum is very much in line with Dewey’s original idea of ‘psychologising the subject’. This is made obvious by that fact that, Facilitation of philosophical enquiries involves many intuitive decisions, and reaches far beyond the mechanical application of a philosophical toolbox. It requires complex, practical judgments balancing critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking as well as exercising social intellectual virtues, such as courage, modesty, honesty, respect, patience, awareness and constructiveness in giving and receiving critical challenge. (Quinn, 1997: 116) As everyone familiar with P4C has observed, something is going on in the classroom when a community of inquiry is in progress that is wider in its relevance for education than knowledge of the history of philosophical ideas. A recurring question in the P4C literature is the extent to which it is necessary for teachers to have a formal knowledge of philosophy in order for the 124

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pedagogical benefits of a classroom community of inquiry to accrue. There is general agreement on the importance of questioning, argumentation, dialogue and democratic pedagogy as crucial elements of a community of inquiry construed as a framework for teachers’ practice in the classroom. But I would argue that requiring teachers to have formal knowledge of philosophy might jeopardize the pedagogical and epistemological foundation of the community of inquiry by reintroducing a dichotomy between formal over experimental ways of knowing that Dewey was at pains to transcend in the classroom. My concern is that the community of inquiry is a powerful pedagogical strategy in its own right, and the reification of philosophy either as content or as particular ways of thinking may run the risk of making the classroom community of inquiry less of a radical challenge to power, status and conventional knowledge. Promoting the idea of ‘thinking together’ through dialogue as the means of developing understanding should resist inducting teachers into the conventions of philosophical inquiry and instead recognize their participation in cycles of pedagogical inquiry. The community of inquiry offers a method that can be, and has been, used in classrooms to make the complex philosophical and psychological interactions necessary for transformative professional learning manageable and productive. Dewey recognized the potential for conflict and tension, especially between theoretical and practical aspects of ideas, to be productive of new knowledge, provided a state of mutually fortifying interaction can be maintained (Dewey, 1904). Neither Dewey nor Lipman would expect those of us who admire their contributions to education to be disciples, but rather fellow pilgrims (Johnson, 1995) inspired by their ideas and prepared to set out on our own inquiries, always ready to change our minds.

References Bae, B. (2009) Children’s right to participate: Challenges in everyday interactions. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 17(3), 391–406. Barrow, W. (2015) ‘I think she’s learnt how to sort of let the class speak’: Children’s perspectives on Philosophy for Children as participatory pedagogy. Thinking Skills and Creativity 17, 76–87. Baumfield, V.M. (2002) Thinking through RE. Cambridge: Chris Kington. Baumfield, V.M. (2006) Tools for pedagogical inquiry: The impact of teaching thinking skills on teachers. Oxford Review of Education 32(2), 185–196. Baumfield, V.M. (2015) Tools for inquiry: the role of thinking skills approaches in developing pedagogy as theory. In: Wegerif, R., Li, L., and Kaufman, J.C. (Eds) International Handbook on Research on Teaching Thinking. London: Routledge, 71–79. Baumfield V.M., Butterworth, M., and Edwards, G. (2005) The impact of the implementation of thinking skills programmes and approaches on teachers. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPICentre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Boekaerts, M. (2002) Bringing about change in the classroom: strengths and weaknesses of the selfregulated learning approach. Learning and Instruction 12(6), 589–604. Brown, S. and McIntyre, D. (1993) Making sense of teaching. Buckingham: Open University Press. Condliffe Lagemann, E. (2000) An elusive science: The troubling history of education research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Cordingley, P. (2015) Why is evidence about teachers’ professional learning and continuing professional development observed more in the breach than in reality? Why has it not stuck? In: McLaughlin, C. Cordingley, P., McLellan, R., and Baumfield, V.M. (Eds) Making a difference: Turning teacher learning inside out. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 53–76. Costello, P.J.M. (2010) Developing communities of inquiry in the UK: Retrospect and prospect. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 30(2), 1–20. Dewey, J. (1902) The child and the curriculum. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Dewey, J. (1904/1964) The relation of theory to practice in education, National Society for the Scientific Study of Education, Third Yearbook, Part I. Reprinted in R.D. Archambault (Ed.) John Dewey on Education, Selected Writings. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dewey, J. (1910) How We Think. New York: Dover Publications.


Vivienne Marie Baumfield Fielding, M. (2004) Transformative approaches to student voice: Theoretical underpinnings, recalcitrant realities. British Educational Research Journal 30(2), 295–311. Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., and See, B.H. (2015) Philosophy for Children: evaluation report and executive summary for the Education Endowment Foundation. Durham: University of Durham. Hardman, F. and Mroz, M. (1999) Post-16 English teaching: From recitation to discussion. Educational Review 51(3), 283–293. Hargreaves, A. and Fullan, M. (2012) Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school. New York: Teachers College Press. Hattie, J. (2009) Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Abingdon: Routledge. Hattie, J. (2011) Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Abingdon: Routledge. Haynes, J. and Murris, K. (2011) The provocation of an epistemological shift in teacher education through Philosophy with Children. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2), 285–303. Higgins, S., Baumfield, V., Lin, M., Moseley, D., Butterworth, M., Downey, G., Gregson, M., Oberski, I., Rockett, M., and Thacker, D. (2004) Thinking skills approaches to effective teaching and learning: what is the evidence for impact on learners. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Higgins, S., Hall, E., Baumfield, V., and Moseley, D. (2005) A meta-analysis of the impact of the implementation of thinking skills approaches on pupils. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London, EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Johnson, T.W. (1995) Discipleship or pilgrimage? The educator’s quest for philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press. Lipman, M. (1991) Thinking in education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in education (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McLaughlin, M.W. and Talbert, J.E. (2001) Professional communities and the work of high school teaching. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Menter, I. et al. (2010) Literature review on teacher education in the twenty-first century. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Menter, I. and McLaughlin, C. (2015) What do we know about teachers’ professional learning? In: McLaughlin, C., Cordingley, P., McLellan, R., and Baumfield, V.M. (Eds) Making a difference: Turning teacher learning inside out. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 31–52. Muijs, R.D. and Reynolds, D. (2000) School effectiveness and teacher effectiveness: Some preliminary findings from the evaluation of the mathematics enhancement programme. School Effectiveness and School Improvement 11(2), 247–263. Murris, K. (2008) Philosophy with Children, the stingray and the educative value of disequilibrium. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42(3–4), 667–685. Quinn, V. (1997) Critical thinking in young minds. London: David Fulton. Stoll, L. and Seashore Louis, K. (Eds) (2007) Professional learning communities: Divergence, depth and dilemmas. New York: McGraw Hill. Thomson, P. (2013) Coming to terms with ‘voice’. In: Wise, C., Bradshaw, P., and Cartwright, M. (Eds) Leading professional practice in education. London: Sage, 78–89. Timperley, H. et al. (2008) Teacher professional learning and development. Teacher professional learning and development. Geneva: International Board of Education. Topping, K.J. and Trickey, S. (2014) The role of dialog in philosophy for children. International Journal of Educational Research 63, 69–78. Wikeley, F. (2000) Learning from research. In: Askew, S. (Ed.) Feedback for learning. London: Routledge/ Falmer, 97–109.


15 THINKING AS A COMMUNITY Reasonableness and emotions Magda Costa-Carvalho and Dina Mendonça

Reasonableness is a core normative concept in Philosophy for Children (P4C), an inquiry model of education that bridges reasoning, feeling and acting within a community. The concept of reasonableness dates back to Aristotle’s ethical notion of phronesis (1141b), and extends to logical (Gewirth 1983), social and political concerns of major contemporary thinkers (Rawls 2001; Rorty 2001). The development of the concept of reasonableness in P4C was part of the reconceptualization of rationality toward the end of the twentieth century, since Lipman and Sharp were among those thinkers who elucidated and advocated the social conception of rationality offered by the pragmatists. Accordingly, in P4C the conception of reasonableness was highlighted as a cornerstone for the understanding of the notion of a community of inquiry (Splitter & Sharp 1995: 6; Lipman 2003: 22). In spite of the frequent discussion of reasonableness in the P4C literature, some important aspects regarding the inter-relationship among reasonableness, emotion and community of inquiry have not been sufficiently theoretically addressed. The aim of this chapter is to defend reasonableness as a regulative ideal for the community of inquiry by elucidating the epistemological and moral dimensions of that ideal. Our thesis is that reasonableness requires an ethical dialogical praxis and emotional awareness involving a process of meta-emotions, within a community. Given that thinking and feeling are deeply intertwined in a community of philosophical inquiry, the growth of reasonableness requires the community to turn thinking, feeling, acting and being into shared, deliberate and self-correcting activities.

Reasonableness is thinking as a community Reasonableness is one of Lipman’s major conceptual concerns and a crossbeam in his P4C programme. Noting that rationality refers to following rules or procedures of inquiry, and that ‘our lives are indeed chockful of problems that do not admit . . . of a rational solution’ (1993: 17), Lipman calls for reasonableness as the chief objective of education: Consider: a reasonable person is one who is cognitively responsible, and who therefore recognizes the need for reasoned justifications of his or her conduct as well as for reasoned explanations of the things that happen to them over which they have no control. The reasonable person will also propose reasonable hypotheses as to what might be done to correct unsatisfactory conditions that require restructuring or transformation.


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Such a person, in short, is likely to make reasonable judgments that follow from his or her reasonings, whether of a formal or an informal nature. (Lipman 1993: 21) As a feature of inquiry, reasonableness is the ability to make intelligent judgments in indeterminate situations that are not amenable to the strict application of rational procedures. Thus, indicating his Aristotelian inspiration, Lipman defines reasonableness as ‘rationality tempered by judgment’ (Lipman 2003: 11), presenting it as a paradigm of measure, proportion and balance. Seen from the broader educational perspective, reasonableness assumes a holistic dimension and becomes a regulative idea for the development of the character of the individual and of the society. Indeed, for Lipman, reasonableness is one of the most important regulative ideas for an inquiry-driven society. In Thinking in Education (2003), Lipman defined reasonableness in terms of the construct of ‘multidimentional thinking’, including critical, creative and caring components. Critical thinking is a criterion-governed form of mental behaviour. Nevertheless, since this mental behaviour cannot by itself produce good judgment, Lipman argues that creative thinking, which is not criterion-governed, and caring thinking, which introduces values and emotions to the process of inquiry, must be exercised along with critical thinking (Lipman 2003: 198, 204). It is within this multilayered concept of reasonableness that we address the connections between the cognitive and the ethical dimensions of a community of inquiry. According to Lipman, ‘it is not the reasoning alone that leads to reasonableness, but the experience of trying to reason together, as a community, that leads to the introjection of reasonableness in each participant’ (1992: 21). Ultimately, this means that it is not possible to educate for reasonableness without educating persons to think (and feel, and act) for themselves through an ethical experience of dialogue with others. Consider the social implications in the following description: Reasonableness . . . is built up, layer upon layer, out of one’s efforts to be thoughtful, to be considerate, to seek integrity-preserving compromises, to be open to other points of view and other arguments, to seek appropriate means for the ends one has in view as well as appropriate ends for the means one finds at one’s disposal, and to seek solutions that take all interests into account. (Lipman 1993: 21) The aim of P4C is not merely to learn to think for oneself, for P4C does not look only for the reasonableness in each participant but nourishes the growth of a reasonable community in itself. Since an individual cannot become fully reasonable by thinking and acting on his own, participation in a community of inquiry is a necessary part of being reasonable. Therefore, what begins with the ability to reason in a community has to grow into the practice of reasoning as a community. The idea that there is a sense of growth or maturation of the community is built upon the recognition that reasonableness is also a matter of degree. Reasonableness, as Pritchard (1996: 53) writes, ‘is not an all-or-nothing concept. There are degrees of reasonableness’. Therefore, various criteria for the better cultivation of its growth can be specified. Pritchard identifies five marks of reasonableness: (1) reasonableness means being responsive to the perspective of others; (2) it entails being prepared to be disinterestedly influenced by the perspective of others; (3) it accepts that reasoning from common principles and considerations does not imply that people will always agree and, consequently, it requires a mutual acceptance of differences and 128

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disagreements despite their uncomfortable and problematic nature; (4) a reasonable individual expresses a sense of self-regarding attitudes and self-mastery; and (5) reasonableness asks for a fallibilistic attitude because ‘while reasonable people seek to support their ideas with good reasons, they remain open to the possibility that their favored conceptions may require alteration or revision’ (1996: 63–64). In line with our argument that communities, like individuals, can grow in reasonableness, we add a sixth mark of reasonableness to Pritchard’s proposal, namely that reasonableness asks the individual to shift from thinking of reasoning as something done alone or perhaps with others, to recognizing the community as the collective epistemic agent that conducts inquiry (Lipman 2004). As Gregory (2005: 163–164) explains, when faced with significant troubles or opportunities, communities inquire after their advantage and reconstruct their habits and their environments. Indeed, if intelligence is defined in terms of deliberate reconstruction, then some forms of intelligence can only be attributed to communities . . . In such a process of inquiry the concerns and perspectives of diverse social positions mediate and inform one another, and all are subjected to challenge, criticism, and testing. Thus the sense of social direction that emerges is at least inter-subjective, if not fully common. Reasonableness increases when the continued experience of being a part of a communal infrastructure of thinking allows the person (even when she is alone) to participate in inquiry as a community. This represents a qualitative leap in the notion of reasonableness, for it implies that the individual thinking processes – I think – somehow always incorporates the perspective of the community – We think. This is well illustrated in Lipman’s novel Pixie, which illustrates how the practice of cooperative reasoning is capable of transforming egoistic thinkers into members of a community. Significantly, Glaser’s (1996) analysis of Pixie’s development in reasonableness incorporates a growing emotional reasonableness, since judging the appropriate way to respond to someone means to bear in mind what counts as emotionally salient. In sum, reasonableness in P4C is the mark of the social nature of thinking and it opens the community to the connection between reasoning and character, that is, to the bridging of the cognitive and the ethical dimensions of inquiry. This broader educational process demands the recognition of the crucial role of emotions in a community that is growing to be more and more reasonable.

Reasonableness is feeling emotions about emotions The P4C literature addresses a number of ways in which emotions are a necessary part of being reasonable. One of these is a kind of sentiment that may be cultivated toward inquiry itself, as a way of life, and toward the procedures of careful inquiry. Thus, for Lipman, caring thinking occurs ‘when it performs such cognitive operations as scanning for alternatives, discovering or inventing relationships, instituting connections among connections, and gauging differences’ (2003: 264). As Sharp (2004) explains, caring thinking asks participants to care for the tools of inquiry and the problems under analysis, in order to foster deep and rigorous dialogue. In fact, when Sharp writes about the ‘commitment to open inquiry’ or refers to a ‘community of endless inquiry’ (1987: 40–42), she is building on Peirce’s interaction of three indispensable ‘sentiments of logic’: ‘interest in an indefinite community, recognition of the possibility of this interest being made supreme, and hope in the unlimited continuance of intellectual activity’ (1992: 150). P4C adopts this pragmatist notion, also expressed by James (1948) as the 129

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‘­sentiment of rationality’, by emphasizing that the work of the community of inquiry, even among school children, is never finished. A second way in which emotion is necessary for reasonableness is that participating in a community of inquiry requires certain kinds of emotional temperament. As Sharp writes, ‘good judgment-making is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on rational skillful thinking’ (2004: 67). This is so, because the commitment to reasonableness requires individuals to discover persons with whom they think, feel, decide and act, requiring what Lipman called ‘empathic thinking’ (2003: 269). This openness to the ‘other’ implies accommodating others’ thoughts, emotions, expectations and choices into the practice of collaborative thinking, feeling, deciding and acting. Due to the presence of this necessary practical relation to the other, dialogical thinking is an ethical process, as described in this passage by Rorty (1991: 37): Another meaning for ‘rational’ is . . . something like ‘sane’ or ‘reasonable’ rather than ‘methodical.’ It names a set of moral virtues: tolerance, respect for the opinions of those around one, willingness to listen, reliance on persuasion rather than force . . . On this construction, to be rational is simply to discuss any topic – religious, literary, or scientific – in a way which eschews dogmatism, defensiveness, and righteous indignation. It is clear that the characteristics of a reasonable person offered by Lipman and Pritchard – such as being open, considerate and responsive to others, seeking integrity-preserving compromises, accepting uncomfortable differences of opinion and having fallibilistic humility – are as much matters of emotion as of cognition. However, with regard to emotional temperament in inquiry, Lipman and Sharp’s notion of caring thinking is open to misunderstandings (Mehmet et al. 2011), for it can imply that ‘all affective feeling is positive, a position that Lipman often seems to take’ (Sprod 2001: 25), leaving P4C open to criticism. Brenifier, for example, has described caring thinking as a kind of pampering where it is not possible to criticize anyone’s ideas, though he allows that ‘this is not the purpose pursued by Lipman and Nussbaum, nor is it what P4C always is’ (2008: 2). It is therefore important to stress that, as Sharp explains (2004), what caring thinking calls for in this regard is simply looking after each other as persons. A third way in which P4C literature explains emotion as necessary for reasonableness is that emotion is part of the process of valuation. As Lipman writes, ‘when we prize, admire, cherish, and appreciate, we are engaged in valuing something for the relationships it sustains’ (2003: 265). This experience of valuation is what Lipman first had in mind with his notion of ‘caring thinking’ as something that happens when participants of a community of inquiry reflect together about things that really matter to them. Similarly, for Sharp (2004), caring thinking calls for what children care about and what they think being worth inquiring into. The process of inquiry begins from a state of genuine interest and curiosity, and involves myriad value judgments. Throughout an inquiry, emotions guide the focus, helping to determine what is important and what really matters at each step of the inquiry. Sprod (2001) grounds the role of emotions in reasonableness by highlighting the notion of commitment, and incorporating embodiment into that notion. Sprod argues that emotions are important markers of how we engage with the world and with others about what is important, and that embodiment offers the physical correlates of emotional states. His notion of embodied commitment thus rescues P4C from a detached, disinterested and solely analytic conception of thinking, and recalls Dewey’s emphasis on the meaning of inquiry for lived experience. A fourth way emotions play a role in reasonableness is that they are an unavoidable and important part of human judgment. Many philosophers, including Dewey, Buchler and 130

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Nussbaum, have argued that emotions have a cognitive dimension and are in fact forms of judgment. Lipman adopted this view in his later work, writing, for instance, that ‘[i]nstead of assuming that emotions are psychological storms that disrupt the clear daylight of reason, one can conceive of the emotions as themselves forms of judgment or, more broadly, forms of thought’ (Lipman 2003: 266). Sharp’s claim (2007) that emotions are ‘educable’ is based on the proposition that emotions are forms of judgments that become more intelligent by becoming, themselves, objects of inquiry and reconstruction. More recently, Murris (2012) shows how emotions play a major role in children’s inquiry, with an analysis of the cognitive function of anger. Her work questions the childist habit of dismissing children’s emotions as immature. We want to add to this complex literature by suggesting a fifth way that emotions are necessary to reasonableness. We have argued (Mendonça 2013) that in addition to how first order emotions such as anger are a crucial part of reasonableness, meta-emotions also play an important role in the process of growing reasonable. When emotions are about emotions, they are layered. For example, when someone is embarrassed about their jealousy, their embarrassment is a meta-emotion. When we give attention to our emotions – particularly as they manifest in embodied states – we can attempt to distinguish first-order from meta-emotions and to determine what kind of judgment is conveyed in each. And just as thinking about thinking can correct and refine the excellence of thinking, meta-emotions can provide a way to educate and refine both first-order and meta-emotions (Mendonça 2013: 395). Importantly, to consult emotions in the process of inquiry does not mean simply to ‘think’ about them, or to subject them to rational criteria, but to consider them as modes of judgment on par with logical and other cognitive judgments, so that each may inform the other. And just as the self-correction of thinking requires the challenging interaction of others in one’s community, so does the self-regulation of emotions. This is why learning to pay attention to, and to regulate emotions and meta-emotions in the context of thinking and acting in a community is a necessary part of being reasonable.

Reasonableness is acting as a self-regulated we A community of inquiry starts with a commitment to thinking with others, which implies recognizing others as unique persons with specific thoughts and feelings – a distinctly ethical move (Miranda 2000). We believe this recognition extends to a commitment toward the ethos of the community itself, which is much more than the sum of the beliefs and attitudes of its members. A collective commitment to reasonableness requires the participants to see themselves as a ‘continuous we’ (Sharp 1987: 43), such that one’s curiosity and concern for the ideas and emotions of any member of the community (including oneself) is mediated by one’s commitment to creating and strengthening a certain kind of community (and vice versa). This brings to life Dewey’s democratic vision that ‘associations are conditions for the existence of a community, but a community adds the function of communication in which emotions and ideas are shared as well as joint undertakings engaged in’ (1985: 177). A truly mature community finds its normative cognitive, social and ethical strength only at the collaborative level and never in singular individuals or detached behaviours. This ideal requires a much broader ethical commitment to the community as the focal ‘other’ of philosophical dialogue. That is, the cognitive and affective self-awareness we have described in the previous sections are actually two aspects of an ethical commitment to the kind of growth in reasonableness that can only take place in a community with others who have decided to think, feel and act together. We will conclude this chapter by discussing two procedural functions that help a community to fulfil this commitment: translation and self-evaluation. 131

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The format of P4C sessions immediately begins to cultivate reasonableness with its democratic circle and the role of the facilitator, who mediates to prompt deeper and more careful thinking and to help individuals in the community relate their ideas and feelings to those of others.The normative cognitive, affective and ethical dimensions of dialogue within a community of inquiry have a procedural character (Splitter & Sharp 1995), as participants are repeatedly asked to use criteria, to imagine new possibilities, to see the world from others’ perspectives, and to convert one another’s ideas into one another’s personal frameworks. Lipman and Sharp called the latter task translation, describing it as a process crucial for dialogue (Sharp 1993). Lipman defined translation as ‘carrying meanings over from one language or symbolic scheme or sense modality to another’ and emphasized that while ‘reasoning is truth-preservative . . . translation is meaning-preservative’ (2004: 184). Sharp called attention to the ethical import of inter-personal translation, explaining that, In Philosophy for Children, translation is a triangular affair. Participants in the community of philosophical inquiry are endlessly involved in translating meanings from the text to themselves, from the interpretations of the others regarding the text to themselves and from the perspectives’ of the others with regard to philosophical issues to their own personal frame of reference. (1993: 10) In fact, Sharp places translation at the heart of the philosophical activity, stressing the intersubjective nature of dialogue in a community of philosophical inquiry. Thus, she writes, ‘To do philosophy well with others is to be actively engaged in helping each other interpret the meaning not only of the text, but the meaning of one’s experience and to collaborate in seeking richer, broader interpretations of this experience’ (1993: 11). As a third grader once claimed in a session: ‘we can be each others’ scaffolding because we say things which others can build upon’. The translation of meanings between and among interpersonal frameworks with the aim of achieving richer, more meaningful and more broadly shared understandings requires careful attention, not only to other people’s ideas and questions, but also to the meanings conveyed by their bodies and to their explicit and implicit expression of emotions. We suggest that effective translation requires, in addition, attending to meta-emotional processes and regulating them in the community. When someone feels an emotion about someone else’s emotion, that moment may be recognized and reflected on as a meta-emotional process by some or all the other co-inquirers. This shared experience of emotions about emotions also opens the possibility for shared emotions about ideas, and about what should be cared for. Translation is also an important method of the community’s practice of self-awareness and self-evaluation. The participants of P4C sessions are only able to recognize their transformation into a reasonable community because, from the very beginning, they are asked to interpret their real practices from the perspective of a normative moral and epistemological framework – confronting what is with what ought to be. But the process of translation inevitably results in the re-interpretation of that very framework, so that the principles that guide their inquiry become, themselves, objects of self-corrective inquiry. In this way, reasonableness becomes a robust but evolving guiding ideal for the participants to ‘work together to construct not only a shared understanding of the ideals of dialogical inquiry, but a shared commitment to the process of attempting to enact those ideals’ (Laverty & Gregory 2007: 305). This expectation of individual and collective self-awareness of growth in reasonableness is also visible in IAPC guidelines for philosophical sessions (Lipman 2003; Splitter & Sharp 1995) 132

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and evaluation instruments (Gregory 2008; Laverty & Gregory 2007). Since reasonableness is an epistemological and ethical development that unfolds over time, these materials suggest that collaborative self-evaluation be conducted in regular and periodical intervals, so as to make growth in both reasonable behaviour and in a more complex and meaningful understanding of the criteria of reasonableness, visible over time. As Laverty and Gregory (2007) report, it is typical for a community’s self-rating to actually decrease over a period of time during which its understanding of epistemological and ethical criteria for philosophical inquiry becomes more sophisticated. We take this to be indicative of Dewey’s remark that ‘the educative process is a continuous process of growth, having as its aim at every stage an added capacity of growth’ (1985: 59). In conclusion, we have defended reasonableness as a regulative ideal for the community of inquiry in P4C and have elucidated this ideal both in terms of ethical, intersubjective dialogue – thinking as a community – and of emotional awareness and self-regulation that involves a process of meta-emotions. We have suggested that the approach of any given community of inquiry toward the ideal of reasonableness is an ongoing process, in part because the meaning of the ideal itself must be continually re-interpreted. Thus, the quest for the nature of a community of inquiry becomes a quest for the moments we see reasonableness in the community. The question ‘What is a community of inquiry?’ (Sharp 1987) may be reframed as ‘When is there a community of inquiry?’ In that regard we recall Peirce’s hopeful claim that ‘individually [we] cannot reasonably hope to attain the ultimate philosophy which we pursue; we can only seek it, therefore, for the community of philosophers’ (1992: 29).

Acknowledgments We would like to express our deepest thanks to the reviewers and the editors of the volume and to Carly Vendeiro for their editorial suggestions, and to Professor João Sàágua for his ongoing support. Dina Mendonça’s research is supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BPD/102507/2014) and within the research project (PTDC/MHC-FIL/0521/2014).

References Aristotle (1941) The Nicomachean Ethics. In Mackeon, R. (Ed.) (2014) The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, 928–1112. Brenifier, O. (2008) Caring Thinking About Caring Thinking. Available from: ob-ct.pdf
 (Accessed 1 July 2015). Dewey, J. (1991) Freedom and Culture. In Boydston, J.A. (Ed.) The Later Works 1925–1953, Vol. 13. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 63–188. Gewirth, A. (1983) The Rationality of Reasonableness. Synthese 57, 225–247. Glaser, J. (1996) Is Pixie Reasonable? Social and Ethical Themes in Pixie. In: Reed, R. & Sharp, A. (Eds) (2014) Studies in Philosophy for Children: Pixie. Madrid: Ediciones de la Torre, 71–81. Gregory, M. (2005). Practicing Democracy: Social Intelligence and Philosophical Practice. The International Journal of Applied Philosophy 16(1), 161–174. Gregory, M. (Ed.) (2008) Philosophy for Children Practitioner Handbook. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Hakim-Larson et al. (2006) Measuring Parental Meta-emotion: Psychometric Properties of the Emotionrelated Parenting Styles Self-test. Early Education & Development 17, 229–251. James, W. (1948) The Sentiment of Rationality. In Castell, A. (Ed.) Essays in Pragmatism. New York: Hafner Press, 3–36. Laverty, M. & Gregory, M. (2007) Evaluating Classroom Dialogue. Reconciling Internal and External Accountability. Theory and Research in Education 5, 281–308. Lipman, M. (1992) Unreasonable People and Inappropriate Judgments. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 10(3), 18–22.


Magda Costa Carvalho and Dina Mendonça Lipman, M. (1993) Unreasonable People and Inappropriate Judgments. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australian Journal of Philosophy for Children 1(2), 10–18. Lipman, M. (1995) Using Philosophy to Educate Emotions. Analytic Teaching 15(12), 3–10. Lipman, M. (1997) Thinking in Community. Inquiry: Critical Thinking across the Disciplines 16(4), 6–21. Lipman, M. (1998) The Contributions of Philosophy for Deliberative Democracy. Teaching Philosophy on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century. Ankara: International Federation of Philosophical Societies, 6–29. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (2008) Philosophy for Children’s Debt to Dewey. In Taylor, M. et al. (Eds) Pragmatism, Education and Children: International Philosophical Perspectives. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 143–152. Mendonça, D. (2008) Let’s Talk About Emotions. Thinking. The Journal of Philosophy for Children 19(2–3), 57–63. Mendonça, D. (2013) Emotions about Emotions. Emotion Review 5(4), 390–396. Miranda, T. (2000) Rationality and Critical Education. In: Peters, M. et al (Eds) The Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Available from rationality_and_critical_education (Accessed 5 October). Murris, K. (2012) Is Arthur’s Anger Reasonable? In Costello, P. (Ed.) Philosophy and Children’s Literature. New York: Rowan & Littlefield. Mehmet A.D. et al. (2011) Quadruple Thinking: Caring Thinking. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 12, 552–561. Peirce, C.S. (1992) Some Consequences of Four Incapacities. In: Houser, N. & Klosel, C. (Eds) The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1: 1867–1893. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Peirce, C.S. (1992) Doctrine of Chances. In Houser, N. & Kloesel, C. (Eds) The Essential Peirce, Vol. 1: 1867–1893. Nathan Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Pritchard, M. (1996) Educating for Reasonableness. In: Reed, R. & Sharp, A. (Eds) Studies in Philosophy for Children: Pixie. Madrid: Ediciones de la Torre, 52–70. Rawls, J. (2001) Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Kelly, E. (Ed.). Cambridge: Belknap Press. Rorty, R. (2001) Justice as a Larger Loyalty. In: Festenstein, M. & Thompson, S. (Eds) Richard Rorty. Critical Dialogues. Cambridge: Polity Press. Sharp, A. (2007) Education of the Emotions in the Classroom Community of Inquiry. Gifted Education International 22(2–3), 248–257. Sharp, A. (1993) The Ethics of Translation. Critical and Creative Thinking 1(1), 10–17. Sharp, A. (2004) The Other Dimension of Caring Thinking. Critical & Creative Thinking. The Australian Journal of Philosophy in Education 12(1), 9–15. Sharp. A. (1987) What is a ‘Community of Inquiry’? Journal of Moral Education 16(1), 37–44. Splitter, L. & Sharp, A. (1995) Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry. Melbourne: ACER. Sprod, T. (2001) Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education: The Community of Ethical Inquiry. London and New York: Routledge.



The aesthetics of Philosophy for Children Bodies and spaces

Introduction Many practitioners of P4C have experimented with approaches to provoking philosophical questioning and developing activities to complement, enrich or extend philosophical dialogue, and some, beginning with Ann Margaret Sharp, have reflected on the embodied, ritualistic, aesthetic and even spiritual dimensions of the practice of dialogic philosophical inquiry. This section considers P4C as lived experience, involving body, heart, mind and relationality with others and with the world. It pays attention to the embodied, affective and situated dimensions of participatory and deliberative pedagogy. It examines creative and expressive forms of exploration and the role of art and drama, both in terms of stimuli for philosophical enquiry, and in terms of the contribution of these subjects to the art of living. The section includes a look at the role of teachers in creating the space and in nurturing young people’s dispositions towards deeper philosophical engagement. In ‘Guernica comes to school: Art, philosophy and life’, May Leckey argues that the aesthetic dimension of Philosophy for Children has often been overlooked. She draws on new scholarship on Dewey that highlights his later writings on art as experience. The chapter includes a close analysis of high school students thinking and expressing ideas about Picasso’s mural Guernica, in the context of their Humanities curriculum. In this chapter Leckey illustrates Deweyan principles of art as experience and makes connections with Matthew Lipman’s early and subsequent writing on art and aesthetics. Drama is the focus of Laura D’Olimpio and Christoph Teschers’ chapter, ‘Drama, gestures and philosophy in the classroom: Playing with philosophy to support an education for life’. Also influenced by Dewey’s idea of art as experience, these authors explore how P4C practitioners might augment their praxis through an embodied and creative approach to the community of inquiry, to support the development of students’ art of living. Drawing on Schmid’s theory of gesture, they argue that ‘playing’ (in dramatic sense) with concepts generates keener awareness and appreciation of both self and other. They illustrate ways in which drama seems to generate, and allow for the expression of, a sense of responsibility for self and toward others, helping to develop a practice of lived, practical wisdom, or phronesis. In the section’s final chapter, ‘Curating an aesthetic space for inquiry’, Natalie Fletcher and Joseph Oyler have developed the aesthetic concept of ‘aspirational eros’. They describe 135

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this as a desiring energy, the energy of wanting more than what one currently is, knows, and experiences, the energy that can sustain our engagement in pursuits like philosophical inquiry and dialogue, despite the difficulties involved. As curators of dialogue, the authors argue that P4C facilitators should pay careful attention to children’s psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological growth, so that children themselves may come to independently recreate the purposeful commitment needed to support the drives and aspirations they choose for themselves.


16 GUERNICA COMES TO SCHOOL Art, philosophy and life May Leckey

We do not experience works of art in order to judge them, we judge them in order to be able to have rich aesthetic experiences. (Lipman 2008: 26)

Introduction The impetus for this work emerged from my involvement with students in a junior high school on the outskirts of Melbourne as we experienced Picasso’s painting Guernica in a philosophical community of inquiry where students responded in embodied and sensuous ways. At times students used startling metaphors and unusual turns of phrase as they grappled to express meaning. Ultimately these led to rich insights and new thoughts, but at the time, served to create tensions and frustration, while at other times the inquiry proceeded orderly and thoughtfully. My observations of the inquiry with all its uncertainties and frustrations, and its moments of heightened perplexity and curiosity, inspired new questions that shape this chapter: What constitutes an aesthetic experience? Why are aesthetic experiences important and how can we provide for aesthetic experiences in ways that are transformative and enduring? What is it about an encounter with an art work that creates unsettlement, and experiences that are, at times, beyond words? Later in this chapter I present a vignette from an episode of our encounter with Guernica, to show students’ responses to the painting. In my reflection here, and in experimental spirit, I apply Deweyan aesthetic principles in two interrelated ways. First, students’ encounter with the art work, and second taking up Lipman’s proposition that philosophy itself is a ‘form of art’ (Lipman 1988: 173). Throughout the chapter I acknowledge Matthew Lipman’s early and formative thinking on art and aesthetics, which was influenced in part by Dewey (Lipman 1967, 1973, 1988, 2008). In many ways Lipman anticipated what is now being celebrated in the different forms of contemporary scholarship on Dewey’s thinking on art and aesthetics.1

Art as experience For Dewey, art and the aesthetic is ‘prefigured in the very processes of living’ (LW 10: 31),2 and can assist us towards attaining ‘the full meaning potential of the everyday for both our students and ourselves’ (Granger 2006: 64). The task, for Dewey, ‘is to restore continuity between the refined and intensified forms of experience that are works of art and the everyday 137

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events, doings, sufferings that are universally recognized to constitute experience’ (LW 10: xv). Without diminishing the importance of logical and rational thinking, I argue that humanist and aesthetic values (Alexander 1995) are central to fully experience meaning. Since Dewey’s influence on P4C has been significant, both historically and philosophically, it follows that his ideas on art as experience would provide an enriched vision of his work to the benefit of P4C. In What Happens in Art (1967), Matthew Lipman presents a comprehensive overview of the artistic process in relation to human experience, in all its creative, appreciative and critical dimensions. The book was a revised version of Lipman’s doctoral dissertation at Columbia, in which Lipman ‘attempted to pick up in those places where Dewey had left off, endeavoring always to strengthen the Deweyan approach’ to philosophy of art and aesthetics (Lipman 2004: 3), and which Dewey (then retired) had read, discussed with Lipman and commended. For both Lipman and Dewey, an aesthetic experience actively involves students’ capacities for judgment, multiple interpretations, meaning-making, and imaginative expression and empathy, and furthers the project of democratic and emancipatory education. Importantly, an aesthetic experience ‘reflects fundamental commitments about human nature and what constitutes a well-lived or meaningful life’ (Alexander 1995: 75). For Dewey this meant rejecting the traditional Western theory of aesthetics with its elevated status of culture which he believed created a chasm between ordinary and aesthetic experience (Alexander 1987; Boisvert 1998; Jackson 1998). To understand art as experience, is to understand that it comes from the impulse of human experience, that it is born of the lives of artists and the inevitable hardships and struggles reflecting the conditions and societies that surround them (Alexander 1995). Dewey emphasizes in Art as Experience that art is a unique form of experience that carries significant potential to be a part of shaping individuals and societies ‘Whatever path the work of art pursues, it, just because it is a full and intense experience, keeps alive the power to experience the common world in its fullness’ (LW10: 139). Art as an intensified form of experience for Dewey is not a thing; it’s something that happens, embodying the experience of the artist making the work and also of the audience responding to it in co-construction. Exploring aesthetic experience in this way was the basis of Lipman and Sharp’s high school philosophy curriculum Suki (1978, 1980). The concept of experience is the foundation of all Dewey’s thinking; in education, metaphysics, religion and so on, culminating in Art as Experience as ‘the deepest implication of his own democratic vision’ (McClelland 2005: 45). Dewey invites us to think of experience as inclusive of others rather than something that happens individually. He emphasizes experience as a fully human activity, as a continuous process of interaction and participation with the materiality of the world, its events and situations, which are constantly changing. Dewey’s notion of experience is always ‘provisional, incomplete and probabilistic’ (Boisvert 1998: 17). It is a transaction that is ‘it is both temporal and contingent’ (Jackson 1995: 26), and is experimental and creative, calling on our imaginative resources as well as our critical capacities (Lipman 2008: 61). All experience presupposes the body as an essential and valuable component of experiential learning; it is ‘the basic instrument of all human performance . . . a necessity for all our perception, action, and even thought’ (Shusterman 2006: 2). In pursuing this line of thinking I am drawn also to de Bolla’s accounts of his somatic experiences with art works, where he describes moments of heightened intensity giving way to a ‘jumble of thoughts’ (2001: 2), contrasting with moments when he was ‘struck dumb’ (p. 3). De Bolla’s struggle to articulate his bodily sensations in his experiences with art works speaks to the growing body of work in emotion and affect in aesthetics. De Bolla asks what it is that the art work ‘knows’, that generates his own understanding in relation to them? In other words, what pervasive quality merges the viewing self with the art work to make experience anew and momentous? 138

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Pervasive qualities and aesthetic experience In many ways Lipman’s early writing on art can respond to de Bolla’s concerns. He highlights the qualitative nature of aesthetic experience and the transaction between the human and nonhuman. He pays particular attention to our somatic relationship with art, where the body is ‘an ever present reality . . . in the creative process’ (1967: 2), continuously and radically in relation with the world and with others. Art plays a crucial role in all our lives, as it involves ‘the heightening of consciousness of the body . . . of being physically alive’ (p. 2). Lipman speaks of ‘the reverberation of our primitive concern for the things that have come within range of our experience’ (p. 2), noting the ‘pervasive quality’ that flows in and through experience. This concept of pervasive quality is important in Deweyan aesthetics, as it identifies the distinguishing trait that directs the quality of the overall art creation and related experience; it is the pervasive qualities that give a sense of the whole experience. Lipman explains, ‘A quality is what is felt or recognized, specifically or pervasively within an immediate experience, that is, within a direct perceptual transaction’ (p. 10), it is ineffable and difficult to describe. Lipman makes a helpful distinction between what he calls ‘qualities in general’ and ‘tertiary’ qualities, those that are characterized by their ‘lack of specificity’ (p. 23). He describes these tertiary qualities as those that might be ‘designated by such words as “downcast”, “melancholy”, “puzzling.” . . . they permeate, colour and qualify all the objects and events that are involved in an experience.’ More general qualities or characteristics, such as ‘green’, ‘round’ or ‘sharp’, are easier to describe, says Lipman. For art educators, these distinctions help to delineate the surface components describing colour and shapes on the canvas; for example, distinguishing those from the larger more abstract and felt qualities that constitute our responses. Lipman expands on these concepts in Thinking in Education (2008) and, like Dewey, shows how the lessons of art derived from both general and specific features contribute to the enrichment of life. Specifically, he applies his concept of pervasive qualities to all aspects of the philosophical inquiry process itself: ‘All inquiries are guided by such qualities’, for example, ‘perplexed’, ‘disconsolate’, ‘cheerful’ (Lipman 2008: 85–86). This brings to mind the shifts and changes in mood in my young students in their encounter with Guernica, each new move bringing a shift in qualitative feeling as the inquiry proceeds, sometimes caught up in the wondering and expectation of new discovery, and at other times downright frustration at not being able to articulate their ideas. Being sensitive to such pervasive qualities during a philosophical discussion can serve to heighten our understanding of the dynamics of the community of inquiry as the intensities of experience play out. This was a theme of Ann Margaret Sharp’s writing, which drew attention to the embodied, aesthetic, ritualistic and even spiritual dimensions of the community of philosophical inquiry (1997a, 1997b, 2007). Jackson (1998) sees Dewey’s concept of aesthetic experience as two inter-related domains: one specifically involving the arts and the other applying to life in general. This means that our response to, and demonstrated understanding of, the generic properties that constitute an individual work of art promises to not only enrich our future experiences of subsequent art works, but is also instrumental in enabling us to form aesthetic judgements about ordinary life. What marks an ordinary experience from what Dewey refers to as an experience (original italics), is the ‘heightened vitality’ in the transaction with an art work (or other encounter that moves us) that makes the experience ‘aesthetically charged’ (McClelland 2005: 56), in such a way that we feel momentarily disoriented or unsettled. It is the immediacy of the encounter, an unexpectedness which is sensed (rather than thought), that ultimately yields richer depths of meaning ‘when it runs its course to fulfilment’, and can be described as ‘consummatory’ (Alexander 1995: 14). The qualitative immediacy described here refers to the ‘ineffable quality’ that is 139

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inherent in all experience whether or not we attend to it (Jackson 1995: 195), and recalls de Bolla’s concern about his inability to express his feeling when encountering certain art works. I think also of my students as they struggle in their responses to Guernica. In Dewey’s words ‘An experience has a unity that gives it its name, that meal, that storm, that rupture of friendship. The existence of this unity is constituted by a single quality that pervades the entire experience [within] its constitutive parts’ (LW 10: 44; original italics). Encounters with art works, such as Guernica, are likely to produce a range of responses, such as confusion, horror and despair. Other works express quite different qualities. The range of human emotion, failings and qualities offers endless potential for rich aesthetic experience through art. However, not all art works have within them the impulse of immediacy that is driven by an aesthetically charged pervasive quality (or qualities) that ‘runs its course to fulfilment’ (LW 10: xix). It is the quality of expressiveness that indicates the success or otherwise of an art work. This is determined by its continued relational and expressive refinement that creates a capacity for greater depths of meaning within the community (McClelland 2005). As Dewey says: ‘The expressiveness of the object is the report and celebration of the complete fusion of what we undergo and what our activity of attentive perception brings into what we receive by means of the senses’ (LW 10: xix). The notion of completion and fulfilment may give the impression that there is a finality to an experience. However as Lipman (1967: 97) states, ‘the satisfaction of an initial impulse with an agreeable resultant situation’ is a phase in and of itself, whole and unified, but is part of the ongoing construction of the subject and serves in wider contexts where new learning is created. In summarizing this discussion on Deweyan aesthetics and art as experience, I derive principles as an aide to reflection on my own practice, including consummation, continuity, interaction, immediacy and expressiveness.

Encountering Guernica, a vignette: philosophy as an art form When Lipman (1988: 173–182) proposes that philosophy itself is a ‘form of art’ he is endorsing Dewey’s claim that there are aesthetic dimensions to all aspects of our lives; education is no exception. The kinds of fulfilment we seek in our philosophical community of inquiry mirrors Dewey’s idea of aesthetic embodiment that represents the fullness of experience, steadily working towards a ‘consummatory phase in which the organism finds a new posture toward the world, helping to fortify the aesthetic against the anaesthetic’ (McClelland 2005: 46). Before examining an extract from the philosophy sessions, I provide below a brief overview of how my involvement with the twenty-five students in class 2B came about and the dual purpose of my work at the school.

The context for the study As a philosophy educator I was invited to introduce philosophy sessions to a group of twentyfive junior high school students in a mixed race high school on the outskirts of Melbourne. Their Humanities teacher wanted to observe how P4C might address some of the concerns she had about their poor attitude to learning and their increasing cynicism about race and refugees. This teacher was also keen to undertake training in P4C and in this she was supported by the school. It was my hope that other teachers would, in time, consider training in P4C. The sessions were conducted over five weeks and, as is my practice in working with young students, notes were taken and the sessions audio recorded. Documentation in this way is a vital tool not only for reassessing what children actually said but also for reflecting on and evaluating the moves encouraged or overlooked by the facilitator. 140

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It is common practice to use visual resources and artefacts in Humanities classrooms. They stimulate discussion and highlight key issues in history and the social sciences. As well as embodying aesthetic qualities, through their diverse expression, works of art can unite, shock, amaze and divide – wonderful bases for philosophical discussion. Picasso’s Guernica offers opportunity for an experience as it achieves its power ‘through the focal intensity of its composition’ and embodies within it the pervasive quality (feel) of the situation which is consciously manifest throughout the course of the experience (Alexander 1995: 14). It is in this spirit of openness that I suggested Picasso’s Guernica as a focus for the philosophy sessions. As a historical primary source, Guernica also offers the opportunity to engage in specific historical analytical skills and philosophical ideas specific to history (Lipman 2008: 24, 48, 109). Students need time to develop these attributes and habits and it is helpful if they can grasp those more general links, that is, ‘the critical link of criterion dependency of judgment’ as well as ‘the judgment dependency of all inquiry’ (Lipman 2008: 48). Throughout the philosophy sessions, there was much encouragement to help make these and other critical links. As these students were soon to enter middle school where History would be one of their core subjects, it was anticipated that their experience with Guernica would be rich and productive and expand their view of the human capacity for creativity as well as the contentiousness of moral judgment in history and in everyday life. Prior to the initial philosophy session I gave a brief introduction to the painting and the attack on the village of Guernica. I provided a historical, political and geographical context for the painting and stressed that there is no single way of viewing art and referred briefly to the debates among art historians concerning this painting. Students had their own A4 copy of the painting and they were also encouraged to record ideas as they came to mind. I projected an image of Guernica on the wall of their classroom and gave the dimensions of this art work relative to their classroom, which we concluded would be a tight squeeze. Reflecting back and in consideration of my subsequent reading of Dewey’s seminal texts and associated scholarly interpretations, I believe that this contextual introduction, along with the ensuing philosophical community of inquiry, provided the quality of enriched experiences that Dewey proposed. This involves experiences that are immediately powerful and marked by meaning that accumulates and expands. Dewey stressed that ‘continuity’ and ‘interaction’ are vital for achieving this (LW 13: 27). The following extract on Guernica has been chosen as an example of an aesthetic experience, where imaginative and critical moves come together in consummation in Dewey’s terms.

Session two (extract) Teacher: S o let’s think about our thoughts on Guernica so far. Rachel, you have something to share? Rachel: Well, I think . . . it’s difficult to say, but . . . I think it’s like a circus, I mean a sad circus, it’s a sad painting. Jack: But that doesn’t work, you can’t call it a circus, circuses are happy places! Rachel: I said sad circus. Teacher: Can you tell us a bit more by what you mean sad circus? Rachel: It makes me think of the animals caged in a circus, they are held in cages, that’s sad. Teacher: So what gives you the impression of a cage? Rachel: They’re squashed in together, like in an invisible cage, but you can imagine it’s a cage and that’s kind of sad. 141

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There were two possible lines of inquiry here, the qualitative descriptor ‘sad’ and the image of ‘cage’. We agreed to leave the idea of the circus out of the discussion for the moment, although Rachel clarified her use of the ‘circus’ metaphor, stating that it was something that jumped into her mind as she was uncertain of what to say. On reflecting here, I can see now how the qualitative feeling of ‘perplexity’ that permeated student thinking on this art work led to a range of responses when they were at a loss for what to say. Teacher: S o, should we rule out the idea of circus on its own here, and concentrate on ‘cage’ and ‘sad’ to see if that helps us to make sense? (much nodding in agreement). Ollie: Yes, I agree, circus on its own is misleading, it’s certainly not a circus! Aleysha: But it helped by making us imagine a cage and being trapped. But I suppose we could leave circus out of it. Ollie: Yes, but then we have to decide which one to use? Teacher: Can you show where you see sadness, in the painting, anyone? Zara: The mouths are open like they’re screaming in horror, all the mouths. Ollie: And some figures are reaching out, their eyes popping. Ben: And they’re twisted. Teacher: Where? Can you show where they’re twisted? Ben: The horse is going one way, but looking the other way, and the bull too. They’re trying to escape. Further contributions served to build on the idea of positioning of the images: their ‘contortions’ (Jack), ‘anguish’ (Ollie), ‘closeness’, ‘hemmed in’ (Ben). Student interaction was intense and lent purposeful continuity or flow as their observations led them to see the close proximity of the images, the relationality of the figures. Much was made of the tension in mother and baby coupling: ‘the mother’s screaming, and look at her mouth wide open’ (Kim), ‘and the baby’s all floppy and dead’ (Zara). Teacher: So are you saying then, that Rachel’s metaphor of the cage works? Jack: You mean circus, don’t you, you mean metaphor of a circus? Ben: (referring to the cage image) I think so . . . and they are so squashed in together, and the guy on the ground with his leg off . . . is being trampled on by the horse, yes sad images . . .  Ollie: And there’s a woman rushing in dragging her leg. Her foot is huge and heavy, it doesn’t look like a real foot. Teacher: Why do you think Picasso painted the foot like that? Olly: He wanted to make us notice, I think, so he made it big and awkward. If he had just drawn a normal foot, we wouldn’t have noticed it so much. Teacher: Think about foot for a moment, what does it do in the painting? Further discussions on the foot included how it’s heavy, weighted; stuck, anchored; again, the sense of being trapped. We moved on to the cage image. Using the laser pointer Rachel was able to show how the framing of the figures were held in, contained. Imaginary lines (cage-like) were drawn to enclose the figures and images. It was noted how the artist had used the space to its utmost, close to the edges of the work, thus giving a sense of compression. The dialogue resonated with the art history theory that Guernica was influenced by Greek pedimental sculpture. In observing the tight juxtaposition of the figures in the chaotic drama 142

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within a confined geometric schema students demonstrated the capacity to think beyond representational limitations. Here was the emergence of a collective aesthetic sensibility, recalling Dewey’s insistence that art is a process, always in the making. Teacher: M  any observations here, we’re really looking closely at the painting. Can we just take a moment and come back to Jack’s comment earlier about Rachel’s metaphor of a ‘sad’ circus. Jack, do you want to add anything here? Jack: Well, maybe there’s something in it, but I still think it misses the point. I partly agree with people’s comments . . . it’s kinda sad, but sad’s not a good word here. I’m still bothered by the idea of a circus. Teacher: Can you say why? Jack: It’s too distracting, it can take us off the topic. Ben: I disagree, when you put the word ‘sad’ it makes sense, I think it helped us get into the picture more. Jack: You mean painting . . . yes I suppose it did, but there’s a lot more to discuss. We discussed Jack’s point here about staying focussed and how when we use analogies and metaphors, sometimes we can go in different directions with our thinking. Some students were keen to point out that this wasn’t necessarily distracting and there was agreement that we moved forward in our thinking. Lipman (1988: 180) reminds us of Peirce’s claim that ampliative reasoning, of which metaphor is an example, corresponds to an ‘evolving world’: ‘it bursts the bounds of the known and breaks the barriers that our literal knowledge imposes on us’. This is what art can do for us when we are open to it beyond the restraints of representation. An experience with art, like all experience ‘is aesthetic in the degree in which the organism and the environment co-operate to institute an experience in which the two are . . . fully integrated’ (Dewey 1934: 249). There was a sense of this demonstrated in this extract, consummated, unified and complete in itself. In subsequent sessions new ideas and concepts emerged concerning the topic of war, rights and responsibility. A concept generated during the first session in a moment of heightened intensity was ‘all living things’, which echoed throughout, and underscored the ethical judgement which came to fruition in the final session. Some examples include: ‘every living thing is vulnerable’; ‘there is no escape from war when people have weapons and you don’t’; ‘but having weapons doesn’t mean you should use them’. Prior to the final session, I asked students to consider this question: When art portrays devastation, can we take away positive and hopeful thoughts? Students’ responses included: ‘It’s a commemoration’ (Aleysha). ‘The painting is a memorial and that means these people in this place won’t be forgotten’ (Zara). These comments are indicative of ‘empathic unsettlement’ (La Capra 2001: 22), a key concept in historical understanding where the working through the trauma of others enables an entry point to express ideas and concern without over-identifying with the victims.

Conclusion Settling into a community of inquiry takes time, but the art work had a startling impact on these students and they were keen to participate, voice opinions and speculate on the possibilities presented by the painting. The community of inquiry we experienced was a creative process marked by energetic expressiveness and immediacy. While the interaction was at times overly loud, it was passionate and honest. To give students credit, they invested in the community, with an eagerness for experience that confirms Dewey’s belief that ‘we all have aesthetic hunger’ (McClelland 2005: 45). The dynamic and provocative nature of Guernica embodied 143

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aesthetic experience both in its production and its reception; it spoke to its perceivers by its pervasive qualities of devastation and chaos, and they were moved; perhaps in ways they had not previously experienced. The transformative power of the philosophical community of inquiry in this case was made all the more powerful by the consummation of art as experience. Because of this, further transformations are possible in life itself in new and potent ways.

Notes 1 I use the terms ‘aesthetic’ and ‘art’ interchangeably in keeping with the convention in the new scholarship on Dewey. Also, for an introduction to aesthetics and art within the field of philosophy of art see Lipman, M. (1973). 2 The abbreviation LW followed by specific volume and page number stands for Hickman, L. (Ed.) (2003) The later works of John Dewey 1925–1953.

References Alexander, T. (1987) John Dewey’s theory of art, experience and nature. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Alexander, T. (1995) Educating the democratic heart: Pluralism, traditions and the humanities. Studies in Philosophy and Education 13, 243–259. Boisvert, R. (1998) John Dewey: rethinking our time. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. de Bolla, P. (2001) Art matters. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Dewey, J. (2003) The later works of John Dewey, 1925–1953. Electronic edition. Hickman, L. (Ed.) The Center for Dewey Studies: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Online). Available at http:// (Accessed 14 November 2015). Dewey, J. (1980/1934) Art as experience. New York: Berkley Publishing Group. Granger, D. (2006) Teaching aesthetics and aesthetics teaching: towards a Deweyan perspective. Journal of Aesthetic Education 40(2), 45–66. Jackson, P. (1995) If we took Dewey’s aesthetics seriously, how would the arts be taught? Studies in Philosophy and Education 13, 193–220. Jackson, P. (1998) John Dewey and the lessons of art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. La Capra, D. (2001) Writing history, writing trauma. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lipman, M. (1967) What happens in art? New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Lipman, M. (Ed.) (1973) Contemporary aesthetics. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Lipman, M. (1978) Suki. Montclair, NJ: IAPC. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy goes to school. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (2004) Philosophy for Children’s debt to Dewey. Critical and Creative Thinking 12(1), 1–8. Lipman, M. (2008) Thinking in education (2nd edition) New York: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. and Sharp, A.M. (1980) Writing: how and why: instructional manual to accompany Suki. Montclair, NJ: IAPC. McClelland, K. (2005) John Dewey aesthetic experience and artful conduct. Education and Culture 21(2), 44–62. Picasso, P. (1937) Guernica [Oil on canvas]. Reina Sophia Museum, Madrid. Available at http://www. Sharp, A.M. (1997a) The aesthetic dimension of the community of inquiry. Inquiry: critical thinking across the disciplines 17(1), 67–77. Sharp, A.M. (1997b) The sacred as relationship in the community of inquiry. In: Palsson, H., Siguroardottir, B. and Nelson, B. (Eds) Philosophy for Children on top of the world. Akureyri, Iceland: University of Akureyri, 5–19. Sharp, A.M. (2007) The classroom community of inquiry as ritual: how we can cultivate wisdom. Critical and Creative Thinking: the Australasian Journal of Philosophy in Education 15(1), 3–14. Shusterman, R. (2006) Thinking through the body, educating for the Humanities: A plea for somaesthetics. The Journal of Aesthetic Education 40(1), 1–21.


17 DRAMA, GESTURES AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE CLASSROOM Playing with philosophy to support an education for life Laura D’Olimpio and Christoph Teschers

Advocates of Philosophy for Children (P4C) draw on the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey. For Dewey, education is holistic and aims at shaping a person to be a democratic and reasonable citizen. In this way, teachers act as facilitators who guide students to actively engage with ideas and students are recognised as embodied, capable of reflecting on their own assumptions and point of view as well as those of others. Such dialogue takes place through a community of inquiry (CoI) that aims at a shared truth that is pluralistic and democratic. The student is not an isolated cogito but, rather, a member of a group of learners, and the CoI activates rationality as well as empathy and creative imagining. This chapter explores how Philosophy for Children practitioners can augment their praxis using drama education. While American P4C practitioners tend to rely on the programme of novels and handbooks for teachers developed by Matthew Lipman and others at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, some practitioners in the UK and elsewhere have created their own materials and rely on a range of philosophical stimuli, not solely text (Liptai, 2005). Joanna Haynes in Children as Philosophers (2001: 21) refers to the various materials that could be used to stimulate philosophical discussion and questions, explaining that ‘[t]eachers can use some text to read aloud, such as a story, poem or newspaper report. They may bring an object or play a piece of music, or show a set of photographs or a documentary film’. Certainly the CoI method can be taught in many diverse subject areas. Ronald Moore (1994: 11) notes, ‘Lipman and his colleagues repeatedly stress the point that the main purpose of their philosophy for children programme is to help youngsters learn how to think for themselves, carefully, reflectively, and critically – no matter what the topic’. For young children it is particularly beneficial to accompany a seated discussion like the CoI with drama techniques, allowing children to play with and act out in an embodied way the philosophical concepts under investigation (D’Olimpio, 2004). There are two approaches to aesthetic education to consider. The first is that the P4C methodology and the CoI may be used to critique and discuss aesthetic concepts. Such a CoI may engage with questions about beauty, artistic intention, interpretation and the value of art objects. For example, various objects may be used to play a concept game that asks the question, 145

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‘What Is Art?’, with options that include ‘Art’, ‘Not Art’, and ‘?’. The second approach is using one of the arts, such as drama, as praxis, in order to play with philosophical concepts in general, including aesthetic concepts. For example, philosophical or aesthetic ideas may be explored and critiqued in a P4C classroom, or in an art or drama classroom, by using P4C alongside drama techniques such as improvisation. Briefly considering the first approach, William Hamrick (1989), in Philosophy for Children and Aesthetic Education, notes that P4C textbooks may be used to provide aesthetic education. Hamrick details how the narrative texts such as Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery, Suki, Lisa, and Kio and Gus guide students in writing and creative thinking skills as well as reading and critical thinking. Focussing on the novel Suki, Hamrick (1989: 58) suggests that Suki’s experience in the art museum may be the basis for a CoI on the notion of experience, and aesthetic experience in particular. Hamrick notes that Western philosophy following Kant has shrunk the notion of the aesthetic to what is simply ‘beautiful’, ‘sublime’ or even ‘appreciated’ (Hamrick, 1989: 56) and claims that the P4C texts widen this definition of the aesthetic, in part as they implicitly rest upon John Dewey’s understanding of the Aesthetic as an extension of everyday sensual experience. In his Art as Experience, Dewey’s lecture series on aesthetics is imbued with the pragmatism of William James, exploring how art develops out of everyday experience (Dewey, 1934: 11) and seeking to widen the discourse of aesthetics so as to recognise that our creation, experience and appreciation of the aesthetic is linked intrinsically to being human. Dewey offers a pragmatic account of art as experience and explains, The existence of art is concrete proof . . . that man uses the materials and energies of nature with intent to expand his own life, and that he does so in accord with the structure of his organism – brain, sense-organs, and muscular system. Art is the living and concrete proof that man is capable of restoring consciously, and thus on the plane of meaning, the union of sense, need, impulse, and action characteristic of the live creature. The intervention of consciousness adds regulation, power of selection, and redisposition. Thus it varies the arts in ways without end. But its intervention also leads in time to the idea of art as a conscious idea – the greatest intellectual achievement in the history of humanity. (Dewey, 1934: 26) Therefore, while we may consider aesthetic concepts when engaging with texts and discuss them in a typical seated CoI, we can also explore these concepts further in an embodied manner by acting out scenes and role playing characters from the texts. Drawing from the dramatic arts, teachers may supplement their P4C praxis by using drama techniques such as role-play, mime, performance and improvisation. Further emphasising embodied creative thinking that works alongside critical and caring thinking may enrich and support the more familiar approach to philosophical discussion of ideas that occurs in a CoI. Advocating for this method of teaching, Nigel Toye details the benefits of pairing P4C and Drama Education, saying the results could be mutually beneficial. As Lipman states, ‘[t]o make higher-order thinking happen in the ordinary classroom, there needs to be reliance upon highly charged materials such as narrative provides and upon a highly charged pedagogy such as the community of inquiry represents’ (Lipman, 1991, cited in Toye, 1994: 24). The narratives used in a P4C classroom must stimulate the students’ imagination in order to stimulate their questions and desire to engage with associated concepts. By adding in dramatic engagement with such narratives, students are further encouraged to explore diverse perspectives that are 146

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conveyed by various characters in the stories. Toye gives the example of casting children as ‘friends of Tony’ from Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery. Seating the children in a CoI, the teacher entered the circle in character as Tony’s father. The students were asked to engage with this character and convince him that just because Tony is good at mathematics, it does not necessarily follow that he should become an engineer. Acting ‘as if’, Toye notes that the students were engaged in a deeper way, and a theoretical dialogue could follow the dramatic enquiry (Toye, 1994: 25). This ‘acting out’ of stories requires students to imaginatively interact with concepts from the text, which is also one aim of the CoI. Thus, teachers could incorporate additional exercises inspired by drama education, such as including an improvisation game before a seated CoI, to help prepare the students prior to engaging with the CoI topic and associated questions. There is much to be said for getting students to move around, as drama requires, before sitting in a circle. Moving around wakes students up, and Toye (1994: 24) further notes the benefits of extending students’ engagement with stories to dramatic enactments, as ‘drama can help P4C improve its approach to involving the children at a feeling level and particularly children for whom reading, the basis of P4C, can be a stumbling block’. Using drama techniques to supplement P4C praxis would particularly benefit younger children who are inclined towards physical expressiveness and the creative and playful exploration of their thoughts and feelings. Toye claims that drama and P4C both create a democratic community within the classroom whereby the teacher is not ‘all-knowing’, thereby radicalising the role of the teacher and emphasising the role of the learner in making meaning. The CoI typically commences with a work of fiction, as does drama, and ‘it is through the distancing effect of focusing through fictional context that ideas can be liberated’ (Toye, 1994: 24). This freedom with which we can engage with works of fiction is a point Martha Nussbaum also makes when she describes how readers may practise empathetic engagement with characters in a way that builds moral character. Nussbaum (2001) claims, The aesthetic activity, which takes place in a safe and protected ‘potential space’ where our own safety is not immediately threatened, harnesses the pleasure of exploring to the neediness and insufficiency that is its object, thus making our limitations pleasing, and at least somewhat less threatening, to ourselves. (Nussbaum, 2001: 244) Students may feel more at ease discussing philosophical concepts such as morality in a fictional context and may even develop habits of empathy towards characters that then benefit their everyday interactions with others. This can be done by practising what Nussbaum (1987) calls a ‘loving attitude’, which involves a sense of fellow-feeling. We are moved by fictions, as we imaginatively engage with ‘what it might be like’ for characters in the story. After practising such empathy in a fictional context, we may train the habit of compassion that extends to people we meet in real life. For instance, if children are asked to act out how they might respond to someone who deliberately tripped them, as occurs in Matthew Lipman’s novel Lisa, they may go on to apply the Golden Rule in their own lives (i.e. do to others as you would have them do to you). An additional benefit of acting out stories from P4C texts is that the teacher could be provocative within the fictional context by performing the role of one of the challenging characters, thereby facilitating a less threatening space for children to explore responses to, for example, discriminatory attitudes found within characters that reflect everyday people one might meet in real life. 147

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The idea of learning by doing is central to P4C pedagogy as Lipman grounds much of his writings in Deweyan pragmatism. Toye (1994: 25) comments, ‘[d]rama brings in the possibility of thinking with the whole person, communicating and creating with the body as well as the voice’. A holistic approach to education attends to non-verbal communication as well as verbal, and Toye (1994: 26) gives the example of a drama activity where one group had to interpret what another group was acting out, where only the interpreters were able to speak. The actors were silent, having to communicate non-verbally, allowing free interpretation and debate to occur by those viewing their performance without being able to ‘correct’ the meaning making process. This activity gives participants an opportunity to reflect on how their expression and gestures are viewed and interpreted by others. It also provides a space for these performers to explore alternative methods of delivery of a message, to see if adjustments in their non-verbal communication enhance the understanding of others receiving the message. Implicit in drama education, and central to the CoI, is the idea of the individual as a social self. This resonates with the ‘caring’ thinking that is encouraged by the arrangement of the CoI. Seated in an inward-facing circle, CoI participants seek to understand and build upon the ideas of others and not simply argue against one another. It is because we live in communities and interact with diverse others that educators must balance encouraging students to express themselves as individuals alongside respect for social norms that guide appropriate behaviour. Both are required for individuals to flourish in a social setting. An important aspect of interacting with others and developing our own self-expression is what Schmid (2000b) calls ‘gestures’: outward expressions of our inner self. Schmid argues that all interaction with others is based on gestures which include, but are not limited to, verbal, facial and other bodily expressions, quietness, the use of space, and how we position ourselves in relation to others. For Schmid, everything that can be perceived consciously or subconsciously by others and that originates from a person is an expression, or a gesture, of our inner experience and being. These gestures strongly shape the relationships and interactions we have with other people; therefore, they are significant for the development and shaping of what he terms a beautiful life in a social context. This resonates with Kennedy’s (1994) notion of the community of gestures as one of the five communities that are always present in a community of philosophical inquiry. Kennedy similarly argues that gestures are influencing communication and interaction between people, and while Kennedy focuses on the sub-conscious aspects of bodily gestures, Schmid argues that conscious reflection and attention to one’s gestures can influence our habitual (sub-concious) gestures and lead to a more reflected life-performance. Schmid (2000a) argues that to develop one’s own art of living one has to take responsibility for one’s own life and try to make it a beautiful one (Teschers, 2010). Schmid uses the term ‘beautiful’ instead of ‘good’ life to emphasise the aesthetic taste of the individual. To shape one’s own life, he explains, means to become an artist and to make one’s life a work of art. In this way, Schmid’s notion of the art of living is an active one: a beautiful life is one that is pursued actively and, as agents who construct and create our own lives, we are held accountable for the work we ultimately create. The individual focus in Schmid’s (2000a) considerations about the art of living is balanced by his acknowledgement of human beings as social animals. As previously stated, individuals nearly always live in communities and in order to live a beautiful life one must consider that one’s social surroundings are important, alongside one’s individual autonomy. Schmid (2000a, 2000b) refers to Aristotle’s (n.d./1996) notion of phronesis (prudence and practical wisdom) to develop an ethical approach that originates in the ‘enlightened self-interest’ of the individual, yet expands from the notion of the care of the self towards a care for others, society and humanity on a global level. 148

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To fully engage in the art of living, Schmid indicates three key concepts that are central to becoming the artist of one’s own life: Bildung, self-reflection and phronesis. The German term Bildung can be translated as self-formation or self-cultivation and is understood to encompass knowledge, character formation and practical wisdom. According to Liebau (1999), Bildung is closely linked to aesthetics as he states, ‘Bildung points towards inner and outer beauty. When one possesses Bildung, one orients oneself at the norms of aesthetical and moral perfection and strives to develop towards these’ (1999: 29, our translation). The lifelong process of selfformation is an integral part of the era of the German Bildungs-Idealism (which emerged in the eighteenth century and still influences the German approach to education today) and aims towards the perfection of humanity through the perfection of each individual as human being (Liebau, 1999). The ability to reflect upon one’s own norms, values, actions and self is a necessary component to shaping one’s own being and, therefore, key for the development of Bildung and an art of living (Schmid, 2000a). Schmid draws on Aristotle’s notion of phronesis to further bridge the gap between the individual focus of living a beautiful life based on one’s own notion of beauty and the demands of society. Schmid translates phronesis with the German term Klugheit, which means both prudence and practical wisdom, and although it connects and overlaps to some extent with the notion of Bildung, phronesis reaches beyond and is significant for the ethical implications of Schmid’s art of living concept in its consideration of others and society as relevant for living one’s own beautiful life. Engaging in the art of living and becoming the artist of one’s own life includes paying attention to one’s gestures and how one expresses oneself. A conscious and deliberate reflection on the gestures one uses, how these affect others, what these gestures say about us and how they align with the norms and values we subscribe to, creates an artful performance in one’s interactions with others (2000b: 332). A person engaged in the art of living in this way shapes their external gestures into a beautiful work or art that also expresses their inner beauty. Reciprocally, through the reflection on one’s gestures, one also comes to reflect (again) on the norms, values and beliefs one holds, and, therefore, shapes one’s inner self through paying attention to one’s outer being. Thus, one acquires Bildung and self-cultivation through an embodied process of action, reflection and becoming. Given that the art of living is compatible with the praxis of philosophy in the classroom (D’Olimpio & Teschers, 2016), we have highlighted how aspects of drama education may offer teachers a promising toolkit to explore students’ questions and self-expression. By incorporating drama techniques into the P4C classroom, aspects of the art of living may be played with critically and creatively in educational settings. Through the reciprocal relationship of expression of the inner self through gestures, as discussed above, drama education has the potential to support the self-formation process of students in various ways. One example would be that through dramatic enactment, students can explore how different gestures, body language and expressions feel, for the one performing as well as for the recipient of this form of expression. Following this performance, a CoI may be facilitated that allows further dialogical investigation of these gestures and their accompanying feelings, whereby participants may consider the implications of these actions to related norms and values. This process allows students to reflect upon the values they consider important, and provides them with the opportunity to critically consider how one’s own habitual gestures and actions affect others. Such considerations can lead to a conscious development of a set of gestures that reflect the values one holds and they become a reflected performance of how to interact with others. An engagement with drama and performance in this context can also raise an awareness and understanding of the notion of life as ‘performance’ in the aesthetic sense. A similar idea is expressed by Nancy Feldman (2008), who describes how drama can be used to allow troubled 149

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young people to explore different sets of gestures/actions and add them to their repertoire, enabling them to see life-situations as parts of a performance to which they may choose a response. This response, the gesture or action chosen, may then be based on their new repertoire instead of defaulting to their habitual reactions that so often had troublesome consequences for these students. One example Feldman (2008: 90) gives is when a shy student does not feel comfortable performing. This student can be cast as a shy character, allowing the student to express her shyness and be affirmed in that expression. As the student grows more comfortable and confident on stage, she then has the opportunity to practise other characteristics and responses that may serve her well off-stage. This example resonates with Schmid’s notion of gestures and the development of a reflected life-performance, as students can explore their habits in a safe space that allows them to practise different responses and gestures which extend their personal repertoire of expressions and habitual reactions. Given this example, we can see that the role of the imagination is vital for the self-shaping process. Imagining a different gesture/response to a situation or person allows us to develop new habits more conducive to flourishing. Drama education as well as P4C techniques such as the CoI support the active role of the imagination and promote ‘creative’ thinking as participants consider new ideas and arguments (Bleazby, 2012; Millett & Tapper, 2012). Alongside creativity, Millett and Tapper (2012) summarise a number of qualities that are promoted by the P4C pedagogy and, we claim, are also relevant for an art of living. These include (1) stimulation of creative and critical thinking; (2) development of listening and speaking skills; (3) support for social and emotional development; (4) greater patience, understanding and empathy for others; and (5) the development of a personal value base (D’Olimpio & Teschers, 2016). We believe this list of holistic qualities should be promoted in educational environments because such qualities support the development of reasonable citizens, rather than solely providing people with vocational skills. It is important to acknowledge that vocational skills are necessary in today’s knowledge societies and economy; however, people’s lives consist of more than solely their employment. We argue that education should be helping to shape people with a wider range of life skills than solely those related to a vocation. This idea is the heart of a liberal arts education. The arts, drama education and the CoI are well suited to address knowledge areas that are relevant to the development of an individual art of living, such as the human being as individual; the social human being; cultures, beliefs and religions; striving for fulfilment and meaning in life; and personal as well as global perspectives (D’Olimpio & Teschers, 2016). In both P4C and art of living approaches, students are seen as lifelong learners who need to develop skills and knowledge that supports the development of a good and beautiful life. In this way, education is envisioned as shaping people to think for themselves rather than simply regurgitating facts that enable students to perform well on exams or serve utilitarian demands of industry and economy. To summarise, Schmid (2000a) argues that to develop one’s own art of living and to become the artist of one’s own life one has to take responsibility for one’s own life and shape it according to one’s own, self-reflected values and norms. The ability to engage in critical (self-)reflection, among others, can further support young people to grow into informed and active democratic citizens who can engage critically in the public and political discourse of the societies they are living in. Through the connection of inner self and external gestures, a pathway for critical engagement with students’ self-concepts, values and beliefs exists that can be explored philosophically and aesthetically. Using P4C and drama methods, a context is provided whereby students can critically and creatively engage with how their gestures and actions affects others around them. Drawing on the Aristotelian notion of habituation (n.d./1996, NE Book II), we can see how gestures and actions are linked to one’s values and beliefs, as 150

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the habitual gestures one uses in daily interaction reflect and express the norms to which one subscribes. By creating space in the classroom for children to explore and experiment with gestures by acting out various diverse characters, students are given the opportunity to see which expressive actions best fit with their own individual character. When given the opportunity to question and critique the experience afterwards, for example using P4C methodology of the CoI, participants are able to attend to the gestures they and others employ, reflecting on their impact and associated affect, which can lead to a conscious change of the gestures and expressions one uses: one’s own performance in relation to shaping and living a beautiful life. Here, the student truly becomes the artist of his or her own life and shapes it into a work of art, a conscious performance of interaction with others. Further, through the (self-)reflective aspect involved in this exercise of conscious engagement with one’s set of gestures in relation to one’s norms and values, students not only develop their external performance but also take responsibility for shaping their inner self and their own lives. As a final thought for educational practice, we suggest that children who are less able to express themselves verbally may be able to find expression through drama and other artistic mediums. In this way, using P4C alongside aesthetic practices may enable teachers to better listen to the child’s voice, even when that voice is non-verbal, expressed through body language and gestures. This voice may find its safe expression in a fictional world that may prove illuminating not only to the facilitator of such enquiry, but also to the child themselves as they are able to ‘try on’ different guises to see what ‘fits’ best. This is a strongly democratic process, enabling the young philosopher as actor to critically and yet also compassionately engage with diverse points of view. By considering how P4C practitioners may engage with concepts of art, drama and performance and linking to Schmid’s notion of gestures within his concept of the art of living, we have discussed how philosophical play with children can improve their self-awareness as well as other-awareness, which in turn supports the practice of phronesis or practical wisdom. To conclude this chapter, we would like to invite the reader to contemplate Dewey’s (1916/2001: 100) notion that a possible end of education (although Dewey rejects the notion of a final aim that subsumes all other aims) would be ‘the best possible realization of humanity as humanity’ and how the arts, drama education, philosophy for children and an educational approach to the art of living can support this end.

References Aristotle (n.d./1996) The Nicomachean Ethics. London: Wordsworth Editions Limited. Bleazby, J. (2012) Dewey’s Notion of Imagination in Philosophy for Children. Education and Culture 28(2), 95–111. Dewey, J. (1916/2001) Democracy and Education. Hazleton, PA: Pennsylvania State University. Dewey, J. (1934) Art as Experience. New York: Perigee. D’Olimpio, L. (2004) Drama and Philosophy: Language, Thinking and Laughing Out Loud! Applied Theatre Research Journal 3. Available at 0007/54952/dramaphilosophy.pdf. D’Olimpio, L. & Teschers, C. (2016) Philosophy for Children meets the Art of Living: A Holistic Approach to an Education for Life. Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 23(2), 114–124. Feldman, N. (2008) Assisting Children in the Creation of New Life Performances: Expanding Possibilities for Social and Emotional Development. Child Adolescence Social Work Journal 25, 85–97. Hamrick, W.S. (1989) Philosophy for Children and Aesthetic Education. Journal of Aesthetic Education 23(2), 55–67. Haynes, J. (2001) Children as Philosophers. London: Routledge. Liebau, E. (1999) Erfahrung und Verantwortung: Werteerziehung als Pädagogik der Teilhabe. [Experience and Responsibility: A Virtue-Based Education as Participatory Pedagogy.] Weinheim, Germany: Juventa. Kennedy, D. (1994). The Five Communities. Analytic Teaching 15(1), 3–16.


Laura D’Olimpio and Christoph Teschers Lipman, M. (1976) Lisa. Upper Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, Montclair State College. Lipman, M. (1991) Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Liptai, S. (2005) What Is the Meaning of this Cup and that Dead Shark? Philosophical inquiry with objects and works of art and craft. Childhood and Philosophy 1(2). Available from: Childphilo/n2/SaraLiptai.htm. Millett, S. & Tapper, A. (2012) Benefits of Collaborative Philosophical Inquiry in Schools. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(5), 546–567. Moore, R. (1994) Aesthetics for Young People: Problems and Prospects. Journal of Aesthetic Education 28(3), 5–18. Nussbaum, M.C. (2001) Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nussbaum, M.C. (1987) Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination. In Cascardi, A.J. (Ed.) Literature and the Questions of Philosophy. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Schmid, W. (2000a) Philosophie der Lebenskunst: Eine Grundlegung. [Philosophy of the Art of Living: A Foundation.] Frankfurt, Germany: Suhrkamp. Schmid, W. (2000b) Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Lebenskunst. [A Quest for a New Art of Living.] Frankfurt, Germany: Suhrkamp. Teschers, C. (2010) ‘Lebenskunst’: Schmid’s Concept of the Art of Living. In PESA Conference Proceedings 2010. Perth, Australia: Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia. Available from: au/images/papers/2010-papers/pesa-2010-paper-02.pdf. Toye, N. (1994) On the Relationship Between Philosophy for Children and Educational Drama. Thinking 12(1), 24–26.


18 CURATING AN AESTHETIC SPACE FOR INQUIRY Natalie M. Fletcher and Joseph M. Oyler

Educators who are committed to inquiry learning models like Philosophy for Children (P4C) may find it valuable because it is child-driven. For Matthew Lipman, following Dewey, inviting children to explore the issues that interest them helps ensure a continued, meaningful engagement in dialogue. Yet children’s commitment to the challenging inquiry process is not a given: while some may instantly take to it, others may find it too demanding, lacking the curiosity, resourcefulness and focus required. To be genuinely effective, then, inquiry dialogue should be motivated not only by the facilitator’s goals, but also by the aspirations for growth within the children themselves so that they take on the active, participatory role of inquiring willingly and energetically. In this chapter, we propose the aesthetic concept of aspirational eros as the energy of wanting more than what one currently is, knows and experiences, the desiring drive that makes us want to engage in higher-order pursuits like the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI), in spite of its inherent difficulty. We illustrate how aspirational eros involves a P4C facilitator carefully attending to the ‘growing’ occurring within children, notably their efforts towards self-correction, so that in time they may independently recreate the purposeful engagement needed to support the aspirations they choose for themselves. We begin our chapter by contextualizing our account in empirical research on inquiry dialogue and by proposing a more nuanced conception of eros that can support CPI practices. We then present our concept of aspirational eros through psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological growth, paying close attention to its curation in an aesthetic dialogue space.

The power of inquiry: current research context Inquiry dialogue is a form of learning that takes advantage of talk to address particular pedagogical objectives. Empirical research links inquiry dialogue to increasing inferential comprehension of reasoning across contexts (Kuhn & Crowell, 2011). Researchers have identified P4C as one among a group of dialogue-based approaches effective in promoting quality engagement, including Collaborative Reasoning, Questioning the Author and Instructional Conversations (Soter et al., 2008). Within the field of P4C, advocates link the practice to higher-order thinking (Trickey & Topping, 2004). Studies over the past decade have identified several features of productive dialogic interactions, notably: an egalitarian participation structure where key responsibilities are shared; a focus on inherently contestable questions that are complex and cognitively 153

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challenging; and a metacognitive component enabling participants to evaluate their collaborative work (Lipman, 2003; Soter et al., 2008). These features of dialogue represent particular challenges that can be understood in part as issues of student motivation and deserve to be addressed. The relationship between student motivation and positive learning outcomes is empirically established (Bong et al., 2012). Within P4C there is also literature on participant engagement with various kinds of motivation explored, including intellectual confidence, curiosity, commitment and concentration (Barrow, 2010; Fields, 1995; Williams, 1993). Others have reflected on ways that facilitators can encourage participant engagement by shifting their own views, such as adopting certain attitudes about children (Haynes & Murris, 2012). Canuto (2015) suggests that understanding facilitation can be enhanced by answering questions like: How must a facilitator regard the pedagogy of philosophical dialogue and acknowledge children’s ideas? Theorists also claim that exhibiting sensitivity to participant values and interests is conducive to good practice (Lipman, 2003). Along these lines we argue that children’s engagement in P4C and their associated learning outcomes can be improved when they are motivated by aspirations for growth within themselves – or a kind of erotic orientation to inquiry dialogue.

Reorienting the erotic: towards a more nuanced understanding In the small but important scholarly literature on eros in education, this elusive concept is understood as a dynamic mainspring for learning that activates our genuine desire for knowledge and wisdom. Drawing on Plato’s dialogues, these studies reference Socrates’s description of eros as a ‘divine madness’, a love of life’s true beauty that can be reined in to push our reasoning capacity to greater heights, and prevent it being overshadowed by a lifeless sense of logic (Cooper & Hutchinson, 1997: 523). To illustrate this divine madness, Socrates in the Phaedrus compares the human soul to a charioteer trying to guide two winged horses – an obedient, disciplined one and a wild, unruly one. The noble soul learns to channel the wild horse’s desiring energy towards higher-order pursuits whereas the weaker soul falls prey to basal impulses, confusing those sensual pleasures with philosophical fulfilment, instead of recognizing their possibly dangerous influence and indulging them only in moderation (p. 524). This perspective echoes the depiction of Eros in Greek mythology as an intense source of passionate energy, ‘a personification of the life force engender[ing] change and growth’ (Hull, 2002: 26), that can foster human fulfilment but also threaten our sense of reason and morality if mishandled (Thogersen, 2011: 405). Eros’s potential to sustain a longing for the good also forms the focus of Diotima’s speech in the Symposium, in which she introduces the ladder metaphor to differentiate between a love for particular instantiations of beauty and a philosophical love for beauty itself: ‘One goes always upwards for the sake of this Beauty, starting out from beautiful things and using them like rising stairs . . . in the end he comes to know just what it is to be beautiful’ (Cooper & Hutchinson, 1997: 493). Here, eros takes on aesthetic dimensions as an appreciation of beautiful experiences, both physical and conceptual. Further, eros is akin to a yearning for otherness that broadens our horizons of value, like an unfamiliar lifestyle, worldview or person, and becomes ‘a creative poetic force that makes novel meanings and eventually makes us who we are’ (Garrison, 1995: 409). Thinking thus requires eros to be alive and meaningful, but eros devoid of thought is imperceptive. From an educational viewpoint, eros can support child-driven pedagogies since it propels the lifelong striving to fulfill varying levels of desires, from simple pleasures to the quest for 154

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truth. Educational reformer Joseph Schwab’s simple but insightful view of eros as ‘the energy of wanting’ (Schwab, 1954: 54) helps to illustrate how desires may be educated in a CPI in ways that reconcile eros’s inherent tensions. Adapting Plato’s charioteer analogy, he describes liberal education’s aim as ‘harness[ing] eros in the controlling reins of reasonableness in order that we may borrow energy from her for intellectual purposes and, conversely, enjoy to the fullest the capacities for feeling and action she confers upon us’ (p. 66). Given this potential, what might be eros’s pedagogical implications for P4C?

Aspirational eros: the energy of wanting to grow up In our account, there is a crucial distinction between aiming for children’s growth and aiming to cultivate in children their own aspirations for growth: the former might occur without their awareness or intentional involvement, whereas the latter demands a more deliberate engagement. Accordingly, we propose the concept of aspirational eros as the energy of wanting more than what one currently is, knows and experiences, or, as we will explain below, the energy needed to cultivate the desire for psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological growth, particularly towards reasonable meaning-making. To cultivate such aspirations in children, the energy of eros must be harnessed to raise them to new heights, like the ascending rungs of Diotima’s ladder, exposing them to challenges beyond what they would presently judge themselves as capable of addressing. In Socratic terms, this translates into channeling their desiring energy towards higher-order pursuits characterized by a ‘reason-dependent sort of love’ (Soble, 1989), notably of the meaning-making kind, while preserving the divine madness that enables them to wholeheartedly commit to the exacting tasks. The cultivation of aspirational eros is thus an invitation to the process of becoming, a process of coming to be, know and experience in novel, enriching ways. More specifically, it involves carefully attending to the growth occurring within children so that in time they may independently recreate the sustained engagement needed to support the aspirations they choose for themselves. It is worth noting that this process of becoming is never complete, and thus the invitation extends to both children and their adult educators to cultivate eros as ‘a form of desire which provides the condition of possibility for seeking union with our highest potentialities’ (Burch, 1999: 124). A CPI reflects this union with potentialities since it represents an unfamiliar process of becoming for children; although the themes they explore resonate in their lives, the inquiry process exposes them to different challenges than those of everyday schooling, including collaborative dialogue, multidimensional thinking and complex existential meaning-making. Indeed, though the CPI is lauded for enabling an educative space that is relevant to lived experience, it is precisely because it aims beyond children’s current scope in terms of identity, knowledge and experiential development that it can be regarded as aspirational. To cultivate aspirational eros in a CPI is not to suggest that children in their current states are somehow inferior to their adult facilitators, but rather to emphasize the openness to evaluation that eros involves in all phases of life as it ‘pushes us to advance beyond a given stage in the development of our consciousness towards a higher stage, as yet unknown’ (Tsabar, 2014: 78). In CPI terms, attending to children’s growth translates into cultivating their efforts towards self-correction, or the ability to reflectively identify and rectify their own weaknesses, notably on psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological levels. First, we call psychological growth that which results from the energy of wanting more than what one currently is, a desire that is best expressed through increased self-efficacy and selfdiscipline. Here, self-efficacy takes the form of resilience and gumption in the face of novel, 155

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unfamiliar experiences. According to psychologist Albert Bandura (1997), self-efficacy ‘is concerned with people’s beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their own functioning and over events that affect their lives’, and thus influences their cognitive, affective and conative experiences – their thoughts, feelings and motivations. When confronting an activity beyond their comfort zone, self-efficacious children relish the venture, believing that their genuine efforts will yield constructive results, even if they end up failing and having to try anew (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). In a CPI, children reveal their desiring energy for increased selfefficacy when they are better able to trust in their capacity to think, and they show selfdiscipline through a consistent (albeit not always successful) effort to overcome base desires in favour of more constructive behaviours, like listening carefully, regulating emotional responses and maintaining concentration despite frustration. On this interpretation, psychological growth ensues from the desiring energy towards cultivating awareness about what is likeliest to bring success. Second, we call metacognitive growth that which results from the energy of wanting more than what one currently knows, a desire that is best expressed through an increased understanding of thought processes. Lipman (2003) describes metacognition as the reflective analysis of thinking with the aim of refining it and the use of cognitive strategies to solve problems. In Lipman’s words, ‘To think about our own thinking is to objectify a mental performance we have just engaged in, whereupon we can name it, describe it, correct it’ (p. 143). In a CPI, children reveal a desiring energy for metacognitive growth when they make concerted efforts to question their own reasons, organize their ideas, convey their positions intelligibly, label their thinking moves (like indicating a counterargument, an example, a distinction, etc.), recognize the root of stagnation and assess their arguments. Crucially, they also demonstrate metacognitive understanding when they can make connections between inquiry dialogues, between different knowledge sources and between their CPI experiences and the wider world. In turn, this metacognitive growth transforms into epistemological humility, or an unassuming approach to knowledge construction rooted in the recognition of human limitations. Third and finally, we call phenomenological growth that which results from the energy of wanting more than what one currently experiences, a desire that is best expressed through an increased awareness of embodiment and intersubjectivity. The embodied dimension involves appreciation for the different ways that individuals qualitatively experience the same situation, and how corporeal exchanges may help or hinder their meaning co-construction. This appreciation involves being attuned to what Maurice Merleau-Ponty called ‘total language’, the gestures, posture, gaze and so on that characterize individuals’ interactions beyond speech (Kennedy, 2010: 194). In a CPI, children reveal a desiring energy for increased embodiment awareness when they exhibit progressively more comfort with nonverbal communication (being observed, making eye contact, holding gazes), to the point that they can anticipate each other’s idiosyncratic body talk. In terms of intersubjectivity, they are also more willing to engage with others and become immersed in collaborative work, which translates into a heightened empathic understanding of how others undergo a shared experience. According to Merleau-Ponty (1958), through such intersubjective efforts, ‘there is constituted between the other person and myself a common ground; my thought and his are woven into a single fabric . . . Our perspectives merge into each other, and we co-exist through a common world’ (pp. 354, 413). In sum, the desiring energy of aspirational eros channelled towards higher-order pursuits has psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological dimensions, and these may significantly broaden what counts as ‘reasonableness’ in a CPI. Returning to Plato’s chariot allegory, the reins (type of reasonableness) used by the charioteer (educator) will greatly influence how the 156

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horses (eros) respond to being harnessed. A strict, disembodied rationality risks destroying aspirational eros with far too restrictive reins that weaken the desiring energy for meaning. Conversely, a sense of reasonableness that preserves sound rational judgment without compromising the mad desiring energy for growth may harness aspirational eros with enough control to mobilize it for higher-order pursuits while sustaining feeling and intersubjective concern. According to Lipman, the process of developing reasonableness is necessarily collaborative since it ‘refer[s] not just to how one acts, but to how one is acted upon: It signifies one’s capacity to listen to or be open to reason’ (2003: 97). Moreover, reasonableness involves an awareness of the thinking experience itself – how the ebb and flow actually feels and affects action, from the sense of momentum and rhythm when thoughts develop smoothly to the bodily tensions and paralysis that accompany mental blocks. As Mark Johnson writes (2007: 94), ‘Because most of us are not in the habit of attending to these subtle, nuanced feelings of direction and relation in our thinking, we are inclined to deny that they play any serious role in logic’. Further, the CPI process can be assessed not only for its resulting meanings but also for the embodied experience of meaning-making it enables on both ethical and aesthetic levels. On the one hand, children explore what is reasonable to value to make life meaningful, in an effort to determine how they should live ethically – ‘teaching [eros] to desire the good’ (Garrison, 1995: 408). On the other hand, they evaluate the inquiry process itself as an embodied, multi-sensory experience that produces value, in an effort to determine how meaning-making feels aesthetically, ‘apprehend[ing] meaning immediately embodied . . . in some way unified and integrated: feeling, hearing, imagining’ (Constantino & White, 2010: 167). In this sense, aspirational eros aims beyond a CPI’s current state towards what Russon calls ‘developed eroticism’, a stage of responsibility driven by the community’s consciously chosen values (2000: 120).

Curating aspirational eros: facilitator challenges and dispositions What might aspirational eros look like in context? Kathleen Hull’s example of eros is helpful: she considers what motivates the passionate desire for justice in a hypothetical young woman, noting that while informational sources may play a role, a likelier motivating force are those people with whom she shares the challenging project of understanding justice (Hull, 2002: 22). Similarly, as CPI facilitators, we witness children experience their desire for justice not just as an intellectual draw but as a fervent aspiration for understanding and change, recalling Burch’s description of an eros-infused classroom of ‘intersubjective vitality’, where ‘trust and sharing through dialogue transforms academic work into a fully awake yet contentious enterprise [reflecting the] affective, imaginative, communicative, intersubjective, dynamic strands of human experience’ (Burch, 1999: 126–129). For instance, during a dialogue on the fairness of rules prompted by a role-playing game about stereotypes, a group of children showed through their bubbly energy a commitment to aspirational eros on psychological, metacognitive and phenomenological levels, exhibiting persistence through their disagreement, analysing their progress to strengthen their judgments and revealing elevated comfort with nonverbal communication, huddling their bodies to better exchange together. During the metacognitive reflection, they described the embodied inquiry experience: how freeing it felt to be so direct and animated with their bodies, and how this freedom electrified their thinking, making ideas flow faster and easier, and producing strong positions on fairness to which they all contributed. When a few students confessed they found it difficult to concentrate because of the loud, impassioned atmosphere, the group identified the qualitative differences between their experiences, devising their own strategies to establish how they wanted to be together (aesthetic considerations) and what they should do to preserve 157

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camaraderie (ethical considerations). In this case, the facilitator’s responsibility to the group was to honour and carve out space for the growth in progress, namely their attempt to self-correct by solving their own issues collaboratively. To effectively harness aspirational eros, educators may want to perceive their CPI facilitation as a curatorship. As Lipman writes, inquiry is an aesthetic encounter since ‘a mental act is an achievement, a performance. One can feel oneself moving towards the making of a decision and then making it . . . A mental act is therefore like a tiny work of art’ (Lipman, 2003: 143). The notion of a curator – from the Latin curare, meaning to take care – emphasizes the aesthetic quality of harnessing aspirational eros: like carefully arranging an exhibition’s artwork to suit a particular gallery, facilitators must be selectively discerning about the inquiry space elements (atmosphere, principles, procedures, materials, group dynamic, etc.). In a CPI, though inquiry questions may change every session, facilitators must continue to curate the same spirit of wonder, tenacity, thoughtfulness and exuberance to sustain in children the energy of wanting more than what they currently are, know and experience. Further, facilitators must ‘constitute [themselves] a curative experience’ (Schwab, 1954: 57), meaning their very presence should help curate the space both physically and metaphorically. They must model aspirational eros in ways that are infectious, alluring and inspirational, deploying divine madness without letting it wreak havoc, so that children will eagerly desire to accompany them on challenging inquiry journeys, deeming these as worthwhile efforts and developing their own aspirations for growth from witnessing an adult’s desiring energy. The facilitator’s emphasis on growth does not entail a blind conviction in children’s potential to accomplish particular tasks, but rather a real, palpable confidence in their capacity to harness their desiring energy even if they do not actually succeed, a focus on process rather than results that recognizes the ‘need to be assured that attempts at doing and thinking will be accepted as attempts . . . and not as definitive measures of powers or limitations’ (Schwab, 1954: 58). So how can facilitators curate this space? For recommendations, we look to a recent study of three experienced facilitators shown to represent high levels of inquiry quality (Oyler, 2015). To guide their facilitation and support group engagement, each facilitator used a set of pedagogical principles, two of which seem specifically conducive to aspirational eros. First, the principle of working towards a reasonable judgment ‘reflects a desire on the part of facilitators to help the group develop a thoughtful response to their big question’ (Oyler, 2015: 176), pushing deeper into concepts and beyond a general opinion survey. When facilitators are sensitive to the group’s energy and respond by using moves to make the inquiry feel worthwhile, they are helping to curate a feeling of personal growth akin to aspirational eros. Second, the principle of letting the inquiry be child-driven ‘as a kind of meta-principle, concerned with how other principles get activated’, enables facilitators to be measured about their use of moves (Oyler, 2015: 132). After all, P4C practitioners do more than facilitate inquiry; they also help establish the conditions for good dialogue to emerge across multiple engagements. By underlining what a facilitator should not be doing – that is, driving the inquiry in a particular direction – this principle also involves refraining from curtailing children’s own aspirations for growth. We argue that the curation of aspirational eros should become a part of inquiry facilitation, especially during metacognitive reflections when facilitators strategize with participants about how to make dialogues more participatory, supportive and effective. Some such strategies include: •• •• ••

Asking children prior to dialogues to identify areas of growth they want to develop; Establishing procedures that let them take on more control of their growth; Reflecting on the experience of inquiry after the dialogues; 158

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•• ••

Engaging in more cumulative reflection across multiple sessions to highlight growth; Utilizing facilitator feedback in a systematic way to highlight individual growth.

Conclusion The concept of aspirational eros proposed in this chapter emphasizes the energy of wanting to grow: the desire to aspire towards more than what one currently is, knows and experiences, especially in higher-order pursuits of reasonable meaning-making. We have argued that aspirations for growth become all the more significant in inquiry learning like P4C since children are expected to play a highly active role in challenging dialogic processes. If facilitators harness aspirational eros through an embodied, aesthetic type of reasonableness, we suggest that children may in time learn to independently recreate the purposeful engagement needed to support the aspirations they choose for themselves. In these instances, the inquiry dialogue itself becomes an aesthetic space, with the facilitator as its curator and aspirational eros as its fuel. Challenges abound when it comes to fostering children’s commitment to inquiry practices. If they learn to appreciate the effects of bodies and space on their collaborative inquiry dialogue, might they become more willing to immerse themselves in its demanding work? What might be the merits and shortcomings of a CPI where aspirational eros thrives? What might be lost or sacrificed through an emphasis on the aesthetic experience of thinking? As critical pedagogue bell hooks has asserted, ‘understanding that eros is a force that enhances our overall effort to be self-actualizing . . . enables both [educators] and students to use such energy in a classroom setting in ways that invigorate discussion and excite the critical imagination’ (hooks, 1994: 115). The inquiry into eros’s educative potential demands more conceptual attention – and to this end, it deserves an energetic, enlivening push.

References Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: W.H. Freeman. Barrow, W. (2010). Dialogic Participation and the Potential for Philosophy for Children. Thinking Skills and Creativity 5: 61–69. Bong, M. et al. (2012). Comparison of Self-beliefs for Predicting Student Motivation and Achievement. Journal of Educational Research 105: 336–352. Burch, K. (1999). Eros as the Educational Principle of Democracy. Studies in Philosophy and Education 18: 123–142. Canuto, A.T. (2015). Reflections on Theory and Pedagogy of Challenges in Facilitating Children’s Dialogues in the Community of Inquiry. International Journal of Whole Schooling 11(1): 1–15. Cooper, J.M., & Hutchinson, D.S. (Eds) (1997). Plato: Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett. Constantino, T., & White, B. (2010). Aesthetics, Empathy and Education. Rotterdam: Sense. Fields, J. (1995). Empirical Data Research into the Claims for Using Philosophy Techniques with Young Children. Early Child Development and Care 107: 115–128. Garrison, J. (1995). Deweyan Prophetic Pragmatism, Poetry, and the Education of Eros. American Journal of Education 103(4): 406–431. hooks, b. (1994). ‘Eros, Eroticism, and the Pedagogical Process.’ In H. Giroux and P. McLaren (Eds) Between Borders. New York: Routledge. Hull, K. (2002). Eros and Education: The Role of Desire in Teaching and Learning. The NEA Higher Education Journal 18: 19–31. Johnson, M. (2007). The Meaning of the Body. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Kennedy, D. (2010). Philosophical Dialogue with Children: Essays on Theory and Practice. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen. Kuhn, D., & Crowell, A. (2011). Dialogic Argumentation as a Vehicle for Developing Young Adolescents’ Thinking. Psychological Science 22: 545–552. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Natalie M. Fletcher and Joseph M. Oyler Merleau-Ponty, M. (1958). The Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge. Oyler, J. (2015). Expert Teacher Contributions to Argumentation Quality during Inquiry Dialogue. (Doctoral dissertation). Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. Russon, J.E. (2000). Eros and Education. Laval Théologique et Philosophique 56(1): 113–125. Schwab, J. (1954). Eros and Education. The Journal of General Education 8(1): 51–71. Soter, A. et al. (2008). What the Discourse Tells Us. International Journal of Educational Research 47: 372–391. Soble, A. (Ed.) (1989). Eros, Agape, and Philia. New York: Paragon. Thogersen, U. (2011). Desire, Democracy and Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43(4): 400–410. Trickey, S., & Topping, K.J. (2004). Philosophy for Children: A Systematic Review. Research Papers in Education 19(3): 365–380. Tsabar, B. (2014). Poverty and Resourcefulness. Studies in Philosophy of Education 33(1): 75–87. Yeager, D. & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindsets that Promote Resilience. Educational Psychologist 47(4): 302–314.



Philosophical texts and Philosophy for Children

Introduction The first chapter in this section, ‘From Harry to Philosophy Park: The development of Philosophy for Children materials in Australia’, offers an historical overview of the development of P4C since its introduction in Australia in the early 1980s. Gilbert Burgh and Simone Thornton, the authors of this chapter, have focused on the diverse range of Australian P4C classroom materials since the publication of the P4C curriculum written by Lipman, Sharp and other colleagues and published by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) since 1974. Consisting of specially written philosophical novels and teacher manuals for all phases of education from nursery to pre-college philosophy students, this substantial curriculum is at the core of the P4C movement. A significant milestone in the history of educational philosophy, it has been an inspiration for a rich variety of materials and practices around the world and forms the backdrop of all chapters in this section of the Handbook. Burgh and Thornton raise the following important questions, some of which re-emerge in Part VII: ‘Is designated subject time required or could philosophy be integrated across the school curriculum?’, ‘Is scope and sequence vital to the aims and objectives of P4C?’, ‘Do some materials more easily fit into the curriculum than others, and, if so, why?’, and ‘Can teachers not trained in philosophy teach P4C effectively, or do teachers need to be philosophers?’. The authors point out that these questions are intricately linked to making ‘philosophical progress’ in the classroom (see Part III) and the contentious role of illustrations in texts for philosophical teaching. The topics raised are taken up in different ways by the other authors in this section. In their chapter ‘Readings and readers of texts in Philosophy for Children’, Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris explore the selection, design and use of the ‘text’ in P4C, and connect its philosophical use to wider debates about literacy and learning and what counts as ‘real’ philosophy. Drawing on critical posthumanism, they give a philosophical account of their criteria for the selection of certain picturebooks for philosophical teaching, focusing in particular on how the entangled relationship between text/pedagogy/reader-philosophers reconceptualises and reinvents philosophy and child:adult relationships. Jennifer Glaser and Maughn Rollins Gregory open up salient political, existential, epistemological and practical questions about texts and how to read them in the context of P4C and religious education. In their chapter ‘Education, identity construction and cultural renewal: 161

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the case of philosophical inquiry with Jewish Bible’ the authors suggest conducting ‘vertical conversations’ (across times within a cultural or intellectual tradition) and ‘horizontal conversations’ (across space and contemporary vocabularies and concerns) – two ‘axes’ that intersect in communities of inquiry. This hermeneutical practice of reading canonical texts (Bible or liturgy) sheds light on how the presence of the philosophical canon in the P4C curriculum could be supplemented with reading traditional philosophical texts. This way forward offers students the opportunity to regard the philosophical tradition as a non-linear ‘ongoing conversation over time’ and as a resource for identity (trans)formation, while at the same time offering the P4C field an opportunity to resolve the core tension between ‘philosophizing’ and ‘philosophy as a body of knowledge’.


19 FROM HARRY TO PHILOSOPHY PARK The development of Philosophy for Children materials in Australia Gilbert Burgh and Simone Thornton

Introduction Australia stands out in the development and production of a diverse range of curriculum and supporting materials for philosophy in schools. Australia has also been innovative in the development of initiatives for the promotion of philosophy in schools. The Federation of Australasian Philosophy in School Associations (FAPSA) fulfils this role, holding conferences, training teachers, and supporting a dedicated journal, the Journal of Philosophy in Schools. The Philosothon is one of the most recent Australian initiatives. Originating in Western Australia and now taking place annually all across Australia, New Zealand and in the UK, students from different schools participate in a series of facilitated communities of inquiry and are then scored and ranked. Whether it is isolated classrooms or entire schools, classroom resources or theoretical books, kindergarten or senior syllabi, university courses or research, what started as Philosophy for Children (P4C) is present, in some form or other, in all States across Australia. But it was not always like this. P4C was introduced in Australia by Laurance Splitter following a meeting with Matthew Lipman during a sabbatical in the USA in 1982. He and his colleagues, especially Jennifer Glaser who was centrally involved in debates on curricula, did much to promote philosophy in schools. By the early 1990s an ongoing debate on the role of philosophy in P4C gave rise to key questions: Is designated subject time required or could philosophy be integrated across the school curriculum? Is scope and sequence vital to the aims and objectives of P4C? Do some materials more easily fit into the curriculum than others, and if so, why? Can teachers not trained in philosophy teach P4C effectively, or do teachers need to be philosophers? Is the story-as-text the only effective vehicle for developing the skills of inquiry and imagination or are illustrated stories or existing children’s literature as effective? These questions have played an integral role in the development and production of Australian produced P4C literature, which could be seen as attempts by the authors to answer one or all of these questions. However, issues of politics, including individuals seeking to develop a niche consultancy or business in this emerging field, competing visions of the disciplinary core of P4C, the relationship between P4C and other subject areas, and the curriculum itself have also shaped the history. 163

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This chapter offers an overview and analysis of the development and production of Australian literature since the introduction of philosophy in schools in the early 1980s1. To this end, we include historical events surrounding the development of these materials.2 We hope by drawing attention to the role context and culture played in the historical development, that it will inform possible future directions for classroom practice and research, and that readers around the globe will be able to find points of reflection, contrast and stimulus for further dialogue in relation to the development of P4C in their country.

Philosophical stories-as-text for children Lipman, with Ann Margaret Sharp and other colleagues at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC), developed a series of purpose-written philosophical stories-as-text (aka ‘novels’) for children, with accompanying instruction manuals that included discussion plans and exercises aimed at developing the philosophical themes contained within the stories. Lipman and Sharp argued that the curriculum materials and community of inquiry pedagogy are inextricably linked and provide a model for philosophical practice for teachers and students alike. According to Sharp (quoted in Naji 2003/2004), whereas traditional philosophical texts attempt ‘to present philosophy in a logical and comprehensive manner devoid of experience’, the philosophical story-as-text attempts ‘to motivate children to inquire into philosophical concepts and philosophical procedures in a way that is directly related to children’s experience’. The stories, in which children discover and explore the ethical, aesthetic, epistemological and ontological assumptions of their thinking about issues or the meaning of their own experiences, become stimuli over which children, and not solely adults, have control; ‘it is their story and they use it to set an agenda for discussion and philosophical inquiry’. In other words, the novels are meant to embed philosophy into everyday conversations, in issues with which children are familiar. Lipman (quoted in Naji 2003/2004) claimed that when children are in a state of puzzlement or wonder, provoked by suitable narratives, they find motivation to reason through such an experience in a group setting, for alone ‘they find their experience problematic or incomplete, and must join forces with one another if they are to pursue understanding successfully’. In this way, children develop ‘a tendency to emulate the modes of thought and utterance they find in them’. According to Lipman, ‘[t]he corpus of Plato’s writings provides a plethora of such models’. Whilst the IAPC stories are not written in dramatic form, as Plato’s were, they do bear some similarity to their ancient counterparts in offering narratives rich in reasoning of the kind that facilitates dialogue. The narratives act as a model of philosophical practice by depicting child characters engaged in philosophical dialogue with other children and adults. The community itself, along with the stories, are models through which children come to recognize their own fallibility, and by extension their ability to reconstruct ideas together. In addition to the stories, the exercises and discussion plans contained in the instructional manuals aid teachers in developing and deepening the discussions and logic based on the wonder the stories provoke. The story is intended to be the child’s window into the philosophical tradition, and the manual, the teacher’s. A last point to consider is raised by Sharp: Even though some might believe that approaching philosophical issues through traditional literature is easier than working from these purpose written novels and manuals, I suspect that it is more likely to be the other way around. In most countries, teachers are not prepared in the art and craft of philosophical inquiry. To explore the 164

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philosophical dimension of literature, and teaching children to do the same, requires an expertise that cannot be taken for granted, especially given the complexity of a good piece of literature. (quoted in Naji 2003/2004) Sharp’s words point to the over-riding question of how best to make philosophical progress in the classroom. Bearing this in mind, we attempt to unravel the history of Australian curriculum support materials, including classroom resources, theoretical books and instruction manuals.

Australian adaptation: the early years The early years of philosophy with children were marked by the struggle to ignite interest in the programme. This meant copious amounts of work by key individuals, including lobbying various government bodies, organizations, teachers and principals, as well as experimenting with classroom resources. To contextualize this we offer a very brief account of the early years of P4C’s introduction to Australian shores. Despite initial successes, which included the growing network of classroom teachers, teacher educators and philosophers involved in introducing philosophy into school classrooms, and the formation of a number of professional organizations, the introduction of P4C in Australia faced a myriad of challenges primarily in the form of the existing curriculum framework, including competition for consideration and time. Not only did this impose limitations on the scope of the introduction of outside materials but also, internally, the existing curriculum framework was itself subject to continual revision. Nevertheless, Splitter, Glaser and others continued to promote the value of P4C and the IAPC materials in an attempt to propel it into the curriculum nationwide. In mid-1985, Splitter invited Lipman and Sharp to conduct seminars, awareness sessions, demonstration classes and workshops around Australia. Federal government funding was received for the first residential P4C workshop held at the University of Wollongong, which twenty-six people attended. The objective was to produce suitably qualified individuals who could work with and train classroom teachers. These events coincided with the founding of the Australian Institute of Philosophy for Children (AIPC), with Splitter as Director. A few months later, the first AIPC newsletter was brought into existence and in a relatively short time AIPC gained support from notable Australians, including social commentator and broadcaster Philip Adams, and philosopher Peter Singer. AIPC endured until 1988, at which time it was incorporated into the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), due largely to the enthusiastic support of then-Director Barry McGaw, who appointed Splitter as the Director of a new Centre for Philosophy for Children (later Centre for Philosophy with Children and Adolescents). Subsequently, the newsletter migrated but eventually ceased publication, becoming the responsibility of state and regional associations. The newsletters were among the first materials used to disseminate information, ideas, experiences and resources throughout the growing philosophy in schools community in Australia (and, later, Australasia, as New Zealand and Singapore also came on board). In 1989, a second workshop was held in Lorne, Victoria. Tim Sprod, then at the Hutchins School in Hobart, Tasmania, was inspired by a session conducted by Ron Reed at the Lorne residential workshop to use picture books as stimulus. Subsequently, he wrote to Splitter asking for his thoughts on possibly incorporating picture books as stimulus for dialogue in a community of inquiry. His initial idea was to link activities from the Elfie instructional manual to specific picture books, but he found the activities 165

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were too closely tied to the novel. Instead, Sprod decided to develop classroom activities designed to aid teachers in finding philosophical themes in existing children’s books. The idea of using picture books had simultaneously struck Karin Murris (a Dutch philosopher and youth librarian then in the UK) soon after commencing her PhD on using picture books in the classroom. Murris’ text book, Teaching Philosophy with Picturebooks, was published in 1992, the same year the first Australian publication of a classroom resource emerged: an Australian adaptation of Lipman’s novel Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery’, by Splitter, who described it as a ‘modest’ revision reflecting minor cultural and linguistic differences between Australia and the USA. Sprod’s Books into Ideas was published in the following year and stands out as the first Australian publication to move away from Lipman’s purpose-written novel approach to P4C curriculum materials. In 1991, government funding was secured for Clive Lindop to work full-time using the IAPC materials with Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. In July, the official launch of the Federation of Australian Philosophy for Children Associations (FAPCA) at the First National Conference on Philosophy for Children and the Teaching of Thinking signalled what Splitter (1991) called a ‘Coming of Age’ for the growth of P4C in Australia. Then, in 1992, P4C jumped off the printed page and onto the screen, with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation production Lift Off. Produced with assistance and consultation from Glaser, the series ran until 1995, and included Munch Kids, a series of animated short films, scripted through a philosophy for kids programme, along with transcripts taken from initial classroom research conducted by Sprod for his book, with voice-overs by actual children. In the same year Susan Wilks, then a teacher educator in Melbourne, Victoria, conducted a study examining the P4C model. The teachers ‘worked initially with Lipman’s materials and discovered the strengths and shortcomings of his program’ (Wilks 1992: 55) in the context of their own teaching practices and expectations to teach to the curriculum. Subsequently, they opted to selectively use passages or sections of the IAPC novels and to adopt other stimuli to be used in conjunction with activities from the IAPC instructional manuals. Arguably, the level of professional development could have been a factor as to why the materials proved problematic for these teachers. Nevertheless, the study did demonstrate the demand for alternative material. With these new developments came concerns over adequate philosophical training, akin to those of Sharp’s, previously mentioned. These concerns centred on the philosophical skills of teachers, who, in the absence of dedicated professional development, relied on literary works – a deficit the purpose-written philosophical stories-in-text and the instructional manuals were meant to address. Subsequently, after months of discussions with the Resources Committee of Victorian Philosophy for Children Association (VPCA), Glaser (1992: 47) published an article addressing the contention over the materials. Issues related to the question of resources, ‘ranging from the “oz”ification of the stories, to the writing of supplementary material, to the utilization of other literature, to the illustration of the text, to using the manuals on their own, to name but a few!’. The article was an attempt to ‘come to a better understanding’ of the IAPC materials and, as Glaser noted, with that ‘understanding came a renewed respect for their form and literary style’. The committee delivered a ‘general list of desiderata for classroom materials’ for ‘anyone who may be interested in looking for, or writing, other stories for use in philosophy’, and was unanimously against the use of ‘literal illustration of the text’ but had ‘mixed responses to the idea of abstract or non-specific illustrations’. They argued that images can be presented in a manner that requires little effort or scope for the imagination, and therefore, can interfere with the child’s creation of their own story or a coherent imaginary world. This view was, and continues to be, contested by proponents of picture stories in particular and alternative stimulus in general, such as artworks. 166

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Extending the format of Sprod’s Books into Ideas, with the addition of an activities book emphasizing the importance of the physical component of inquiry with young children, is the Philosophy with Kids series by Chris de Haan, San MacColl and Lucy McCutcheon (1995). Previously published in-house in 1991 with funding from the University of New South Wales, the authors acknowledged that Sprod had used children’s stories for some time in Australia. They stressed that the series works best in conjunction with philosophical training, or at the very least, in the hands of teachers who have some interest in philosophy. Many of the existing picture books selected drew on aspects of the philosophical tradition, for example the Bunyip of Berkeley Creek drew on the ideas of George Berkeley. Yet regardless of the philosophical content, unlike the IAPC novels, there was no modelling of philosophical dialogue. Not surprisingly, the purpose-written philosophical story had not disappeared. After collecting philosophical stories from people around the world, including stories from Lipman and Sharp, Philip Cam edited Thinking Stories 1 and 2 (published in 1993 and 1994). They retained Lipman’s model of purpose-written philosophical narratives accompanied by teachers’ manuals specific to each story, but utilized a short story format with an abbreviated manual. However, unlike the novels, the short stories did not provide continuity or a sequence of materials that extended through an entire school year. Later, Thinking Stories 3, published in 1997, moved away from stand alone short stories, and made use of continuity by using ‘a cycle of stories with many of the same characters appearing in different stories and occasionally even revisits the same events from a different perspective’ (Cam, quoted in Naji 2013: 157). Subsequently, the philosophical story-as-text continued to be variously explored in novels such as Doll’s Hospital and Geraldo (novels by Sharp, manuals by Sharp & Splitter 2000), The Time Riders’ Code (Keen 2002), and in collections of short stories such as Changing My Mind (Keen, Black & Hanzak 2002), Values Education in Schools (Freakley, Burgh & Tilt MacSporran 2008) and Discussions in Science (Sprod 2011). Cam’s later publications, Sophia’s Question (2012) and Philosophy Park (2013), and accompanying teacher instructional manuals, also made use of continuity. Sophia’s Question is a philosophical novella very much in the tradition of Lipman’s well-known works. Philosophy Park is a history of philosophy in story form, based on well-known passages and central ideas of various philosophers. The book provides continuity in the ideas and debates in the history of philosophy, an element of the IAPC novels that both Lipman and Sharp thought important to retain. In order ‘to provide a vehicle for the communication of ideas and a forum for discussion and debate of issues concerning the practice of philosophical inquiry with children’ and to ‘foster continuing development of the theory and practice of engaging children in philosophical inquiry’, a dedicated journal, Critical & Creative Thinking, was established in 1993, under the editorial management of Lindop. The journal included articles by classroom teachers and academics on theory and applied research, philosophical studies, reports from the field, resources and reviews. As such, it provided a forum for open dialogue and another resource for classroom teachers interested in P4C. Lindop retired in 2003, but the journal continued until November 2008. In 2014 Andrew Peterson and Laura D’Olimpio launched a new open access online journal for research into philosophy in schools: Journal of Philosophy in Schools. The editors announced that the aim of the new journal was ‘to fill the gap where there had once been Critical & Creative Thinking, the official journal of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA)’. In 1995 Splitter and Sharp published Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry, a book five years in the making. Described as a general text for P4C and the community of inquiry, it served a wide audience in the field of education. Topics ranged from 167

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the more practical (e.g. selection of materials, the use of questions as stimulus, evaluation) to the more theoretical (e.g. the impact of philosophy on students’ dispositions, the link between thinking and talking). The book filled a gap, as it attempted to integrate theory and practice, and could be used as a companion to the classroom resources that were being produced. Further, the depth and breadth of its content meant that its use could be extended to curriculum designers, teacher educators, workshop planners and researchers. The book’s impact was far-reaching as a template for future resources for teachers, such as Ethics and the Community of Inquiry (Burgh, Field & Freakley 2006) and Teaching Ethics in Schools (Cam 2012). Cam published Thinking Together, an instruction book ‘based around selecting and using children’s literature as a basis for philosophical discussion’ (Cam, quoted in Naji 2013: 157) that explicitly combines Lipman’s method and the conceptual and reasoning tools of philosophy with the use of children’s literature as stimulus. The book could be considered a timely response to concerns over teacher training and selection of suitable classroom materials. Wilks published Critical & Creative Thinking, which followed Sprod (1993) and de Haan et al. (1995), but with sections on classroom practice, the selection of materials and implementation. While many of these early publications provided theoretical frameworks for, or historical background on, the theories that inform classroom practice, theoretical scholarship has been a strong area of development in Australian literature. Later developments such as The Ethical School by Felicity Haynes (1998), Sprod’s Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education (2001), The Socratic Classroom by Sarah Davey Chesters (2012) and Social Reconstruction Learning by Jennifer Bleazby (2013) significantly extended existing theoretical scholarship. These books provided teachers and educators with resources to improve their own scholarship, much in the way Lipman’s theoretical books had intended. Davey Chesters’ and Sprod’s books, in particular, offer a framework for classroom practice that could be used as supplementary resources to the curricular materials. With the exception of Haynes’s book, it is noteworthy that all the remaining publications were the result of PhD research. Initially reticent about the idea of using illustrations, in 1999 Splitter joined Sprod to produce Places for Thinking, a teacher resource manual to accompany a somewhat ‘off-beat’ set of children’s picture books by Francesca Partridge and Franck Dubuc. Adding to the list of publications that embraced illustrated stimulus materials were Michael Parker’s The Quest for the Stone of Wisdom (1997), which provided an introduction to the teaching of critical and creative thinking skills using a comic and activities to stimulate discussion; and Cam’s Twister, Quibbler, Puzzler, Cheat (1998), which introduces classical and modern paradoxes presented in dramatic form and illustrated in cartoons. Others took another direction. Clinton Golding’s workbooks, Connecting with Concepts (2002) and Thinking with Rich Concepts (2006), are both step-by-step introductions to conceptual analysis in the classroom. Cam’s 20 Thinking Tools (2006) went further to deliver teachers an easy-to-follow guide of conceptual and reasoning tools. To some extent, these books followed Lipman’s intention to have students participate in inquiry where they can (re)construct the logical principles for themselves – although the thinking tools are not embedded in or connected to any particular text. These three publications, alongside the earlier works by Sprod (1993), de Haan et al. (1995), Wilks (1995) and Cam (1995), provided models for other authors to synthesize these approaches in future publications, such as Art Is What You Make It (Wilks & Healy 2011), and opened the way for teachers who, in collaboration with academics, developed their own classroom resources for publication, for example Philosophy with Young Children (Cam et al. 2007) and Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry for Students in the Middle Years and Beyond (Davey Chesters et al. 2013). The latter publications not only provide examples of teachers and philosophers working together, but also of creating resources that emerged from a school context, namely Buranda State School in Brisbane, Australia. 168

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The school has a philosophy programme that is integral to teaching and learning, which has resulted in students performing above the state mean in everything tested in the state-wide testing scores. Philosophy has also found its way into the senior school syllabus in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The Philosophy syllabus in Victoria and Philosophy and Ethics syllabus in Western Australia have specifically written materials designed in accordance with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. These materials were developed to help prepare teachers and to give detailed guidance to set texts, background and contextual material, with the inclusion of extensive activities, review questions and practical advice. Studies that compare the use of materials that follow the format of the original IAPC curriculum and offer the kind of continuity Lipman and Sharp advocated with other purpose-written materials and existing children’s literature have not been undertaken. The question of the effectiveness of the Australian materials in regard to the quality of philosophical discussion and teacher understanding of philosophy therefore remains unanswered. Nevertheless, empirical studies in Australia have shown the potential for collaborative philosophical inquiry to foster pedagogical transformation (Scholl, Nichols & Burgh 2014) and for more effective learning in the science classroom (Burgh & Nichols 2012). As none of these studies used the IAPC materials, and the results are comparable to previous international studies (e.g. Trickey & Topping 2004), there is no evidence, to date, on the ineffectiveness of using Australian materials.

What lessons have we learnt? What is the best resource material for the classroom in terms of teacher training and student outcomes? The answer is neither simple nor straightforward. While it could be argued that the Lipman material is ‘the gold standard for Philosophy for Children story materials’ (Cam, quoted in Naji 2013: 157), what the Australian history has shown to be of equal or greater importance is the adaptation of the materials to fit the culture and political climate. Splitter early on noted that Australian teachers and philosophers had a strong tendency to ‘do their own thing’. In comparison with other countries he felt that he could ‘confidently assert that this desire is especially, albeit not uniquely, Australian’.3 While unravelling the history that shaped Australia’s diverse range of materials is no easy matter, that Australia has developed such a wide range goes some way toward supporting Splitter’s claim. Sharp’s belief that the purpose-written story-as-text, epitomized in the IAPC curriculum, is necessary for both teacher education and classroom practice, remains pertinent. However, as Murris (2015: 67) points out, not only are the IAPC novels not ‘teacher proof’, they are ‘evaluative and prescriptive (in the sense of what counts as philosophy and what needs to be appropriated by the learners)’. If teachers are taught to use the novel as a model for philosophical inquiry, they are unlikely to draw independently on philosophies other than those contained in the story-as-text. One solution is to develop effective teacher education programmes that concentrate on the teacher as facilitator and co-inquirer, and to emphasize the theory and phenomenology of the community of inquiry and its pedagogical principles and pragmatist underpinnings (Burgh & Thornton 2016a). The focus would be on teachers to understand that part of philosophical inquiry that ‘escapes representation’ along with actively questioning their own historically, culturally and socially embedded ‘adult assumptions and desires about how [the] child should be’ (Murris 2015), lest the inquiry become focused on end goal production of the ideal philosopher child modelled in the novels. In this way, students are less influenced by the teacher or the stimulus material and more able to develop their own ways of how they (the child) should be as philosophers. 169

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The history of the development of materials when viewed as a historical narrative lends weight to Cam’s observation that the philosophical narrative devised for the purposes of school education is a genre in its infancy. I think it has great potential which has hardly had the chance to show itself as yet. I only wish that there were more people in the Philosophy for Children movement who were willing to have a go. (quoted in Naji 2013: 158) Moreover, if we place children’s literature and purpose-written materials in opposition to one another, we could be missing valuable opportunities to develop further what might be considered a new genre in educational literature.

Notes 1 We thank Philip Cam, Jennifer Glaser, Clinton Golding, Laurance Splitter, Tim Sprod and Susan Wilks for their invaluable feedback on earlier drafts of this chapter. We also thank Maughn Rollins Gregory for access to the IAPC archives. 2 For a more extensive account of the history of philosophy in schools in Australia see Burgh and Thornton (2016b). 3 These quotations are from undated private correspondence from Splitter.

References Burgh, G. & Nichols, K. (2012). The Parallels Between Philosophical Inquiry and Scientific Inquiry: Implications for Science Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(10): 1045–1059. Burgh, G. & Thornton, S. (2016a). Lucid Education: Resisting Resistance to Inquiry. Oxford Review of Education 42(2): 165–177. Burgh, G. & Thornton, S. (2016b). Philosophy Goes to School in Australia: A History 1982–2016. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 3(1): 59–83. Glaser, J. (1992). What’s So Special About This Story Anyway? Some Thoughts Arising from Discussions Within the Resources Sub-committee of the Victorian Philosophy for Children Association. Analytic Teaching 12(2): 45–52. Murris, K. (2015). The Philosophy for Children Curriculum: Resisting ‘Teacher Proof’ Texts and the Formation of the Ideal Philosopher Child. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35(1): 63–78. Naji, S. (2003/2004). IAPC Interviews by Saeed Naji. Available from: Naji, S. (2013). Recent Interviews with Philosophy for Children (P4C) Scholars and Practitioners. Childhood & Philosophy 8(17): 153–170. Scholl, R., Nichols, K. & Burgh, G. (2014). Transforming Pedagogy Through Philosophical Inquiry. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning 9(3): 253–272. Splitter, L. (1991). Introduction. Philosophy for Children and the Teaching of Thinking. Conference proceedings, Melbourne: VPCA/Centre of Philosophy for Children. Trickey, S. & Topping, K.J. (2004). Philosophy for Children: A Systematic Review. Research Papers in Education 19(3): 365–380. Wilks, S.E. (1992). An Evaluation of Lipman’s Philosophy for Children Curriculum and Its Implementation in Schools in Victoria (Master of Education thesis). Institute of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne.



Introduction In this chapter we give an account of our philosophical engagement with picturebooks, a ground-breaking genre of literature-art, our identification of criteria for picturebook selection; and our exposition of picturebooks as philosophical texts (Haynes 2007, 2008; Haynes & Murris 2012; Murris 1992, 1997, 2016). We reflect on the wider contestation about literature, art, reading, childhood and how this is reflected in the portrayal and enactment of adult:child relations. This contribution includes further explication of our methodology of picturebooks as philosophical texts. The following questions guide our inquiry: •• •• •• ••

What is the philosophical work a text is supposed to do? Who are the implied readers of philosophical texts? How do educators listen to actual readers, communities of readers and their readings? How are relations of texts, readers and readings enacted and materialized through diverse practices of reading and philosophizing?

The chapter discusses the philosophical work of the text in P4C, emphasizing its ethical and political character. We assert that the text and its place in P4C must be considered in relation to both implied and actual readers. It is this interplay of readers, readings and texts that captivates and challenges us.

The Philosophy for Children curriculum as philosophical text Since Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp and others created the Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme, there have been differences of opinion about the kinds of texts best suited to philosophical inquiry. The P4C programme consists of a substantial curriculum of purpose written and deliberately imageless novels and manuals to guide teachers in the use of the texts for all phases of pre-university schooling (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan 1977). Lipman (1997: 1) argued that ‘without a curriculum of some kind . . . the chances that one will be able to do philosophy at all are greatly reduced’. For Lipman the implied readers of philosophical novels 171

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are students, educators and teacher educators. The manuals were designed especially for teachers who had not studied academic philosophy. The P4C curriculum became an archetypal example of a text for P4C, and put in motion the requirement for any alternative text or curriculum to offer explicit philosophical support to ensure that ‘its’ readers would also become better philosophers. However, the close relationship between text and philosophy is not the only innovative aspect of Lipman et al.’s educational philosophy. The logically and not empirically sequenced P4C curriculum bypasses any stage-theory of children’s cognitive development. However, the influence of psychological theories of child development as the basis for curriculum construction remains strong (File et al. 2012). Against this backdrop, and particularly ground-breaking for philosophical work in the early years of education, the P4C programme sequences practice in a range of thinking skills and recurring philosophical concepts rather than competences (Lipman et al. 1977). The exercises and discussion plans in the manuals are sequenced logically, whereas an empirical sequence would involve a correspondence ‘to already existing stages of cognitive development derived from descriptions of children’s behaviour in non-educational contexts’ (Lipman 1988: 147). Thus, P4C’s curriculum conceptualization expresses a philosophy of childhood that questions developmentalism and demands a pedagogy that is post-developmentalist. We are curious about the range of critical and emotional responses to P4C and often speculate on why it has been met with concern and/or disinterest, and occasionally attacked by some within established educational and academic philosophy communities (including universities) and policy-makers. One reason that might explain this is P4C’s challenge to the pervasive nature realist developmental thinking (File 2012; Taylor 2013) in current curriculum design. The influence of Plato and Aristotle on the positioning of children as irrational, simple, concrete thinkers, with little experience or agency, is evident in some critiques of P4C (Fox 2001; Hand 2008; Kitchener 1990; White 1992). Children who display emotions, talk anecdotally, draw on fantasy narratives (Haynes 2007; Haynes & Murris 2013) or who don’t sit still in philosophical practices that rely on written or oral language (Murris & Thompson 2016) are often positioned as incompetent, immature, incomplete and troublesome. Critics assume a still-developing child whose epistemic inferiority justifies unequal epistemic relationships. The adult philosopher’s critique is connected to a normative ideal about what ‘real’ philosophy is and the struggle with the egalitarian nature of a Lipmanian ‘democracy-as-inquiry’ approach (Lipman 1991: 246). ‘Child’ stands for encroachment or carefully monitored ‘enrolment’ into the world of ‘proper’ philosophy, the little one metaphorically knocking at the door of the adult academic philosopher and being told to wait. Developmentalism involves essentialist views of child and generalizations about what individual children are capable of, a result of age-related prejudices. Developmentality involves the institutionalization and normalization of those beliefs, resulting in systematic marginalization of ways of knowing in the early years and very narrow, age-related expectations. The configuration of ‘child as philosopher’ has helped to expose such discriminatory views and practices, spearheaded by Gareth Matthews (1994). Matthews regarded children’s capacities to philosophize as a historically neglected area in education and child development (see Haynes 2008, 2014). However, even for Matthews (1992, 1993b, 2006, 2009) the philosophical child is the child whose verbal utterances resemble the ideas of established academic philosophers.1 He used to select texts (e.g. picturebooks) that ‘contained’ classical philosophical themes. Others have been inspired by his example and read children’s literature from the paradigm of adult philosophy (see e.g. Mohr Lone 2012; Wartenberg 2009). Between child and curriculum there is a pedagogical space informed by adults’ attitudes to children and knowledge. The two are closely related, as is clear in the third innovative aspect 172

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of Lipman et al.’s P4C programme: the entangled relationship between text and pedagogy. They insisted that the philosophical novels had to be taught through philosophical inquiry as the ‘teaching methodology’ (Lipman et al. 1977: 59–80). After reading Lev Vygotsky’s work in the late 1940s (Lipman 1996: xiii), and inspired by George Herbert Mead, Lipman (1993: 319) developed the P4C curriculum on ‘an explicit theory of thinking as internalized speech’. Thanks to the invisible philosopher-narrator in his novels, the philosophical thinking is enacted by fictional, thoughtful children who reflect on their thinking as adult philosophers would do, but children ‘normally’ do not (Murris 2015). Engagement of real children with the ‘abnormal’ conversations in these novels (Kennedy 2011: 61) helps them ‘develop their own philosophy, their own way of thinking about the world’ through the community of inquiry pedagogy (Lipman 2008: 166). Although the socio-cultural orientation of the community of inquiry was revolutionary when the pedagogy was introduced, its constructivist ontology is individualistic. Students and teachers are said to be learning P4C through a process of ‘internalization’; ‘outer’ dialogue becomes ‘inner’ dialogue resulting in intersubjective judgements ‘in’ each person.2 The emphasis on language, logic, rationality and cognitive theories in the P4C curriculum has influenced the choice of text, the text-pedagogy relationship and how texts are read. It is assumed as a metaphysical given that although thinking is seen as a social practice, it is understood to consist of mental operations that are discursive and take place ‘in’ individuals. The latter exist ontologically prior3 to their interactions and relationships with others. For example, Lipman (1991: 95) describes the distinctive characteristics of the higher-order thinking developed through the P4C curriculum as follows: Higher-order thinking, then, is rich in mental acts, which may cooperate or collide with one another as we build upon each other’s ideas or compete with each other intellectually or criticize each other’s reasons in the course of our deliberations. There is also an interplay between nonverbalized mental acts and verbalized mental acts, or between mental acts and speech acts. And there is an additional interplay between mental acts and mental states . . . Our rather passive mental states are constantly being challenged or disrupted by our critical or creative mental acts. On the whole, (philosophical) knowledge creation in P4C is seen as discursive and therefore exclusively human-made, in that symbolic languages mediate and represent our conceptual understanding of the world. Philosophical concepts are sequenced logically and enquired into with increasing complexity in the various philosophical novels as the children ‘progress’ through school grades – facilitated by the adult who is seen as the epistemic expert using criteria for ‘better thinking’ or ‘more philosophical readings’ as if mirroring ‘something outside itself with which it had no complicity, no unmediated processual involvement’ (Massumi 2002: 13). By contrast, Spinoza’s monism has been an inspiration for a new ontology.4 In critical posthumanism tot only human bodies, but also their minds, are part of nature, not in control of it or in command of it (through culture), in contrast with the anthropocentrism of humanism. This orientation regards all earth dwellers, including matter, as entangled and always becoming (thinking and being e/merge). There is ontological and epistemological equality between species, and between different members of each species (Barad 2007; Braidotti 2013). Individuals materialize and come into being through relationships; as does meaning. What are the implications of this for P4C, and for the reading of texts, any text, philosophically? Each reading of a text is a unique and irreplaceable material-discursive encounter, involving all earth dwellers: human and nonhuman, such as paper, colour, sound, smells, sweat and 173

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snot (Murris 2016), a doing of (non-representational) concepts5 and a troubling of linear time sequences (Barad 2007; Lenz-Taguchi 2010). Critical posthumanism disrupts ideas of ‘making progress’ in enquiries as this would assume criteria applied from the ‘outside’, according to already established notions of what counts as philosophy, before our encounters with children. It does not matter where you ‘start’ or ‘end’, or how old you are. These deep dimensions explain the reasons for the diversification of practices and show how these differences are related to views of child, and of what philosophy is, and is not. It raises questions about the ‘essence’ of P4C, what needs to be present for it to ‘count’ as P4C and how many ‘alterations’ can be made, or ‘impurities’ added, before it becomes ‘something’ else.

Offshoots of the P4C curriculum Not all practitioners and theorists in the field embrace the interdependency between text (philosophical novels), the manuals and the pedagogy. Some prefer to work without the manuals, but have written philosophical stories or novels themselves. Others use the community of inquiry pedagogy, but not the original types of ‘texts’, choosing instead other starting points including, objects, music, drama, the outdoors or thought experiments. Albeit in different ways, Lipman et al.’s radical idea of introducing philosophy as a curriculum subject has inspired a host of academic philosophers and writers (e.g. Brenifier n.d.; Gaarder 1994; Law 2003; Worley 2010). However, they do not necessarily share commitment to the community of inquiry pedagogy or other Socratic methods of teaching as an integral part of using their texts. For them, the teaching of philosophy does not require a rethinking of what philosophy means. But Lipman (1991) urges us not only to rethink what constitutes philosophy, but also to address the need to use a pedagogy that does justice to philosophizing as an activity – philosophy as ‘a way of life’. A liberating and critical way forward is to keep engaging with these arguments about what philosophy ‘is’, creating proposals on how relations of text/pedagogy/readerphilosophers in P4C reconceptualize and reinvent philosophy. One approach to P4C, philosophy with picturebooks, has proven to be particularly popular in practice, and not only in early years’ settings or primary/elementary education. There are different reasons for this popularity. Teachers are often familiar with the medium of the picture­ book and many children are used to, and appreciate visual texts. Some teachers strongly believe that children need the brightness and immediacy of the visual to harness their engagement to the difficult labour of reading. This idea of learning to read is sometimes accompanied by an underlying assumption that pictures are something to grow out of, or that pictures are easier to ‘read’, or exist mainly to aid the decoding of the written text. Picturebooks often form an integral part of reading ‘schemes’ and the literacy curriculum. Re-cognition of these connections and assumptions about texts, readers and readings has played a significant part in our analysis of picturebooks as philosophical texts. In Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (Haynes & Murris 2012: 120–121) we offer criteria for choosing texts for philosophical inquiry. We identify these ‘in’ the texts that we intuitively select, so they are not applied from the ‘outside’ as it were, but continue to e/merge through practice. Not all criteria are always present, but combinations of them work to create a philosophical space. Our epistemological criteria are about how human animals know and include a play with ‘reality’, gaps between words and images, humour and playfulness, and engagement of affect and imagination. In ethico-political terms the texts that appeal do not contain ‘messages’ but rather blur boundaries between social and anti-social behaviour; they are uncondescending towards children (they do not moralize or sentimentalize); they are critical and self-critical by holding up a ‘mirror’ for the adult reader, without a ‘subjective splitting’ or distancing of self 174

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from self (Massumi 2002: 15). In aesthetic terms they feature narrative characters that ‘mediate’ between the extremes of reality (e.g. ghosts mediating between life and death); the artwork is high quality; they represent a variety of cultures and styles; they feature interdependency between word and image, with intersecting sign or eco-systems. Informed by these criteria, the use of picturebooks as art-literature demands an ontological and epistemological reorientation, which has ethical and political implications for intergenerational dialogues in P4C. There is a direct link between the ambiguity and complexity of picturebooks as texts and an ontoepistemology that positions learners (including young children) as ‘already able’ (Haynes 2014) meaning-makers and problem-posers. The picturebooks we select (and that select us) sometimes provoke useful dissonance and disturbance. They stir things up for teachers, who are reminded all too often of their ‘protective’ role. For instance, the sight of a child being eaten by a monster (as in Not Now Bernard by David McKee 1980) prompts talk of suicide; the image of fierce robbers delicately carrying a small child (as in Tomi Ungerer’s The Three Robbers 1991) connects for adult readers with media stories of child molesters. Elsewhere (Haynes & Murris 2008, 2012) we explore the ‘trouble’ our criteria cause, through an exploration of arguments – literary, ethical, legal, pragmatic, socio-cultural, epistemological and related to authenticity – against literary censorship in education. What is often misunderstood when reading our work is the dynamic entanglement of our reconceptualization of philosophy, the democratic practice of the community of inquiry pedagogy, the competent child as (implied) philosophical reader, ourselves as philosophical readers, and the epistemological ambiguity and aesthetic qualities of the picturebooks we select for P4C. Part of the project of this chapter is to clarify the philosophical ‘ingredients’ of this organic complexity.

Implied and actual readers in philosophy and literacy The writings of a variety of P4Cers (Lipman 1993; Matthews 1993a, 1994; Kennedy 1996, 2006; Kohan 2002, 2015) have been ground-breaking in their critiques of developmentalism and in validating the child’s voice in the discipline of philosophy and in the political arena of the school. In education there seems to be little critical awareness of how texts teach children how to be childlike, and adults how to be adultlike. Texts written for children are not only didactic when they encourage children to behave ‘properly’ (i.e. to be obedient, softspoken, kind), but also when they model and prompt children to think like philosophers. The latter may be done overtly, as in the P4C curriculum, which models children engaged in puzzlement and dialogue over ethical, political, epistemological and other traditional philosophical questions. It may also be done in an even more subtle way, by encouraging children to behave in a way that is ‘natural’, as Matthews (1994) does when using the argument that children are ‘natural philosophers’ or as Lipman does by modelling the ideal philosopher child or member of the community of inquiry (Murris 2015). Gert Biesta argues that the philosophical novels of the P4C programme normalize the child as critical and autonomous, socially able and emotionally aware: the perfectly rounded educated person (2011: 313). As elsewhere in his writings (see e.g. Biesta 2006, 2010), he argues (in a similar vein to Kohan 2015) that this kind of philosophical education runs the risk of affirming a particular kind of humanist subjectivity, in that humanism ‘posits a norm of what it means to be human . . . before the actual manifestation of ‘instances’ of humanity’ (2011: 312). Biesta suggests that we need to make room for the reader to show who or what s/he ‘is’ and that as educators we should be ‘interested in how new beginnings and new beginners come into the world’ (2011: 313). 175

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We build on Biesta’s notion of subjectification arguing for a relational ontology in which the role of the social world, as well as the material world matters in how the knowing subject e/merges (Murris 2016). Individuals and texts are not self-contained and do not even exist separately, prior to their interactions. This onto-epistemology influences how ‘reading’ is conceptualized in both literacy education and P4C and how triadic relationships of texts, readings and readers are materialized. For instance, the use (reading) of texts (written and selected according to criteria very different from ours) to transmit knowledge or to teach skills positions the adult as expert knower and the child as inexpert, who does not even know what she needs to know. The conservative onto-epistemology that informs that triadic relationship of text, reading and reader is made evident, for example, in the work of children’s literature researcher Maria Nikolajeva (2014). In describing her cognitive approach to ‘reading for learning’ Nikolajeva (2014: 15) positions ‘novice’ and ‘expert’ readers on ‘two ends of a spectrum’. Although purportedly ‘irrespective of age’ her definition of ‘novice reader’ is clearly informed by developmental psychology and offers a deficit view of the child: limited real-life experiences and experiences with fiction; limited encyclopaediac knowledge; less rational responses; less developed attention skills; less developed memory; limited capacity to distinguish between fact and fiction, pretence and reality; limited theory of mind and empathetic skills; solipsistic, and so forth (Nikolajeva 2014: 16–19). There is no acknowledgement of the oral and narrative worlds that pre-exist the acquisition of literacy. Nikolajeva’s work typifies the view that to be illiterate is somehow to be less than fully human. Reading itself is conceived as means of knowledge transmission, requiring a kind of expertise associated with everything that the novice reader is not. The expert reader is the ‘fully developed’ reader, with all the background knowledge, decoding skills and other behaviours implied. This understanding of literacy has necessarily informed some approaches to P4C. In some P4C practices, the type of texts and their use positions the teacher as expert philosopher who is there to address the child’s lack of philosophical knowledge and skill, to fill the gaps, to make good the ‘mis-conceptions’. In contrast, in other P4C and critical literacy practices it is impossible to engage in reading without taking ethical and political dimensions of educational relations into account. Critical literacy describes the analysis and critique of texts through direct reference to the political and social order, which sets out to ‘transform the norms, rule systems, and practices governing the social fields of institutions and everyday life’ (Luke 2014: 21). The ‘critical’ in ‘critical analysis’ refers to the ethico-political and might mean something different from ‘critical’ in ‘critical thinking’, which tends to refer to the introduction of prescribed reasoning ‘skills’ and is not directly connected to social transformation. Some proponents of critical literacy are wary of critical thinking in the context of literacy education, as it ‘overvalues texts’ by encouraging higher-order thinking and synthesizing information to inform comprehension, and ‘undervalues readers, teachers, and socio-cultural contexts’ (Moore, Zancanella & Avila 2014: 130–131). Our picturebooks approach is much more like the ‘critical’ in the ethico-political sense. We assume that the readers (educator and educated) and their social and material context cannot be separated out from the reading of a text. We resist the popular definition of picturebooks that focuses only on the text itself: ‘an art form . . . based on the combination of two levels of communication, the visual and the verbal’ (two separate semiotic signs) (Nikolajeva and Scott 2006: 1). As Andrew Melrose (2012: 17) poignantly observes, what is crucially missing from that understanding is the third level of communication: the intimate and nurturing process of the sharing of experiences and the making of connections as a ‘polysensory event’, connected to the socio-cultural, material and geo-political situatedness of text and reader. 176

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Both critical thinking and critical literacy run the risk of being uncritical when reading is understood as the privilege of the essentialized adult as the epistemological expert. We have argued that the language of ‘expert’ and ‘novice’ that has replaced that of ‘able’ and ‘not able’ or ‘less able’ is far from innocent. In our situated, relational approach the roles and relationships of adults, texts and other (sometimes very young) readers, is democratic. There is no hierarchy of who counts as ‘novice’ or ‘expert’ reader. As Matthews (1994) observes: philosophy is the one discipline that requires everyone to always start thinking from scratch and afresh.

Doing justice to philosophizing The methodology of philosophy with picturebooks puts texts into play with readers’ lived experiences, those of actual adults and children. ‘The’ meaning is not seen as ‘in’ the text. Neither is there a normative child-reader-philosopher (Murris 2015) that can be imagined in order to ‘prepare’ for reading and philosophizing, although the experienced educator has the possibility to bring many memories of reading – her own and those of children she has taught. Sometimes this causes trouble when considering new texts, as teachers seek to put those memories and experiences to work in imagining how children ‘might’ respond, or ‘pretend’ to be children themselves. Although imaginative fantasy might well be a part of the philosophical play (see Stanley & Lyle’s chapter in this volume), thinking philosophically is not something that can be pretended. In a really important sense the readings can never take place without readers, and these are largely unpredictable and unrepeatable events. For the educator to philosophize with children requires direct entry into the world of the text and simultaneously recognizing how the text has agency. Reading a text with others in a community of inquiry is a lived experience in many senses. It is a sensory and often tactile event. We each and collectively bring memories, emotions, associations and experience to bear on the occasion. Texts, particularly visual texts, often elicit readers’ own narratives. The meaning happens ‘between’ all of these dynamic elements in play and cannot be fixed. It does not repeat itself. It is surprising. It reveals new depths in current experience. It projects possibilities of imagined futures. It suggests a much more playful and ageless pedagogy.

Notes 1 For a good example of such a practice see McCall and Weijers’ chapter in this volume. 2 Posthumanism moves beyond semiotics as the latter (often) assumes that there is nothing (ontological) outside the relationship between signs that give language its meaning. Much depends on the philosophical origins of the particular semiotic theory one holds. The ontological and epistemological assumptions differ depending on whether one follows a semiotics based on De Saussure, Peirce or Wittgenstein. 3 Importantly, ontological priority is not an assertion of a time-sequence. Relationships constitute the individual, they are the condition of the possibility of its emergence. 4 For Murris (2016) the appeal of critical posthumanism is how it foregrounds ‘ontoepistemic injustice’. 5 The focus is on exploring how concepts work and not on teaching what there represent as part of (existing) bodies of knowledge.

References Barad, K. (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Biesta, G.J.J. (2006) Beyond Learning. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.


Joanna Haynes and Karin Murris Biesta, G.J.J. (2010) Good Education in an Age of Measurement: Ethics, Politics, Democracy. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Biesta, G.J.J. (2011) Philosophy, Exposure, and Children: How to Resist the Instrumentalisation of Philosophy in Education. In N. Vansieleghem & D. Kennedy (Eds) Special Issue Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 305–321. Braidotti, R. (2013) The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press. Brenifier, O. (n.d.) Institute de pratiques philosophiques. (Online). http://www.pratiques-philosophiques. fr/?lang=en. Accessed: 1 June 2015. File, N. (2012) The Relationship Between Child Development and Early Childhood Curriculum. In N. File, J. Mueler & D. Basler Wisneski (Eds) Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-examined, Rediscovered, Renewed. New York: Routledge, 29–42. File, N., Mueller, J. & Basler Wisneski, D. (2012) Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-examined, Rediscovered, Renewed. London: Routledge. Fox, R. (2001) Can Children Be Philosophical? Teaching Thinking 4: 46–49. Gaarder, J. (1994) Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy (Trans. P. Moller). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hand, M. (2008) Can Children Be Taught Philosophy? In M. Hand & C. Winstanley (Eds) Philosophy in Schools. London: Continuum, pp. 3–18. Haynes, J. (2007) Listening as a Critical Practice: Learning from Philosophy with Children. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Exeter, Exeter, UK. Haynes, J. (2008) Children as Philosophers (2nd edition). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Haynes, J. (2014) Already Equal and Able to Speak: Practising Philosophical Enquiry with Young Children. In S. Robson and S. Quinn (Eds) Routledge International Handbook on Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding. London: Routledge. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2008) The Wrong Message: Risk, Censorship and the Struggle for Democracy in the Primary School. Thinking, Journal of Philosophy for Children 19(1): 2–11. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2012) Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy. London: Routledge. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2013) The Realm of Meaning: Imagination, Narrative and Playfulness in Philosophical Exploration with Young Children. Early Child Development and Care 183(8): 1084–1100. Kennedy, D. (1996) Reconstructing Childhood. Thinking, American Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(1): 29–37. Kennedy, D. (2006) Changing Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-Modernity: A Philosophy of Childhood. New York: Edwin Mellen Press. Kennedy, D. (2011) From Outer Space and Across the Street: Matthew Lipman’s Double Vision. Childhood & Philosophy 7(13): 49–74. Kitchener, R. (1990) Do Children Think Philosophically? Metaphilosophy 21(4): 427–438. Kohan, W.O. (2002) Education, Philosophy and Childhood: The Need to Think an Encounter. Thinking, American Journal of Philosophy for Children 16(1): 4–11. Kohan, W. (2015) Childhood, Education and Philosophy: New Ideas for an Old Relationship. New York, Routledge. Law, S. (2003) The Philosophy Gym: Adventures in Thinking. London: Headline Book. Lenz-Taguchi, H. (2010) Going Beyond the Theory/Practice Divide in Early Childhood Education. London: Routledge. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy Goes to School. Philadelphia, Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (1991) Thinking in Education. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (Ed.) (1993) Thinking, Children and Education. Duboque, IA: Kendall/Hunt. Lipman, M. (1996) Natasha: Vygotskyan Dialogues. New York: Teachers College Press. Lipman, M. (1997) Philosophical Discussion Plans and Exercises. Critical and Creative Thinking 5: 1–17. Lipman, M. (2008) A Life Teaching Thinking. Montclair, NJ: IAPC. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.M. & Oscanyan, F.S. (1977) Philosophy in the Classroom. Montclair, NJ: IAPC. Luke, A. (2014) Defining Critical Literacy. In J.Z. Pandya and J. Avila (Eds) Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts. New York: Routledge, 19–32. McKee, D. (1980) Not Now Bernard. London: Andersen Press. Massumi, B. (2002) Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Matthews, G. (1992) Thinking in Stories. Thinking 10(2): 1.


Readings and readers of texts in P4C Matthews, G. (1993a) Childhood: The Recapitulation Model. In M. Lipman (Ed.) Thinking Children and Education. Dubuque: Kendal/Hunt Publishing Company, 154–160. Matthews, G. (1993b) Philosophy and Children’s Literature. In M. Lipman (Ed.) Thinking, Children and Education. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 274–280. Matthews, G. (1994) The Philosophy of Childhood. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Matthews, G. (2006) Thinking in Stories. Thinking 18(1): 3. Matthews, G. (2009) Getting beyond the Deficit Conception of Childhood: Thinking Philosophically with Children. In M. Hand and C. Winstanley (Eds) Philosophy in Schools. London: Continuum, 27–41. Melrose, A. (2012) Monsters Under The Bed: Critically Investigating Early Years Writing. London: Routledge. Mohr Lone, J. (2012) The Philosophical Child. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Moore, M., Zancanella, D. & Avila, J. (2014) Text Complexity: The Battle for Critical Literacy in the Common Core State Standards. In J.Z. Pandya and J. Avila (Eds) Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts. New York: Routledge, 129–146. Murris, K. (1992) Teaching Philosophy with Picturebooks. London, Infonet Publications. Murris, K. (1997) Metaphors of the Child’s Mind: Teaching Philosophy to Young Children. (Doctoral dissertation.) University of Hull, Hull. Murris, K. (2015) The Philosophy for Children Curriculum: Resisting ‘Teacher Proof’ Texts and the Formation of the Ideal Philosopher Child. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35(1): 63–78. Murris, K. (2016) The Posthuman Child: Educational Transformation through Philosophy with Picturebooks. London: Routledge. Murris, K. & Thompson, R. (2016) The Voice of Drawings: Teaching Comprehension in a Community of Philosophical Enquiry in a Grade 2 South African Classroom. Reading & Writing. Special Issue: Literacy and Imagination 7(2), 11 pages. doi: 10.4102/rw.v7i2.127. Nikolajeva, M. (2014) Reading for Learning: Cognitive Approaches to Children’s Literature. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Nikolajeva, M. & Scott, C. (2006) How Picturebooks Work. London: Routledge. Taylor, A. (2013) Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood. London: Routledge. Ungerer, T. (1991) The Three Robbers. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Wartenberg, T.E. (2009) Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy through Children’s Literature. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education. White, J. (1992) The Roots of Philosophy. In A.P. Griffiths (Ed.) The Impulses to Philosophize. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 73–88. Worley, P. (2010) The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom. London: Bloomsbury.


21 EDUCATION, IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION AND CULTURAL RENEWAL The case of philosophical inquiry with Jewish Bible Jennifer Glaser and Maughn Rollins Gregory Education, identity construction and cultural renewal Language, culture and community both precede our individual lives and constitute necessary conditions for the construction of a life that is meaningful, both in the sense of being comprehensible and of having direction and purpose. We are born into multiple and interconnected linguistic, ethnic, political, spiritual and other communities that have habituated certain kinds of knowledge, value, cultural practice and institutional form. Every new generation constructs individual and collective identity by negotiating these inherited ways of life with personal proclivities and contemporary contingencies. As Alasdair MacIntyre (2007: 218) argues, the concepts of narrative, intelligibility, social accountability and personal identity mutually presuppose each other. ‘For the story of my life’, he observes, ‘is always embedded in the story of those communities from which I derive my identity’ (MacIntryre 2007: 221). A generation earlier John Dewey argued that human individuality is not an innate quality waiting to be discovered and expressed, but an achievement, a ‘release and fulfillment of personal potentialities which take place only in rich and manifold association with others’ (Dewey 1927/1990: 150). This is not to say that the individual is entirely determined by the social, or the present by the past. The unity and direction of a human life is a project to be worked out in a multitude of interchanges by means of which we appropriate, accommodate and transcend cultural meanings. This project can be dauntingly complex in a pluralist, media-saturated world in which we participate in multiple communities of meaning making that sometimes vie for primacy. Philosophy for Children was created, in part, to facilitate this project. Ann Margaret Sharp wrote that in creating their programme, she and Matthew Lipman ‘assumed that full personhood is not given at birth, but is something that emerges within the context of the community and is a result of the struggle of each child to see herself or himself in relation to others’ (Lipman 1994: 2). Moreover, the same interactions that enable individuals to (re)construct personal identity by their encounter with tradition always, at the same time, contribute to the ongoing 180

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(re)construction of tradition. To the extent that our inherited practices still lead to meaningful experience (consider grandfather’s wheat bread recipe or the rules of evidence in criminal law), we try to find ways to protect them from dissolution and to share them with the next generation, whose needs and desires we can only predict from our own. But then, as Hannah Arendt explained, every tradition or cultural world is continually ‘becoming out of joint’, because it was ‘created by mortal hands to serve mortals for a limited time as home’, and inevitably, ‘it wears out’ (Arendt 2006: 181). ‘To preserve the world against the mortality of its creators’, she suggested, ‘it must be constantly set right anew’, by means of ‘the new which every generation brings’ (Arendt 2006: 181). (Grandpa’s recipe may need creative adaptation as ingredients become unavailable; new technologies may necessitate new rules of evidence.) This tension between conservation and creative adaptation is not a danger for traditions, but in fact what keeps them vital. Thus, MacIntyre (2007: 222) argued that ‘[a] living tradition . . . is an historically extended, socially embodied argument, and an argument precisely in part about the goods that constitute that tradition’. Keeping a tradition in good order requires an adequate sense ‘of those future possibilities that the past has made available to the present’ (MacIntyre 2007: 223) and forums for working out, not only how to address new problems and opportunities, but also how traditional meanings might be changed or reconstructed by doing so. MacIntyre (2007: 222) notes that ‘[t]raditions, when vital, embody continuities of conflict’, and warns that if traditions no longer practise internal debate and self-reckoning, they are liable to ‘decay, disintegrate and disappear’ (MacIntyre 2007: 222). An important task of education in democratic societies is to provide the conditions through which people have the opportunity to perform this simultaneous identity construction and cultural renewal. The work of Dewey, Arendt and MacIntyre helps us to understand education as a sociocultural practice for the simultaneous growth of persons and the communities in which they are embedded, such that latent possibilities of each are drawn out and mediated by the other. These authors also provide lenses through which we see the value orientation of Philosophy for Children: towards empowering children to take responsibility for the flourishing of their own, unique life projects and of the multiple communities of which they are part. We can also see how Philosophy for Children constitutes a practice that helps to keep the traditions of philosophy and education ‘in good order’ across time by bringing them into mutual encounter and transformation. Indeed, Lipman called for philosophy to be reconstructed as a practice of collaborative, self-correcting inquiry into philosophical concepts and methods, and for education to be reconstructed around ‘[t]he conception of the educated child as . . . knowing, understanding, reasonable and judicious’ (Lipman 1993: 8).

Religious education and Philosophy for Children Tensions between the individual and the social, and between conservation and creative adaptations of traditions are intensified in the area of religious education for a number of reasons. Religion is the site of some of the most profound meaning making many people engage in, and this process can be both deeply personal and powerfully communal. Religious beliefs, values and practices are often taken to have a special kind of warrant superior to that of ordinary human knowledge and cultural practice, whether intuitional or revelational. In addition, within many religious traditions, belief and practice are inextricably bound up with ethnic identity and peoplehood, so it is thought that one cannot be altered without perhaps endangering the other. For these reasons, various forms of protectionism have arisen around religious education. Some traditions stipulate that religious precepts require uncritical allegiance and that only 181

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religious authorities may interpret them for new human situations (posed by new technologies, medical options, and political conflicts, for example). Children, in particular, are often deemed to be incapable of interpreting religious ideas, even in relation to their own experience (Lipman 1984a), and many parents are fearful of children questioning or thinking critically about their religious tradition (Gregory 2008). As Stephen Law observes, many religious leaders and parents prefer religious instruction that utilizes repetition, sentimentality and other ‘causal mechanisms’ to induce belief in children, over dialectical approaches that engage them in reflection on their emergent beliefs (Law 2008: 52). Ultimately, however, protectionism restrains young people’s ability to use their religious traditions to understand, navigate and enrich their experience. Consequently, it impedes the opportunity for traditions to have their undetermined possibilities explored so that their argument for a particular kind of meaningful human life might be continued into the future. Situated against this trend are approaches to religious education that offer students an encounter with religious traditions that allow their ‘informing power . . . to work’ (Gallagher 1992: 92). These approaches seek to enable young people not only to become knowledgeable and skillful with religious texts, history, meanings, rituals and institutions, but also to become conversant in the arguments about the value of the way of life these make possible. In recommending this kind of religious education Lipman argued that religious traditions are not different from the academic disciplines, in that their study must be ‘approached with the objective of wringing meanings out of them along with knowledge’ (Lipman 1984a: 28, emphasis in original). As he and others working in Philosophy for Children have observed, philosophical inquiry in religious education enables young people to express their own religious curiosities and puzzlements, to explore and clarify religious concepts with others, to work with apparent tensions and contradictions in religious belief and practice, to evaluate the epistemological status of religious ideas and the worth of religious values, to resist adult authority and peer pressure to assent to beliefs they do not understand or actually accept, and to work out and justify their own religious positions (DuPuis 1979; Glaser 2012; Hannam 2012a, 2012b; Iversen, Mitchell, & Pollard 2009; Jenkins 1986; Lipman 1984a; Sharp 1983, 1994a, 1994b). In response to religious educators who are ‘apprehensive with regard to the effect of . . . thinking skills upon religious belief’ (Lipman 1984b: 28), Lipman argued that ‘the danger lies not in the skills, but in the failure to foster them constructively by encasing them in the context of humanistic disciplines and self-correcting communities’ (Lipman 1984b: 9). Communal inquiry has two axes, which we shall refer to as a ‘vertical conversation’ across successive generations of inquirers within a cultural or intellectual tradition and a ‘horizontal conversation’ among peers who seek to interpret their tradition in light of contemporary vocabularies and concerns (Peirce 1955; Glaser 2009). The classroom community of philosophical inquiry is a practice that brings these axes to intersect, so that the historical development of traditional meanings over time informs how they are used to illuminate and negotiate new situations, and vice versa. Therefore, we argue that the thesis presented above, of education as a hermeneutical practice of identity construction and cultural renewal, obliges educators to locate the paradigm(s) for vertical and horizontal meaning-making within their traditions, which can then be integrated with the community of philosophical inquiry in educational settings.

Hermeneutics and Jewish education In the context of Jewish education, the hermeneutics of midrash offers a paradigm for this mode of meaning-centred education. The term ‘midrash’ literally means ‘understanding’, ‘to search out or inquire’, or the act of ‘giving an account’ (Kugel 1986: 77–109). While commonly 182

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identified with the body of commentary on Torah starting with the Rabbinic period in the second century BCE, midrash can also be understood ontologically and existentially as an interpretative stance in which participants ‘give an account’ of a text for the sake of constructing meaning in the contemporary moment. In this regard, midrash is more ‘a form of life (in Wittgenstein’s sense) than a method of exegesis (in an epistemological sense)’ (Bruns 1992: 105; see also Kugel 1986 and Heinmann 1986). As a hermeneutic method, it relies on a complex dialogical relationship between oneself, one’s peers, canonical text and tradition. Midrash is a particularly apt mode of engagement for philosophical inquiry with canon, for a number of reasons. First, midrash does not aim at a ‘single or settled, official construction but a series of often conflicting and disputed expositions’ (Bruns 1992: 106). Second, Midrash most often develops in dialogue with previous voices and interpretations. It is a form of critical cultural literacy that, in Schoolman’s words, speaks to the ‘multiple layers and multiple channels of meaning traveling the length of a language formed by the breadths and depths of a culture’ (Schoolman 2008: 22). Third, in midrashic discourse, points of interest in the text are not predetermined but left open to the emergent possibilities and questions that surface at the point when text is turned back into speech. Fourth, midrash seeks to put the meanings of the text into play in the lives of the interpreters, not as conclusions or final answers to their questions, but as resources for thinking about the matter at hand. One important difference between midrash and the kind of reading in Philosophy for Children is the authority carried by the text. Midrashic interpretation emerges from the reading of canonical text (Bible or liturgy), which has special status. In considering what kind of status that may be, Paul Ricoeur’s account of canon is particularly helpful. For Ricoeur (1995), the status of a particular text as canon is not something antecedently given, but designated through the mode of our engagement with it. ‘Canon’ is an authority we give to a text through approaching it with a sense of obligation to explore its possibilities of meaning as we seek to interpret our own lives and orient ourselves to the world. Such obligation is born out of our awareness of the text’s formative place in our cultural narrative, whereby its categories of meaning have already given shape to our collective and individual identities and form of life. This understanding of canon is not in conflict with the fact that certain communities also give authority to a text by virtue of its authorship – that is a further part of what constitutes the form of life of those communities. Rather, it locates the philosophical status of text as canon in our intentional mode of engagement with it. Ricoeur’s understanding of canon is consistent with the practice of midrash and underscores the connection between hermeneutic engagement and identity construction. It also sheds light on the presence of philosophical canon in the IAPC materials created by Lipman and Sharp. These materials incorporate strata of meanings from the (largely) Western philosophical tradition that, through inquiry, also become resources through which students come to interpret and transform their own lives.

Philosophical inquiry with Bible Between 2012 and 2014 the project Thinking Together: Philosophical Inquiry with Bible was developed in response to a call by Jewish educators in Cleveland to develop a programme in Philosophy for Children for Jewish education.1 Part of this project involved the development of a new curriculum using Torah as the primary text and philosophical discussion plans and exercises modeled on the IAPC curriculum, which also drew on the Jewish intellectual tradition. As with Philosophy for Children, inquiry in this programme begins by sitting in a circle and engaging in a shared reading of a text. However, before reading, the class often repeats the traditional blessing said before Torah study. This acknowledges the students’ obligation 183

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toward the text in the way outlined above and situates their activity in a historic continuum of interpretation that goes back thousands of years. They may choose to read in English or in Hebrew; however the Hebrew text is always present as a reference and a reminder that the English is a translation and often an approximation of language and concepts whose contours are shaped within a meaning system that is both different from, and ontologically prior to, the contemporary, vernacular meaning system students bring to the text. The collective reading of canon aloud is both a hermeneutic act and an essentially Jewish act of returning the written text of  Torah back into a ‘telling’, that echoes the giving of Torah at Sinai and the reading of the Torah scroll in the synagogue. Turning text back into speech further grounds the students’ work of figuring themselves out in relation to the tradition, by situating them in a historic continuum of interpretation. After reading, students raise questions that capture what they are curious about or what they see as ripe for exploration. This engages students in the philosophical activity of finding an interest and turning puzzlement into a question. Students may be asked what interest led to their question, helping them recognize that questions mark the end of a thinking process rather than its beginning, and that this prior interest is often richer than the question itself.The following list of questions raised by 10-year-olds (4th graders) in Boston, USA, were generated after reading the Biblical passage where Abraham leaves Haran on the journey to Canaan (Genesis 12: 1–4). The comments in brackets are further elaborations students made when prompted with, ‘Can you say a little more about that?’: 1 What does it mean to ‘find blessing through you’? (Beth) 2 It says ‘I will make you a great nation’, but what kind of people are in the nation? (Zacharia) 3 Could the people be great together but not individually great? [Because in a nation not everyone is going to be great.] (Ruth) 4 What is the difference between being blessed and being a blessing? (Sophie) 5 How can just one person make a whole nation great? [Doesn’t being a great nation depend on the other people?] (Adam) Discussion plans and exercises (see below) are then selected from a bank of resources to help scaffold students’ thinking around the different dimensions of the issue or concept they have chosen to investigate. As with conventional Philosophy for Children curricula, these materials are informed by (1) alternate philosophical orientations toward the concept and (2) the language in use – those nuanced possibilities of meaning that reflect how the concept already operates in the world of the student. However, in keeping with a distinctly midrashic mode of interpretation, students also explore possibilities of meaning drawn from the ‘ongoing conversation’ around the concept at hand within Jewish life. This includes resources from two additional sources: (3) intertextual resources that lead students to examine how the same word, concept, issue or literary structure appears in different passages of the Bible, and (4) the body of interpretative literature that constitutes the Jewish intellectual tradition over time. The following discussion plan excerpts explore the existing meaning structure and semantic field of ‘blessing’. Discussion plan: The meaning of ‘bless’ What is meant by ‘bless’ in each of these cases? Does it mean the same thing in each case? If not, explore the differences. zz zz

‘Sam was blessed with children.’ ‘Sam blessed his children.’ 184

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‘Sam’s children thought they were blessed to have him as a father.’ ‘Sam was blessed with kindness.’ ‘Sam saw kindness as a blessing.’ Sam said to his friend: ‘Being late to the party is a blessing in disguise.’

Discussion plan: Giving and receiving blessings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Can you ‘give a blessing’ without blessing someone/something? Can you ask for a blessing? If so, what do you think happens when you are ‘being blessed’? Can you demand or force someone to bless you? Can you believe in the power of blessings without believing in the power of curses? Can you believe in blessings and curses without believing in God? Is there a blessing you would wish for? Is there a blessing you would like to give to someone else?

In the first discussion plan alternate meanings of the concept ‘blessing’ are explored by translating each occurrence of ‘blessing’ in the verses of the Biblical passage the students had read into a contemporary context. This scaffolds students’ exploration of the semantic field of the concept ‘blessing’ where variances of meaning opened up in the text are explored through reflection on their own lives, which then offers resources for a more nuanced reading of the philosophical possibilities of meaning in the text. The range of questions in the second discussion plan goes beyond variations in the initial text to incorporate intertextuality by alluding to Bible passages that illustrate different aspects of ‘blessing.’ For example, the question, ‘Can you demand or force someone to bless you?’ alludes to the blessing Jacob demanded from the Angel (Genesis 32: 25–27). This intertextual work can also be done explicitly by having students look up multiple references that show the concept ‘blessing’ in use (for example, Genesis 17: 15–21 [God tells Abraham he will bless Sarah, she will have a child], Genesis 2:3 [God blesses the 7th day], and Genesis 27:30 [Jacob receives Isaac’s blessing through deception]). Each one raises different possibilities and concerns when thinking about the meaning and act of blessing. In Jewish tradition, this kind of intertextual exploration reflects an important orientation toward the text not as a linear narrative (beginning with creation and ending with Joshua leading the Israelites into the land of Israel), but as one in which each passage is synchronously present. As a living, oral tradition in which the cycle of reading is continuous, without beginning or end, the dramatic narrative of Torah unfolds in an ‘other’ time that existentially intersects with our own, rather than being ‘history’ of which our time is a continuation. As Kugel (1986: 88–89) notes, The Bible’s time was other time, . . . one which was constantly about to impose its mark on the present. . . . Creation, Exodus, Sinai, Moses’ death were regular occurrences, and at the end the accumulated roll of scroll was unwound from one spindle and rolled back onto the other as it was in the beginning. . . . For when what then happened in Scripture happens again and again, unfolds over and over, it is because the Bible is not ‘the past’ at all. For it to be the past, its sense of time would necessarily need to be continuous with our own . . . Once this is no longer the case, biblical time becomes ‘other’, a world wholly apart from ours, yet one which is constantly intersecting our own. 185

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Removed from linear, historic time, each verse of Bible is viewed as equidistant from every other, and the text as a whole as contemporaneous with our own time, so that textual exegesis and identity formation become reciprocal activities. Because part of our vision for Jewish education is for students to see the tradition as an ‘ongoing conversation over time’ in which different possibilities of meaning can then become resources for their own meaning-making, it was important that the curriculum also provide ranges of meaning from within the interpretative tradition. For example, in an exercise about journeys, students are presented with four interpretations of the words Lech l’cha – the directive given to Abraham to leave Haran. These words are often read as a simple imperative: ‘Go forth!’ But the Jewish interpretative tradition offers different readings of the phrase, giving attention to subtle differences of meaning between each word. Lech on its own means ‘go,’ and l’cha generally means ‘to you’ or ‘toward you.’ Therefore, Lech l’cha might mean ‘Go forth’ (in the sense of ‘leave where you are’); ‘Go for yourself’ (for your own benefit, for a better life); ‘Go to yourself’ (to greater self-understanding); and/or ‘Go to whom you will become’ (the idea that we are all on a journey of self-formation). One exercise in the curriculum asks students to think about situations in the contemporary world – such as going to basketball practice, going to camp, moving cities for a better job – in light of these distinctions. (See online curriculum, p. 5, available at This invites students to critically explore ways of thinking about journeying from within the Jewish lexicon, which can become internalized as resources for negotiating and constructing different kinds of Lech! in their lives. However, just encountering different meanings does not necessarily help students develop a sense of themselves being part of the ongoing Jewish conversation. For this reason, the curriculum also presents direct quotes on the meaning of Lech l’cha accompanied by biographical material and images or photos of the persons who wrote them. Care is taken to provide alternate voices across the spectrum of Jewish life – men, women, scholars, rabbis, social activists, lay leaders and teachers, from diverse times, cultures and denominations. These supplemental texts add to the possibilities of meaning in the inquiry at hand and provide exemplars of participation in an ongoing disciplinary conversation that can prompt and scaffold student participation. (See the online curriculum, pp. 6–7.)

Conclusion Because the cultural traditions in which we are embedded make it possible to understand and direct our lives, education should promote the kind of hermeneutical engagement with these traditions that generate reflective commitment and creative reconstruction. Hermeneutic religious education seeks to make religious traditions available as resources for students’ identity construction while at the same time providing the means for the traditions themselves to be creatively renewed and ‘kept in good order.’ Our project of philosophical inquiry with Jewish Bible has illuminated ways in which Philosophy for Children and the practice of midrash provide resources for this kind of hermeneutical encounter in the context of Jewish religious education. Our hope is that educators in other religious traditions will look inside them to find hermeneutical practices that can be used to effect this kind of mutually transformative encounter between students and those traditions. At the same time, our work in religious education has also suggested new ways to bring about the hermeneutic encounter between students and the tradition of philosophy. The point has repeatedly been made in Philosophy for Children that ‘doing philosophy’ does not mean ‘learning about philosophers.’ However, this is, in some respects, a false dichotomy. Our work 186

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in Jewish education shows that young people can take up canonical text, intertextual resources and the voices of figures in the intellectual tradition, as part of their open-ended, interpretive inquiry, without losing their own voices or becoming estranged from the tradition. In the IAPC curriculum, philosophical voices from the past are paraphrased by characters in the novels and in line items in discussion plans. This enables students to consider historical positions as possibilities for meaning in their contemporary community, but it does not situate them as interlocutors in the historical community of philosophy as a living tradition. For this reason, we suggest that presenting students with secondary texts representing actual voices from philosophy’s ‘vertical conversation’ would, in fact, make that tradition more available for students’ meaning making and help students to recognize themselves as participants in philosophy as an ongoing conversation. Of course, this requires a certain ‘letting go’ by educators, so that resources from the tradition are not taken as authoritative answers that close down the inquiry, but as means to open up and expand possibilities of meaning. But we suggest that the conventional curriculum and pedagogy of Philosophy for Children provide the structure for the more direct kind of engagement with a canonical tradition exemplified in our project, and that this would constitute a further advance of Lipman and Sharp’s agenda for the reconstruction of philosophy and education.

Note 1 This project was initiated by the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and funded by the Covenant Foundation. The entire curriculum unit discussed here can be viewed and downloaded from: http://

References Arendt, H. (1961) Between Past and Future. New York: Penguin. Bruns, G. (1992) Hermeneutics Ancient and Modern. New Haven: Yale University Press. Dewey, J. (1897) My Pedagogic Creed. School Journal 54, 77–80. Retrieved 10 June 2015 from http://dewey. Dewey, J. (1927/1990) The Public and Its Problems. Athens: Ohio University Press. DuPuis, A. (1979) Philosophy, Religion and Religious Education. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 1(3–4): 60–63. Gallagher, S. (1992) Hermeneutics and Education. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Glaser, J. (2009) Authenticity and Integrity in Jewish Education. In J. Cohen and E. Holzer (Eds) Studies in Jewish Education. Vol. 13: Modes of Educational Translation. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 147–204. Glaser, J. (2012) Philosophical Inquiry with Tanakh. HaYidion: the Journal of the Jewish Community Day School Network, Summer: 12–15. Gregory, M. (2008) On Philosophy, Children and Taboo Topics. In M. Gregory (Ed.) Philosophy for Children Practitioner Handbook. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, 53–54. Hannam, P. (2012a) The Community of Philosophical Inquiry in Religious Education in Secular School: Supporting the Task of Building Religious Understanding in 21st Century. In M. Santi and S. Oliverio (Eds) Educating for Complex Thinking through Philosophical Inquiry. Models, Advances and Proposals for the New Millennium. Napoli: Liguori, 209–229. Hannam, P. (2012b) P4C in Religious Education. In L. Lewis and N. Chandley (Eds) Philosophy for Children Through the Secondary Curriculum. London: Continuum, 127–145. Heinemann, J. (1986) The Nature of the Aggadah. In G. Hartman and S. Budick (Eds) Midrash and Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press, 41–55. Iversen, G.Y., Mitchell, G. and Pollard, G. (Eds) (2009) Hovering over the Face of the Deep: Philosophy, Theology and Children. Münster: Waxmann. Jenkins, J. (1986) Philosophy and Religious Studies: A Report from Britain. Analytic Teaching 7(1): 28–29.


Jennifer Glaser and Maughn Rollins Gregory Kugel, J. (1986) Two Introductions to Midrash. In G. Hartman and S. Budick (Eds) Midrash and Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press, 77–103. Law, S. (2008) Religion and Philosophy in Schools. In M. Hand and C. Winstanley (Eds) Philosophy in Schools. New York: Continuum International, 41–60. Lipman, M. (1984a) Thinking Skills in Religious Education. The Pedagogic Reporter 35(2): 26–29. Lipman, M. (1984b) Thinking Skills in Religious Education (draft manuscript). Montclair State University, IAPC Archives, pp. 17 Lipman, M. (1993) The educational role of philosophy. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australian Journal of Philosophy for Children 1(1): 1–9. Lipman, M. (2011) Philosophy for Children: Some Assumptions and Implications. Ethics in Progress 2(1). Retrieved 11 June 2014 from MacIntyre, A. (2007) After Virtue (3rd edition). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Mendonça, D. (1996) The Religious Dimension of Philosophy for Children. Critical and Creative Thinking 4(2), 48–54. Peirce, C.S. (1955) Philosophical Writings of Peirce. Ed. J. Buchler. New York: Dover. Ricoeur, P. (1995) Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative and Imagination. Augsburg: Fortress Publishers. Schoolman, M. (2008) The Pluralist Mind. In D. Campbell and M. Schoolman (Eds) The New Pluralism: William Connolly and the Contemporary Global Condition. London: Duke University Press, 17–62. Sharp, A.M. (1983) Education: A Philosophical Journey. Studies in Formative Spirituality 4(3): 351–368. Sharp, A.M. (1994a) The Religious Dimension of Philosophy for Children. Critical and Creative Thinking 2(1): 2–14. Sharp, A.M. (1994b) The Religious Dimension of Philosophy for Children, Part II. Critical and Creative Thinking 2(2): 1–18.



Philosophy in schools

Introduction Matthew Lipman distinguished ‘philosophy of education’ – a field of inquiry into the nature, purposes and methods of education – from ‘educational philosophy’, or philosophy practised by students and teachers for educational purposes. Much of the literature in Philosophy for Children is conducted under the rubric of ‘philosophy of education’, especially in addressing questions that arise from the mutual encounter of philosophy, education and childhood, as fields of theoretical inquiry. Less attention has been given to more practical questions regarding the actual practice of philosophy in schools. Should philosophy be a dedicated subject or infused into other school subjects? How does Philosophy for Children support and subvert current trends in education? How do teachers in other school subjects become interested in philosophy? What does it mean to be ‘qualified’ to practise philosophy with children and teenagers? The chapters in this section take three different perspectives on philosophy in the school. In one we see teachers using philosophy to enhance both the rigour and the meaning of science and mathematics education. In another we take a step back from the classroom to consider multiple modes of bringing philosophy into schools, and in a third we step back even further to witness teacher educators preparing classroom teachers to bring philosophy into their classrooms. To begin with, the chapter ‘Philosophizing with children in mathematics and science classes’ by Kristina Calvert, Matthias Förster, Anna Hausberg, Diana Meerwaldt, Patricia Nevers, Stefanie Paarmann and Tim Sprod provides a detailed review of a number of case studies from maths and science classes in Germany where some kind of Philosophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen (PmKJ/P4C) has been used. These authors consider a variety of ways that philosophy and the community of inquiry has enhanced these subjects and conclude by emphasizing the preparation of teachers to engage students in robust and meaningful inquiry. This ‘educational’ use of philosophy to strengthen curriculum and pedagogy in other school subjects like maths and science is the first model for philosophy in schools discussed by Lizzy Lewis and Roger Sutcliffe in their chapter, ‘Teaching philosophy and philosophical teaching’. These authors distinguish four distinct models for bringing philosophy into schools that have evolved in the UK and elsewhere. In addition to considering the challenges and possibilities of each model, they help us to think through the different roles for educational philosophy each model supports. They conclude by recommending what they call ‘philosophical teaching’ – a rich 189

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construct of the philosophical educator that is presupposed by, but also transcends, all of the particular school models. The final chapter in this section, ‘What’s philosophy got to do with it? Achieving synergy between philosophy and education in teacher preparation’ by Sarah Davey Chesters and Lynne Hinton, directly addresses the issue of teacher preparation raised in the other two chapters. This chapter invites us into a professional dialogue between a philosopher and an educator, as they co-create a university-level professional development experience in Philosophy for Children. In so doing they revisit many of the questions about curriculum, pedagogy and school politics raised in other chapters, but from the perspective of teachers and teacher educators. Their work illustrates just how difficult, but also how synergistic the relationship between philosophy and education can be.


22 PHILOSOPHIZING WITH CHILDREN IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS CLASSES Kristina Calvert, Matthias Förster, Anna Hausberg, Diana Meerwaldt, Patricia Nevers, Stefanie Paarmann and Tim Sprod

Introduction Would school-aged children studying science and mathematics benefit if their teachers established communities of inquiry (CoI) and conducted discussions using methodologies drawn from the Philosophy for Children (P4C) movement (known as Philosophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen or PmKJ in Germany)? Like many others, the authors of this chapter believe that they would and intend to support their position with the help of three case studies. In particular we wish to explore the following three benefits that flow from using communities of scientific or mathematical inquiry (CoS/MI) and conducting discussions in the P4C/PmKJ manner in the science or mathematics classroom: (1) promoting students’ creativity; (2) scaffolding students’ thinking and enhancing their understanding of chemical concepts; and (3) encouraging students to generate their own questions and explore them through collaborative work in small groups. The cases used to demonstrate these benefits were chosen because they are supported by well-documented, practical experience and in some cases also by empirical research. In addition, a number of the studies documenting them have only been published in German. Besides demonstrating certain benefits these case studies also show practitioners a variety of ways in which P4C methodology and philosophical discussions can be employed in mathematics and science classes. The benefits demonstrated by the case studies presented here are by no means exhaustive. Numerous benefits of philosophical inquiry in primary and secondary science education have been covered in detail in a recent survey article by Sprod (2014). Foremost among these is the potential of a CoI for deepening students’ grasp of philosophical, scientific and mathematical concepts and for helping them to better grasp the nature of science and mathematics (S/M), and the many methodologies scientists and mathematicians use. Still other benefits for science and mathematics education have been discussed by other authors (see, for example, Burgh and Nichols 2012; Daniel 2013; English 1992; Kennedy 2005; 2007, 2012a, 2012b; Kennedy and Kennedy 2013; Nevers 2005, 2009; Nevers et al. 1997; Sprod 1997, 2011). These include the potential of a CoI/MI for strengthening both general and specific S/M thinking and training capacities such as accurate description, hypothesizing, clarifying concepts, analysis and 191

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synthesis, deductive and inductive reasoning, drawing informal and formal inferences, and weighing evidence. Moreover, it has been convincingly argued that through the creation of an atmosphere of collaboration and trust, learners feel less pressure to produce the ‘right’ answer and become more personally involved in the learning process. This enables them to link and apply their knowledge to their everyday lives, which may include ethical, moral, social and political issues involving S/M elements. This is particularly relevant in science and mathematics classes, where emphasis is usually placed on correctly reproducing factual information. The contents of discussions in a CoS/MI may be highly diverse. Topics from the history and philosophy of science or mathematics are obviously part of the agenda. But as the case studies presented here and many others demonstrate (see, for example, Calvert and Hausberg 2011; Kennedy 2005, 2007, 2008; Nevers 2009; Nevers et al. 1997; Schreier 1997; and Sprod 1997, 2011) S/M subject matter can be enriched by addressing other philosophical and nonphilosophical topics. Content diversity can promote deeper conceptual understanding, more meaningful learning, greater creativity and a broader view of science and mathematics. The CoS/MI approach moves teaching beyond merely conveying facts and specific problem-solving methods. As such, it might appear to fit well with S/M inquiry-based methods that are often referenced in curriculum documents and scholarly writings. However, a survey of what several international organizations mean by inquiry in science shows that the focus is firmly on practical work, especially experimental exercises (see Keys and Bryan 2001 for the US National Science Educational Standards; European Pathway Projects 2011 for 15 European countries; Australian Curriculum 2015). Similarly, inquiry-based learning in mathe­ matics focuses on problem solving (Schinck-Mikel 2014). The diversity discussed above is lacking. Nevertheless, we believe that there is plenty of scope for, and much to be gained from, widening the concept of inquiry in S/M along the lines presented here.

Promoting creativity through philosophizing: a case study in biology The concept of creative philosophizing presented here was developed by Calvert (2000, 2007) in connection with the use of metaphors and further pursued by Hausberg and Calvert (2009). It is informed by Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms ([1953] 1994) and based on the idea of philosophizing as a process in which different systems of symbols are combined and generated, including mythology, religion, art, science and language (Langer 1942). Of these, language is unique since it permits expression of all the other systems and gives them meaning. In this sense philosophizing can be considered an iterative process of interpretation conducted with the help of all the symbol systems listed above. Langer (1942) distinguishes between discursive and presentative symbols. Discursive symbols have fixed meanings, and individual elements of a discursive symbol system are expressed consecutively within the framework of a kind of grammar or syntax. They are unequivocal and universal in meaning and capable of being examined by logical analysis. Scientific terms such as ‘photosynthesis’ or symbols such as H2O are examples of discursive symbols. Presentative symbols, on the other hand, are ambiguous and multidimensional. They may be linguistic, visual, musical or gestural, and may be either real or imagined. Their elements may be expressed simultaneously as in an image or they may elicit a general impression as in a story or musical composition. A presentative symbol has no fixed meaning and cannot be determined solely through analysis of individual components since the meaning of such components is context dependent. However, the meaning of a presentative symbol is not completely arbitrary and 192

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can be clarified through dialogue. The goal of creative philosophizing is to include presentative symbols in discussions and clarify them, as shown by the following case study.

Why do you find a lot of cats in fields of red clover? This question was the focus of an empirical study by Hausberg (2013) designed to examine forms of creativity exhibited by fifth and sixth graders trained in philosophizing, and the possible transfer effects brought to bear when dealing with this problem. Originally the question was posed by Darwin in his seminal book The Origin of Species ([1859] 1962), in which he describes many complicated relationships between plants and animals. Hausberg’s study was based on a multifaceted model of creativity proposed by Urban (2004), which encompasses not only different kinds of knowledge and thinking and but also personality traits such as humor, ambiguity tolerance and perseverance. Darwin’s problem is appropriate for stimulating and examining creative processes, because dealing with it requires diverse competencies such as divergent thinking, logical reasoning, hypothesizing, devising and pursuing thought experiments, evaluating solutions, and practicing frustration tolerance. In keeping with Bloom’s taxonomy the problem-solving process begins with drawing upon the everyday knowledge that children have acquired about cats and red clover in a moderated discussion. The next step consists of trying to make sense of the problem, whereby concepts are clarified and questions are formulated: What does red clover look like? What do cats eat? What might happen when there are a lot of cats in a field of red clover? The knowledge of the children about relevant matters such as nectar and pollination are applied to analyze the situation and speculate about possible relationships between cats and clover. Finally, possible explanations are proposed: for example, cats eat clover for the same reason they eat grass, in order to improve their digestion. After several solutions have been proposed, they are then evaluated in a separate discussion moderated by a facilitator. This requires metacognitive skills on the part of the participants. In the first phase of Hausberg’s study P4C/PmKJ discussions with fifth grade pupils led by a trained moderator were monitored and recorded for four months. Eight of these were transcribed and analyzed by means of structural content analysis according to Mayring (2008) and with the help of the computer program MaxQDA in order to determine different categories of creativity expressed during these discussions. Using both deduction from relevant literature and induction from the pupils’ discussions eighteen different categories were identified, including such diverse areas as humor, elaboration, and thought experiments. Each was assigned a theoretically substantiated definition and a pertinent example. Some of the categories were further differentiated into subcategories. The category originality, for example, encompasses the subcategories creative products, new ideas and neologisms. In a second phase these categories served as a basis for analyzing pupils’ responses and activities when dealing with the open biological problem cited above. In addition, all the participants completed a standardized creativity test (Urban and Jellen 1995, 1996). The results of this test were then compared with the students’ statements in discussions in order to discover possible correlations. The results of Hausberg’s study showed that through inquiry in response to an open problem all the forms of creativity identified during P4C/PmKJ exercises in the first part of the study were applied to the problem in the second part, leading to many different and imaginative solutions, a facet of the fluency thought to be inherent to the creative process. It is important, however, that the openness, flexibility and mutual respect typical of philosophical communities of inquiry be maintained. To achieve this, the problem must be open enough 193

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to permit such diversity, comparable to the openness of presentative symbols. In addition, skilled moderation is essential. This was also noted by Kennedy (2012a) and Sprod (2014), who refer to skilled moderation as a process for drawing learners into a zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1978: 86). Hausberg’s research confirms and extends the results of a previous study on promoting creativity by philosophizing conducted in Austria (Camhy and Iberer 1991).

Enhancing understanding in chemistry through discussions in the style of P4C/PmKJ In chemistry classes, learning is often limited to conveying a set of facts and skills. However, Bereiter (2002) maintains that this type of learning is not conducive to in-depth understanding. According to Bereiter (p. 128), understanding involves a personally meaningful relationship between the learner and the object of learning that supports intelligent action. This can be achieved by including other types of knowledge in the learning process such implicit knowledge gained through experience, episodic knowledge based on analogy, impressionistic knowledge involving feelings, and regulative knowledge, that is, knowledge about how to pursue inquiry (Bereiter 2002: 131–173). The following case study indicates that understanding in this sense can be enhanced by using an intelligent narrative as a stimulus for activities and discussions in the style of P4C/PmKJ. The significance of narrative for stimulating and organizing children’s thinking was recognized in the P4C movement from the very beginning (see, for example, Sharp 1978; Matthews 1983; Lipman 2001) and has been widely discussed since then (see Murris 2015 for a critical survey). However, because of increased specialization and greater emphasis on factual knowledge, narratives are not commonly used in middle school science classes. Moreover, appropriate stories for philosophizing in this context have only recently become available (e.g. Calvert and Hausberg 2011; Sprod 2011). Therefore, finding or developing a relevant story for philosophizing in higher-level science classes is a challenge. Egan (1997) recommends using stories that take the developmental stage of the learners’ thinking into account and stimulates their imagination. However, as Egan further explains, children’s thinking may vary considerably from the kind of thinking that adult philosophers, scientists or mathematicians consider correct – a point that studies in constructivist education have also shown (e.g. Driver et al. 1994). In addition, learners in communities of inquiry are allowed to express different types of thinking, move back and forth between them, and combine them, which can promote conceptual blending (Fauconnier and Turner 2002) and thus also creative thinking (De Marzio 2011). This is very different from the focus of many science classes, which is to require learners to reproduce abstract factual information. Förster (2006) developed a unique unit for introducing the concepts of a chemical substance and a chemical reaction to ninth graders with learning disabilities involving the use of a narrative and discussions in the style of P4C/PmKJ. Based on Egan’s (1997) ideas about the development of thinking, Förster assumed that the children in his chemistry class would most likely be in a romantic phase of development, in which they are interested in real-life phenomena with mythical qualities as well as sensational phenomena that allow them to examine the boundaries of reality. He therefore chose alchemy as the framework for his unit, since it represents an authentic phase in the history of chemistry in which mythology, spirituality and scientific experimentation were intertwined. In addition, it provides a basis for examining the difference between alchemy and modern chemistry. Förster devised a story (based on a novel for teenagers by R. Schröder 2006) set in the year 1705, which revolved around an encounter between a 15-year-old girl, Johanna, and an alchemist named Kopernikus Quint, who was 194

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obsessed with the idea of transmutation, that is, converting base metals to gold. The story was read and discussed in sequels interspersed with experiments, philosophical discussions and other discussions in the style of P4C. The students clarified the concept of a chemical substance by looking for good examples, counter-examples and ambivalent ones in a manner comparable to that used in P4C/PmKJ. They employed both implicit and episodic knowledge in clarifying the concept and explained the examples they used to one another using a form of regulative knowledge. They generated a concept of a chemical substance themselves, which can be interpreted as a kind of intelligent action. In subsequent philosophical discussions pupils assessed the consequences of possessing something like the philosophical stone of an alchemist, which was thought to allow him to convert imperfect things to perfect ones. In addition, they discussed what it would mean to drink an alchemist’s elixir and thus be granted eternal life. After performing an experiment that causes coins to be coated with a gold-colored substance, they discussed whether this could really be gold. They observed oxidation of the gold coating and examined what happens to other metals when they are oxidized. In the course of this discussion they developed a concept of how two substances can interact to form a new one based on various forms of personal experience. And in the end, they talked about the ideas, goals and motives of the alchemists and created a mind map depicting different aspects of alchemy. They also reflected on the idea that things are impermanent and constantly change. The discussions were transcribed and analyzed qualitatively by the instructor. In addition, the entire unit was co-evaluated by the instructor and two observers by informal hermeneutic means. All three concluded that the students were unusually engaged in the discussions and activities stimulated by the unit, even the girls in the class (a significant development in this context). As the examples indicate, the narrative used in this case was conducive to the students’ use of implicit, episodic and impressionistic knowledge in their inquiry, and to their generating concepts of a chemical substance and chemical reaction, although at a somewhat lower level of abstraction than other students their age.

Using the CoI approach for collaborative problem-solving in mathematics Working cooperatively with open problems in small groups can be particularly useful for incorporating CoIs in mathematics classes, as the following examples show. The possible focus of such discussions may include purely practical mathematical considerations, metacognitive reflections on learners’ relationship to mathematics, topics on the philosophy or nature of mathematics, or even socioeconomic and ethical issues (Kennedy 2012a). At any rate, using the P4C/PmKJ approach, a type of discourse can be cultivated that is both respectful and tolerant and also helps students make personally meaningful connections between mathematics and everyday experiences. This in turn can help them find an appropriate place for mathematics in their own lives. Sometimes open-ended mathematical problems arise in the course of other activities and can be drawn upon for CoI discussions. For example, in a third grade class well-trained in philosophizing, a project was conducted at the local zoo and data were collected concerning the size and weight of different animals and their territories (Paarmann 2014). In a group discussion in the style of P4C/PmKJ the children then generated a variety of questions and chose to determine the appropriate dimensions of an enclosure for lions in a zoo and to make a model of the enclosure. They then decided that they needed some means of measuring lengths and developed measuring tapes corresponding to the lengths of different animals in the zoo. 195

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In groups they then measured, calculated and charted out areas on the floor large enough to comfortably accommodate a lion. They kept notes on the way they solved the problem and consulted with one another during the process. In this example, whole-group and small-group CoI discussions were integral to the planning an execution of a practical inquiry project. Another, more formal approach that is gaining widespread attention and exhibits potential for using the CoI approach is mathematical modeling. Modeling involves open problems based on real life situations for which there are multiple solutions (Kaiser and Sriraman 2006). It requires sophisticated dialog in at least three different phases: finding mathematical solutions through cooperative group efforts, presenting the solutions to other groups and evaluating these solutions in a plenary session. Philosophical aspects can be introduced in each phase, in various different manners. Meerwaldt (2009; Meerwaldt et al. 2013) examined a modeling exercise in a sixth grade class that had been philosophizing since the beginning of the fifth grade (some children in the class even longer than this). The following whodunnit problem (adapted from Lesh and Doerr 2003) was employed: One winter day when the teachers and children arrive at their school, they discover that someone has broken into it. There are footprints in the snow that have probably been made by the thief. In order to investigate the crime, the police want to rope off the school so that no one else can enter it. (1) How much rope do the police officers need to close off the school? (2) Judging from the footprint left behind, how tall was the thief? The children in the class developed solutions in small groups, prepared posters for presenting their results, and evaluated them in a plenary session. In addition, half of the class took part in three different facilitated philosophical discussions related in content to the modeling task while students in the other half, the control group, worked individually without communicating. Since the modeling problem involves theft, the first philosophical discussion was an ethical one based on Kohlberg’s classical story about a man who steals a drug to save his wife’s life. The second aimed at clarifying terms used in the modeling process and involved exploring the concepts reality and mathematics, an exercise similar to what Kennedy (2007) calls talking about mathematics. The third discussion was speculative, challenging students to imagine how a person might succeed in leaving no footprints behind and what the consequences would be. The class was monitored by video documentation and field notes taken during the project, and the children’s posters were analyzed as well. In addition, the participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their experiences during the modeling exercise. The results indicate that the students in the test group were more engaged than the control group during the presentation phase. They questioned the solutions of other groups more actively and were also more critical during the evaluation phase. Both the test group and the control group exhibited a high level of reflective competence and were unusually active during the assessment phase compared to other classes observed informally, perhaps due to their experience in philosophizing. Both groups also reported that they liked exercises with several different solutions, which is contrary to claims commonly made by teachers that pupils are easily frustrated if they are not told by an authority which answer is the right one. In addition, the test group maintained that they enjoyed the combination of philosophizing and mathematics and felt that they had had a good opportunity to apply their everyday knowledge during the modeling process. Compared to the control group they were more inclined to see a connection between mathematics and philosophy. 196

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A different, interdisciplinary modeling exercise entitled The Water Storage Problem was developed by Lyn English (2013) for middle school students. It focused on a socio-economic problem requiring mathematics for its solution. In response to a fictitious letter submitted by a potential client, the students were asked to develop a mathematical model for optimal water supply on the island of Cyprus during the dry summer months. After various mathematical models were considered, the students were asked to consider which criteria are preferable for such a model: low cost, environmental consequences or oil consumption. Thus, the mathematical discussion transitioned into a philosophical one, as the question of the accuracy of the model expanded into considering socio-political and environmental issues. In this case, philosophical inquiry was generated by the students themselves as an inherent part of the modeling process, which deepened the meaning of that process for the students.

Concluding remarks The studies reported here indicate that philosophizing in science and mathematics classes can have numerous benefits in addition to conveying factual information and practical skills, which are the traditional objectives of science and mathematics education. However, while most teachers already have excellent training in conveying facts and practical skills, incorporating the CoS/MI approach requires an additional, well-tried methodology. In keeping with Lipman’s reflexive paradigm of education (2003) teachers will need to learn how to moderate discussions and attendant learning processes, to listen thoughtfully to students’ ideas and alternative concepts, to develop tolerance for ambiguity, and to adjust their teaching strategies accordingly. From our own experiences an important first step in attaining this goal is to convince teachers of the various benefits of philosophizing – especially specialized mathematics and science teachers at middle school levels or higher (see also Keys and Bryan 2001). As a biology student once put it, ‘I chose to study science rather than the humanities because I feel more comfortable with the greater certainty of scientific facts.’ Regardless of how certain such facts really are, certainty is what many teachers and students associate with mathematics and science and what they find attractive. As a result, they may find the provisional and tentative nature of conclusions that one encounters in philosophizing and the ambiguity of some of the stimuli used rather disconcerting. To help teachers acquire the skills and dispositions required for incorporating CoIs in mathe­matics and science classes, excellent teacher training is essential. Although it is beyond the scope of this chapter to propose a model for such training, we can safely say that both preservice and in-service training will be necessary. One such program called PhiNa (Philosophizing with Children about Nature), designed for training in-service elementary and middle school teachers (see Calvert and Hausberg 2011) and evaluated at the University of Hamburg, has shown that teachers’ reservations about philosophizing can be successfully overcome.

References Australian Curriculum (2015) Science inquiry skills [Online] Available at: http://www.australiancurriculum. (Accessed 21 October 2015). Bereiter, C. (2002) Education and mind in the knowledge age. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Burgh, G. and Nichols, K. (2012) The parallels between philosophical inquiry and scientific inquiry: implications for science education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(10), 1045–1059. Calvert, K. (2000) Mit Metaphern Philosophieren. Sprachlich-präsentative Symbole beim Philosophieren mit Kindern in der Grundschule. Munich: Kopäd. Calvert, K. (2007) Creative philosophizing with children. Theory and Research in Education 5(3), 309–328.


Kristina Calvert et al. Calvert, K. and Hausberg, A. (Eds.) (2011) PhiNa. Philosophieren mit Kindern über die Natur. Handbuch. Hohengehren: Schneider. Camhy, D.G. and Iberer, G. (1991) Philosophie für Kinder: Ein Forschungsvorhaben zur Förderung der Denk- und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung von Volks-, Haupt- und AHS-Schülern. In D.G. Camhy (Ed.) Wenn Kinder Philosophieren. Graz: Leykan, 83–108. Cassirer, E. ([1953] 1994) Philosophie der Symbolischen Formen. Erster Teil – Die Sprache. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Daniel, M.F. (2013) Engaging in critical dialogue about mathematics. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 34(1), 58–68. Darwin, C. ([1859] 1962) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. NewYork: Collier. De Marzio, D. (2011) What happens in philosophical texts: Matthew Lipman’s theory and practice of the philosophical text as model. Childhood & Philosophy 7(13) [Online] Available at: http://www.academia. edu/1161165/ (Accessed: 12 April 2016). Driver, R., Squires, A., Rushworth, P. and Wood-Robinson, V. (1994) Making sense of secondary science: Research into children’s ideas. London: Routledge. Egan, K. (1997) The educated mind: how cognitive tools shape our understanding. Chicago and London: Routledge. English, L. (1992) Philosophy for children and mathematics education. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 10(1), 15–16. English, L. (2013) Modelling as a vehicle for philosophical inquiry in the mathematics curriculum. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 34(1), 47–57. European Pathway Projects (2011) What is inquiry based science education (IBSE)? [Online] Available at: (Accessed 21 October 2015). Fauconnier, G. and Turner, M. (2002) The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. New York: Basic Books. Förster, M. (2006) Philosophieren und Nachdenken mit Kindern und Jugendlichen im Chemieunterricht der Förderschule am Beispiel der Alchemie. (Master’s thesis.) Hamburg: University of Hamburg. Hausberg, A. (2013) Fressen Katzen Rotklee? Kreativität beim Philososophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen. Marburg: Tectum Verlag. Hausberg, A. and Calvert, K. (2009) Aspects of creative philosophizing with children about nature. In W. Turgeon (Ed.) Creativity and the child: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press. Kaiser, G. and Sriraman, B. (2006) A global survey of international perspectives on modelling in mathematics education. ZDM: The International Journal of Mathematics Education 38(3), 302–310. Kennedy, N.S. (2005) Reasoning with paradoxes in a community of mathematical inquiry: an exploration toward multidimensional reasoning. Analytic Teaching 25(3), 59–70. Kennedy, N.S. (2007) From philosophical to mathematical inquiry in the classroom. Childhood & Philosophy 3(6), 1–16. Kennedy, N.S. (2012a) Lipman, Dewey, and philosophical inquiry in the mathematics classroom. Education and Culture 28(2), 81–94. Kennedy, N.S. (2012b) What are you assuming? Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 18(2), 86–91. Kennedy, N.S. and Kennedy, D. (2013) Philosophical dialogues across the school curriculum: the case of mathematics. In M. Glina (Ed.) Philosophy for, with and of children. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 21–40. Keys, C.W. and Bryan, L.A. (2001) Co-constructing inquiry-based science with teachers: essential research for lasting reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 38(6), 631–645. Langer, S. (1942) Philosophy in a new key: A study in the symbolism of reason, rite, and art. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Lesh, R. and Doerr, H.M. (2003) Foundations of a models and modelling perspective on mathematics teaching, learning and problem solving. In R. Lesh and H.M. Doerr (Eds.) Beyond constructivism: Models and modelling perspectives on mathematics problem solving, learning, and teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 3–34. Lipman, M. (2001) Dramatizing philosophy. Critical and Creative Thinking 9(2), 10–15. Lipman, M. (2003) Thinking in education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Matthews, G.B. (1983) Philosophy and children’s literature. Thinking 4(3–4), 15–19. Mayring, P. (2008) Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken. Weinheim: Beltz.


Philosophizing in science and maths Meerwaldt, D. (2009) Philosophieren mit Kindern als Unterrichtsprinzip am Beispiel des Modellierens im Mathematikunterricht. (Master’s thesis.) University of Hamburg. Meerwaldt, D., Borromeo-Ferri, R. and Nevers, P. (2013) Philosophizing with children in the course of solving modeling problems in a sixth grade mathematics classroom. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis 34(1), 80–92. Murris, K. (2015) The philosophy for children curriculum: Resisting ‘teacher proof’ texts and the formation of the ideal philosopher child. Studies in Philosophy and Education 35(1), 63–78. Nevers, P. (2005) Wozu ist Philosophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen im Biologieunterricht gut? In C. Hößle and K. Michalik (Eds) Philosophieren mit Kindern und Jugendlichen. Hohengehren: Schneider, 24–35. Nevers, P. (2009) Transcending the factual in biology by philosophizing with children. In G.Y. Iversen, G. Mitchell and G. Pollard (Eds) Hovering over the face of the deep: Philosophy, theology and children. Münster and New York: Waxmann, 147–160. Nevers, P., Gebhard, U. and Billmann-Mahecha, E. (1997) Patterns of reasoning exhibited by children and adolescents in response to moral dilemmas involving plants, animals and ecosystems. Journal of Moral Education 26, 169–186. Paarmann, S. (2014) Mathematik während eines Zooprojektes – über offene Aufgaben die Selbstkompetenz der Kinder stärken! In C. Solzbacher and K. Calvert (Eds.) ‘Ich schaff’ das schon . . . ’ Wie Kinder Selbstkompetenz entwickeln können. Freiburg: Herder, 153–158. Schreier, H. (Ed.) (1997) Mit Kindern über Natur philosophieren. Heinsberg: Dieck Verlag. Schröder, R.M. (2006) Das Geheime wissen des Alchemisten. Würzburg: Arena Verlag. Sharp, A.M. (1978) A novel approach to philosophy for children. Momentum 9(2), 33–37. Sprod, T. (1997) Improving scientific reasoning through philosophy for children: an empirical study. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 19(8), 75–80. Sprod, T. (2011) Discussions in science: Promoting conceptual understanding in the middle school years. Victoria, Australia: ACER Press. Sprod, T. (2014) Philosophical inquiry and critical thinking in primary and secondary science education. In M.R. Matthews (Ed.) International handbook of research in history, philosophy and science teaching. Dordrecht: Springer, 1531–1564. Urban, K. (2004) Kreativität: Herausforderung für Schule, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft. Münster: LIT-Verlag. Urban, K. and Jellen, G. (1995) Test zum schöpferischen Denken – Zeichnerisch.TSD – Z. Frankfurt am Main: Swets Tests Services. Urban, K. and Jellen, G. (1996) Assessing creative potential via drawing production: The Test for Creative Thinking – Drawing Production (TCT-DP). In A.J. Cropley et al. (Eds) Giftedness: A continuing worldwide challenge. New York: Trillium Press, 163–169. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.



Introduction This paper explores the possibilities, and more particularly the problems, of introducing philosophy within a school curriculum, and ends by promoting what we call ‘philosophical teaching’ as a way of addressing at least some of the problems. Our thoughts and proposals draw mainly on our involvement with Philosophy for Children (P4C) development in UK schools, but also from the experience and expertise of colleagues in other countries. We discuss a number of ways in which Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp’s original proposals have been adapted to respond to the complex and sometimes conflicting demands of twenty-first-century education. Though the adoption of P4C in schools has steadily grown across the globe in the past four decades, we have not yet achieved a shift in educational paradigm towards curricula that promote philosophy either as a subject or as a fundamental discipline of learning. In this chapter we summarize four ways that schools adopt and adapt P4C, to integrate philosophical inquiry not only in their curriculum but also within the school’s ethos and pedagogy. This is a significant move towards Lipman and Sharp’s vision, as presented by David Kennedy: the philosophy for children program has the clear potential to become the central paradigmatic discourse model underlying all levels of school life, both children and adult. It can shape pedagogy, planning, evaluation, conflict resolution, and management and organisation in general. It can shape the approach to the disciplines: by approaching each content area from the point of view of the ‘philosophy of’ a more synergistic, integrated curriculum will emerge. (Kennedy 1993: 355) The P4C ‘program’ was developed at a time and in a country (late 1960s, USA) when/ where there was no national curriculum, and therefore no felt need to fit it to any particular scheme of educational priorities or outcomes. It was, though, a tumultuous period in North American history, with the battle for civil rights at home, and a war in Asia that was also divisive (to the point of violence even within academic institutions). Matthew Lipman’s invention of ‘Philosophy for Children’ was a systematic reconstruction of the very notions of ‘education’ and ‘children’ – focussing the former on the experiences and needs of the latter. 200

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It was, moreover, a reconstruction of ‘philosophy’ itself, giving more emphasis to the public and collaborative construction of meaning through face-to-face dialogue, and less emphasis to the more private construction or interpretation of formal, written ‘theses’, however valuable these might ultimately be. The crisis in education identified by Lipman – its failure to maintain a proper philosophical concern with good judgement in the service of ‘the good life’, that is the flourishing of society at large as well as of individuals – required urgent and widespread change in school policies and teacher practice. And this could not happen without convincing teachers themselves of the possibility and desirability of rendering their own practice more philosophical. That was the assumption of the founders of SAPERE (The Society to Advance Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education), a UK charity founded in 1991 that focuses on education in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. By contrast to the USA, England and Wales introduced a clearly prescribed national curriculum at just the time (early 1990s) that P4C was gathering interest in the country. Such prescription has increasingly become the norm across the world. The challenge facing the founders of SAPERE, then, was how to promote P4C to school teachers who were being judged by how well they ‘delivered’ the curriculum and achieved its ‘learning outcomes’. It should be noted that most teachers in England and Wales had little or no experience of formal philosophy, or even informal philosophical inquiry, in their own education. It was in this context that SAPERE’s project was conceived as needing decades to develop, whilst always aspiring to be consistent with Lipman’s expressed aim for P4C: The approach that I have created in Philosophy for Children is . . . not about prescribing any one philosophy to children, but about encouraging them to develop their own philosophy, their own way of thinking about the world. It is about giving the youngest of minds the opportunity to express ideas with confidence and in an environment where they feel safe to do so. (Lipman 2008: 166) When the aims and practices of P4C meet the stark reality of school life, it is an ongoing challenge to maintain the integrity of Lipman’s original vision, and of its principles as subsequently articulated by Ann Sharp. However, P4C has undoubtedly been established on the English and Welsh educational landscape, and the proposal that philosophical inquiry can play an important part in a nation’s educational provision has generally been accepted (a rare achievement, even in the broad P4C world). Indeed, research by the Educational Endowment Foundation in England (2015) reinforced the belief, already substantiated by research by in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, that P4C can have a positive (Topping and Trickey 2007a) and lasting (Topping and Trickey 2007b) effect on children’s approaches to learning, as well as their cognitive capacities. Children showed improved scores in the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, as measured by national tests, with the biggest impact on disadvantaged children. Feedback from teachers suggested that P4C also had a beneficial impact on wider outcomes such as student confidence, patience and self-esteem. The latter, of course, should not be surprising if P4C succeeded in its own aims, as articulated by Lipman, of rendering young people ‘more thoughtful, more reflective, more considerate and more reasonable individuals’ (Lipman 1980: 15). We believe the success of P4C throughout the UK merits a study of the practical models for its implementation and success that have been developed here, especially in England and Wales, in the two decades straddling the new millennium. Toward that end, in this chapter we will elucidate and evaluate four different models of P4C which we have distinguished being 201

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practised in the UK. We note that each of these models falls into one of two broad approaches identified by Knight and Collins: philosophy as a stand-alone subject or as integrated into existing curricula. Knight and Collins declare a strong preference for the latter: tackling the embedded philosophical issues in context encourages . . . comprehensive thinking more than does separating philosophical inquiry out as a separate curriculum area. In this way . . . failing to embed philosophy in the other curriculum areas counts against one important goal of philosophy. We do better philosophy when philosophy is embedded. (Knight and Collins 2000: 11) While we recognize the merits of this argument, we hold to the point that, for all the growing pressures in schools of our era towards homogeneity, the context in each school and classroom community is unique. Therefore we think it is helpful to offer teachers different models, especially bearing in mind that it is possible to begin with stand-alone sessions and move towards an integrated model, or even to maintain the former within the latter. (One might analogously propose an ‘historical’ curriculum, in which history is integrated into every subject, but also remains a subject in its own right. This might be a particularly apposite example, since, as Thucydides is thought to have said, ‘History is philosophy teaching by examples.’)

Four models of Philosophy for Children The four models of Philosophy for Children we have identified in the UK can be summarized as follows.

1 Philosophy in School Subjects Many schools have introduced the community of inquiry in curriculum subjects, particularly in the humanities and sciences, in which contestable philosophical concepts are readily found. In this context, as Laurence Splitter contends, philosophy is both content and process: The idea of including philosophy in the curriculum, for both primary and secondary students, makes a lot more sense once we acknowledge that the curriculum itself can, and arguably should, be reinterpreted or reconstructed in terms of those core concepts around which our knowledge and understanding of the disciplines are wrapped. (Splitter 2006: 7–8) Knight and Collins give examples of the concepts that can be explored philosophically: Philosophical issues are embedded in many, if not all, curriculum areas. Here are some familiar examples: in Maths, deduction and induction; the concepts of number, space and infinity; the big questions of aesthetics in the Arts; in Health, a plethora of ethical questions, as well as metaphysical questions about change, and about the nature of human beings; in English, questions of truth and meaning, deductive reasoning, and the logical structure of language; in Science, questions about scientific method, the roles of theory and observation in scientific proof and the nature of scientific laws; and in SOSE [Studies of Society and Environment], the question of justification in 202

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ethics and numerous substantive moral issues – our responsibility to future generations, animal rights and so on. (Knight and Collins 2000: 8) Following a revitalization in England and Wales of topic- or concept-based curriculum planning, and a reinvigoration of inquiry-based learning, including interest in ‘Essential Questions’ (McTighe and Wiggins 2013), the ground for including philosophical inquiry in the curriculum is becoming more fertile. Teachers are increasingly ready to see that the community of inquiry is the best way (better even than ‘discussion’) of deepening students’ understanding and appreciation of ‘big’ religious, moral and political ideas, not to mention those that Splitter and Sharp (1995) characterized as ‘common and central’ to human thinking. Using the community of inquiry as a pedagogical process makes teachers aware of the philosophical potential of curriculum topics. Teachers have identified concepts for inquiry, and developed activities and stimuli that lead students to engage with those concepts and questions or issues arising. This work culminated in the UK in a book for secondary school teachers, Philosophy for Children through the Secondary Curriculum (Lewis and Chandley 2012) that makes the case for teachers using philosophical inquiry and provides examples of activities across curriculum subjects. A strong advantage of this model is that, because subject teachers incorporate the process as part of their curriculum planning, it is not seen to demand extra time within the pressurized schedule of curriculum ‘delivery’, thus making it easier to advocate to principals and directors of study. A possible weakness in the model is that some teachers, and therefore most of their pupils, might still under-appreciate the special contribution that philosophical concepts, questions and procedures (e.g. careful argumentation) make to their subject, or indeed to learning and life in general.

2 Scheduling dedicated P4C or philosophical inquiry sessions This is a model where schools dedicate time for open philosophical inquiry that is not situated within a curriculum subject. This allows for the development, in Lipman’s words, of children’s ‘own’ philosophy, their own way of thinking about the world. The aim is not only one of ‘personalized’ learning, but also of ‘deep’ learning, inasmuch as it is properly concerned with the development of good, ‘connected’, thinking across the domains of human experience and meaning (as represented in the Western philosophical tradition by ethics, politics, aesthetics, metaphysics, etc., but with an openness to other ways of knowing and understanding). This was surely what Lipman had in mind when he coined his metaphor of philosophy as the ‘mortar’ that holds the whole educational edifice together (1988: 155). This was the original model developed by Lipman and Sharp, and it has been popular in many parts of the world, for both teachers and children who enjoy time and space that is liberated from curricula matters and who want to feel free to pursue philosophical questions that are meaningful to them. In this way, the model promotes philosophy as valuable in itself, and as the best way of enabling young people to recognize and resolve for themselves the many ethical and personal challenges they face. Many schools find it helpful to begin their P4C journey in this way; to give children time to internalize the process, the skills and the language of philosophical inquiry. This model is also the most conducive to the use of P4C as a method of conflict resolution and classroom and school governance, as called for by Kennedy. The principal challenge this model presents for schools and teachers is that they have little time for such philosophical journeys. However strong the argument 203

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is for them to re-prioritize their time, regulations, habit and exhaustion can militate against that. Therefore it is vital to get parents and senior school managers to approve and support regular P4C in their schools.

3 Adding philosophy to the list of optional, or even compulsory, subjects in the curriculum There are jurisdictions where philosophy has been an optional, or even a compulsory, course in the secondary school curriculum. Throughout Europe roughly up until the nineteenth century, philosophy was at the core of most formal education, and France in particular was seen as preserving its centrality through the twentieth century with its famous Baccalaureate. But generally in the last century philosophy has been marginalized in Western school curricula. This is despite the recommendation by UNESCO ‘to encourage education policies that accord a full, complete and autonomous place to philosophy in curricula at secondary and higher education’ (2011: 2). PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) has done much work in the USA to promote philosophy within the high school curriculum. PLATO presents philosophy as an activity rather than as a subject, and uses the helpful notion of philosophy as a discipline that has its own traditional questions and distinctive ways of approaching those questions that encourages student involvement and dialogue: ‘The chief objective of a high school philosophy course is to engage students in the activity of doing philosophy. In keeping with this description of philosophy as an activity rather than a subject matter, the class should encourage critical inquiry, debate, and reflection upon the discipline’s fundamental questions’ (2011). A similar acknowledgement of the possibility of using a community of inquiry approach within an assessed academic course is made by Megan Laverty, in respect of the philosophy course that has been an optional part of the Victorian Certificate of Education in Australia. But she does suggest that the aim, or at least emphasis, of P4C might conflict with the aim of the exam: Whereas VCE philosophy is valuable for the reasons that all academic disciplines are valuable, Philosophy for Children is valuable because it teaches for more meaningful lives. (Laverty 2002: 31) Even if academic philosophy were to include ‘community of inquiry’ practices, and Philosophy for Children were to include the analysis of academic philosophical texts as well as written work, the emphasis in each case would be different. (Laverty 2002: 34) This may not be a necessary conflict, though. If the deliberate practice of the community of inquiry is suitably planned into such a course, and if the spirit of inquiry is steadily cultivated by the teacher, the pupils may be no less likely to fulfil the requirements of an assessed course. The greater risk, probably, is that the principles and prime purposes of P4C get lost in what can so easily turn into too narrow a focus on the standard ‘academic’ expectations of students: that they will evidence their philosophical ‘knowledge and understanding’ in certain (mainly written) ways, which are assumed to be more important (because more easily assessed?) than the cultivation of philosophical doubt and dialogue, or intellectual, let alone existential, freedom. 204

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4 Scheduling sessions dedicated to developing thinking and learning/study skills, in which philosophical inquiry plays a leading role This model might be called ‘P4C by infusion’, and links well with what has just been said about the general aims of P4C. It is a model in which teachers cultivate philosophical inquiry by focusing on the development of pupil skills, sometimes labelled ‘life’ skills, of which questioning the meaning of something and evaluating the reasoning behind it might be regarded as critical. Schools worldwide are under increasing pressure to include the explicit teaching of general, cognitive and particular academic skills, as well as content, in their curriculum. A good case can, in fact, be made that regular participation in communities of philosophical inquiry would go a long way to equipping young people with desirable, if not necessary, skills and dispositions for learning and life. Apart from the evidence already quoted in regard to the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, or of more general cognitive capacities, the evidence from the same studies in regard to growth of personal and pro-social qualities or virtues is significant. Success in future relationships, or in work, for young people is surely recognized to be correlated with confidence, patience, consideration of others, collaboration and so on – all evidently cultivated by P4C. The danger, on the other hand, of introducing P4C as a skillsbased programme, is that it could play into a merely instrumental and instructional agenda (at its worst, geared to passing exams), without respect to deeper philosophical understanding and dispositions. This is a vital concern – precisely the one that Lipman railed against in Philosophy Goes to School (1988) when he talked of the ‘information-acquisition’ model that dominated education then, and arguably is even more dominant now. As indicated in our earlier characterization of Lipman’s concerns, any curriculum that does not pursue healthy private as well as public goods hardly deserves to be described as ‘educational’, let alone ‘philosophical’. But such pursuit needs to pay full respect to the diversity of human conceptions and to encourage the critique of predominant ways of thinking. It also needs to give recognition to the limitations of human knowledge. Such ethical, political and epistemological concerns are more precisely what philosophy brings to the educational party, and to set them aside in the pursuit of narrower ends is ‘just not P4C’. To be fair, there is a risk of mere instrumentalism towards ill-conceived ends in both Models 1 and 3 above. No model, indeed, is proof against narrow-minded teachers, not even Model 2, though the central construct of ‘open’ inquiry in this model does minimize the risk. In any case, we should like to argue that the best protection against such risk lies not in the curriculum model that is adopted, but in the continuing education (‘professional development’) of teachers themselves. And the best headline under which to take this forward, in our view, is that of ‘philosophical teaching’.

Encouraging more philosophical teaching across the whole curriculum Such a headline focuses, for a start, more on teacher dispositions and skills than on pupil ones (though the strategies and foci are not, of course, mutually exclusive). It is the espousal of an approach to teaching that certainly sees a place for developing pupils’ own readiness to inquire philosophically; but it calls for teachers themselves to become more thoughtful, reflective, reasonable and considerate in their own instruction and their dealings with pupils. This idea(l) of philosophical teaching may, in the end, provide the best model for the advancement of P4C and philosophy in the curriculum, since it can underpin all of the other models or strategies. 205

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Indeed, it is probably better not to think of it as a model within the curriculum but a model for the curriculum, whatever shape the curriculum might take. At any rate, without a proper focus on what makes a pedagogy, rather than merely a curriculum, philosophical, any attempts to raise the profile and practice of philosophy in schools is unlikely to succeed. We noted in regard to Model 1 that every subject within the curriculum has its philosophical dimensions – particular questions or concepts that lend themselves to philosophical interest and inquiry – and that some subject specialist teachers were becoming more aware of these, and opening them up with their students. But even a greater focus on traditional ‘philosophical’ concepts and processes can miss a vital point, which regular practice of open philosophical inquiry with children continually reinforces. This is that pupils’ understanding of even the most ‘ordinary’ of concepts benefits from philosophical inquiry – which is, after all, inquiry into meaning. So, every teacher needs to be sensitive to students’ lack of understanding of everyday vocabulary, such as believe, story, situation, real, made up, fact, possible, problem, freedom, rules, family, act, right (all concepts explored in Lipman’s Pixie (1981) for 6–8 year olds) – not to mention the basic ‘thinking’ vocabulary, such as equal, alike, different, opposite, contrast, association, relationship, names, parts, characteristics, belong, kind, example, ways, ideas, definition, ambiguity, consequences, dimensions, models, metaphors, arguments, principles, reasons and so on. Moreover, when a teacher introduces new technical vocabulary – say, ‘environment’ in geography, or ‘revolution’ in history, or ‘force’ in science – it has to be connected with every pupil’s prior knowledge and understanding. This is the essence of a constructivist approach. Every pupil has to be given the time and the tools to make connections, which is best facilitated through dialogue, especially of a philosophical, meaning-seeking sort. Giving all teachers the skills and confidence to approach their pupils’ learning in such a meaningfully constructivist way could be thought of as the ultimate aim of P4C educators, and of anyone else who is arguing for philosophical inquiry to be an integral part of the curriculum (Gregory 2002). There is more that could be said about what might be expected of a philosophical teacher, but we will end by pointing to a helpful paper, written by Amber Strong Makaiau and Chad Miller, called ‘The Philosopher’s Pedagogy’. In this, they describe the qualities of what they call a ‘Teacher-Philosopher’ as follows: The first is that the teacher must live an examined life. Secondly, the teacher must see education as a shared activity between teacher and student. Thirdly, the teacher and students must re-conceptualize the ‘content’ of the discipline as a reflection of the interaction between the classroom participant’s beliefs and experiences and the subject matter being taught. This connects with the fourth commitment: that the teacher must hold, with Dewey (1916), the view that philosophy is ‘the general theory of education.’ Fifth, teachers, and students, must make philosophy a living classroom practice. And finally, teachers must be willing to challenge contemporary measures for classroom assessment. (Makaiau and Miller 2010: 11) We should like to reframe this conceptualization by using adjectives to describe such an (ideal) person/teacher: reflective, dialogic, constructive (sense-making), idealistic (virtue-centred), challenging (problem-posing) and evaluative (judgment-seeking). All of these deserve unpacking, but perhaps idealistic deserves a few more words here and now. Makaiau and Miller elaborate their own fourth commitment by quoting Dewey himself: ‘If we are willing to conceive education as the process of forming fundamental dispositions, intellectual and emotional, toward nature and fellow men, philosophy may even be defined as the general theory of education’ (Dewey 1916: 328). 206

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We regard this focus on the development of healthy intellectual and emotional dispositions or virtues as not only a priority for education in the twenty-first century but also indicating that philosophy (or, more precisely, philosophical inquiry) has a very special – indeed, essential – role to play in its realization. In conclusion, therefore, we see the promotion of the idea(l) and the practice of ‘philosophical teaching’ as key to the continuing health and spread of P4C. It would ensure that P4C remains true to its philosophical and educational roots, whilst also giving it the best chance of becoming, in Kennedy’s words, ‘the central paradigmatic discourse model underlying all levels of school life’, and especially underpinning ‘a more synergistic, integrated curriculum’.

References Dewey, J. (1916) Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York, NY: The Free Press. Educational Endowment Foundation (2015) Philosophy for Children [Online]. Available at: http://www. (Accessed 15 December 2015). Gregory, M. (2002) Constructivism, standards, and the classroom community of inquiry. Educational Theory 52(4), 397–408. Kennedy, D. (1993) The community of inquiry and educational structure. In: M. Lipman (Ed.) Thinking Children and Education. Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 352–357. Knight, S. and Collins, C. (2000) The curriculum transformed: philosophy embedded in the learning areas. Critical and Creative Thinking 8(1), 8–14. Laverty, M. (2002) Philosophy and pedagogy in Australian schools. Critical and Creative Thinking 10(1), 29–43. Lewis, L. and Chandley, N. (Eds) (2012) Philosophy for Children through the secondary curriculum. London: Continuum. Lipman, M. (1980) Philosophy in the Classroom. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (1981) Pixie. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Lipman, M. (1988) Philosophy goes to school. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (2008) A life teaching thinking. Montclair, NJ: Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy For Children. Makaiau, A.S. and Miller, C. (2010) The philosopher’s pedagogy. Educational Perspectives 44(1–2), 8–19. McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G. (2013) Essential questions: opening doors to student understanding. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (2011) Teaching High School Philosophy [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 15 December 2015). Splitter, L. (2006) Philosophy in a crowded curriculum. Critical and Creative Thinking 14(2), 4–14. Splitter, L. and Sharp, A.M. (1995) Teaching for better thinking. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research. Topping, K. and Trickey, S. (2007a) Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: Cognitive effects at 10–12 years. British Journal of Educational Psychology 77, 271–288. Topping, K. and Trickey, S. (2007b) Collaborative philosophical inquiry for schoolchildren: Cognitive gains at 2-year follow-up. British Journal of Educational Psychology 77, 787–796. UNESCO (2011) Recommendations on the teaching of philosophy in Europe and North America [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 15 December 2015).


24 WHAT’S PHILOSOPHY GOT TO DO WITH IT? Achieving synergy between philosophy and education in teacher preparation Sarah Davey Chesters and Lynne Hinton

Introduction There has long been friction surrounding who is better positioned to introduce young minds to the wonder of philosophy and to prepare teachers for this process: academic philosophers for whom philosophy is a habitual way of thinking, but who often lack deep pedagogical understanding; or teachers who have pedagogical expertise, as well as knowledge and skill to connect with their students’ way of thinking and talking, but typically lack preparation in academic philosophy? Teaching and pedagogy are traditionally secondary (at best) to the training of academic philosophers. There are tales of philosophers alienating their audiences, to such an extent that philosophy as a discipline has earned a reputation as inaccessible, despite its direct influence and commentary on life itself, which arguably should be in the reach of every person (Cam 2006; Golding 2006; Splitter 2006; Haynes 2008; Peters 2009). This attitude has direct implications for the ease with which philosophy is introduced in the classroom. Even John Dewey, an academic philosopher who advocated for an inquiry approach to pedagogy, did not contemplate philosophy as either a school subject or a vehicle of inquiry-based pedagogy (Lipman 2004; Gregory & Granger 2014). It was Lipman (also an academic philosopher) who brought philosophy to the classroom with the expectation that teachers would learn sufficient knowledge and skill to engage children in philosophical practice (Freakley & Burgh 2000). Teachers who come to philosophical inquiry are typically skilled in drawing ideas from students, managing classroom practice and, increasingly important, managing student conduct (Scholl 2014). More fundamentally, they know and understand their students personally, know about their lives, interests and fears, particularly as they apply to their learning. However, given the alienating nature of the discipline of philosophy and the time and effort needed to invest in ‘new’ knowledge, there is a sense of reluctance or inability by some teachers to connect to philosophical theory, so that philosophy in the classroom runs the risk of remaining another teaching tool, instead of a rich way of thinking and being (Knight & Collins 2013). A number of critics and indeed advocates of P4C have raised this concern many times over (Gardner 1995; Brenifier 2005; Turgeon 2013). 208

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This chapter addresses the argument that an equal and honest partnership between both philosophers and teachers is necessary to the successful implementation of philosophy in the classroom. Philosophers who go into schools to do philosophy with children have as much to learn from teachers as teachers have to learn from philosophers. The chapter adopts a narrative inquiry approach and draws both from current literature and the authors’ personal reflections. We assert that while philosophers and teachers may approach their practice from different ‘sides of the fence’, what is important is the dialogue that should continue between them. We see that kind of inter-disciplinary dialogue modelled, for instance, in Lipman and Sharp’s curriculum, which artfully presented the discipline of philosophy as pedagogy (Lipman 2004). This chapter is written from the combined perspectives of authors from two different professional arenas: one from educational theory, teaching and administration, and the other from academic philosophy, later applied to pre-service teacher education. Lynne Hinton is a philosophical educator. She was principal at an elementary school for 15 years, during which time Philosophy for Children (P4C) became part of the core curriculum of the school. She is presently involved in educating current and future teachers at a local university and at a secondary school that is implementing philosophical inquiry. Sarah Davey Chesters is an educational philosopher. Having completed formal education in philosophy and ethics, she underwent formal qualifications in education, thereafter working as an early childhood teacher. Shortly after classroom teaching she began lecturing in theory and curriculum at a local university where each course had an underpinning of Socratic pedagogy. A chance encounter brought us together to work with the same group of undergraduate pre-service teachers in a flagship university course where philosophy in the classroom was the primary focus. Afterwards, while continuing that course, we also collaborated on post-graduate education for teachers already in the field. Yule (1995) reports that some models of P4C teacher training are two-day courses that profess to equip teachers to teach philosophy. In contrast, our model coupled an introduction to pedagogy with an introduction to philosophical theory, presented as a stimulus for further inquiry that included modules for reading based on primary and secondary philosophical texts, continued mentoring and community building with teachers. We soon realized that our work together was a fertile ground for observation and inquiry: pre-service teachers learning philosophy alongside their usual curriculum of teacher preparation and teachers already in the field coming back to see how philosophy could align with their current practice. Our work allowed us to see the pitfalls and benefits of our individual ways of operating, and gave us a unique insight into teacher preparation in philosophy in the classroom from the perspectives of educator and philosopher. On the whole, we found it harder to introduce philosophical inquiry to experienced teachers than to pre-service teachers, which confirmed our conviction that philosophy should be introduced as a part of teacher education. Therefore, whilst this chapter focuses largely on our work with practising teachers, there are implications for pre-service education. To allow us to explore our different but intertwined experiences, we drew on the methodologies of self-study (Barnes 1998; Hamilton & Pinnegar 1998) and narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly 2000). The aim of our self-study was to gain insights into how our collaboration may influence our own, and others’ practices in teacher preparation. Narrative inquiry uses the process of constructing and reconstructing story to understand and find meaning in everyday experiences (Clandinin & Conelly 2000). This method draws on Dewey’s (1997) approach to inquiry as reflection on current experience in ways that contribute to further experience. Our methodology involved processes of self-reflection, joint theorizing and further self-reflection. 209

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To begin with, we posed ourselves three broad inquiry questions to guide our self-reflection: (1) Prior to our collaboration in teacher preparation, what was your experience in the philosophical aspects of teacher preparation? (2) What was your experience through the process of our collaboration (frustrations, light-bulb moments, reconstruction of thinking, etc.)? (3) What have you learnt through the process – what is your view of teacher preparation in philosophy after our collaboration? Each of us responded to these questions in first person narratives (meaningful stories). We then systematically categorized each of our responses into key themes and synthesized the responses from each author under each theme. We then reviewed P4C research literature relevant to each theme and theorized together about how our experiences could be explained by, or perhaps challenged, theories and findings in the literature. These reflections led to our articulating the following, more focused questions for a second round of self-reflection on our experiences: (1) What misgivings and suspicions do teachers have when beginning P4C, and what hopes do they have about it? How do they feel about their own abilities to do it? What kinds of resistance do they put up against it? (2) How do philosophers working with teachers see those teachers in terms of being philosophical? What does the professional philosopher think philosophy means in the context of a classroom? (3) What kinds of practical obstacles and opportunities arise for doing P4C in a school? How do educators working with a philosopher in a school see that philosopher in terms of pedagogical expertise, knowledge of curriculum standards and so on? What misgivings do philosophers have about their own preparation in education? Our reflections on this second set of questions are summarized in the next two sections, where lines in italics are excerpts from our first-person narratives.

Initial obstacles to teacher preparation in philosophical inquiry We began by looking at the way teachers beginning philosophical inquiry in the classroom viewed their undertaking. As my work in schools began, preparing teachers to teach philosophy to their students, the misunderstandings that I had initially encountered in my own school were evident. ‘What is the relevance of this for me?’, ‘There’s no time for this’, ‘I want to know how to do this so I can fix behaviour problems’ (from a principal), ‘Isn’t this what the school counsellor should be doing?’ were comments made by teachers (LH). Philosophy was often seen as a pedagogical trick to teach children to be courteous, to address playground problems or to improve academic performance on standardized tests. The idea of the discipline of philosophy being part of philosophy in the classroom was seen by many as irrelevant, if they understood or acknowledged at all. I would go so far as to say that in some instances teachers felt alienated by philosophy to the extent that if teaching children to think meant engaging in philosophy, then they would prefer to find another, supposedly simpler, way (LH). The resistance many teachers feel toward philosophy may simply reflect that they had no prior experience with the subject. It may also be due to the way that philosophy is introduced in teacher preparation. However, as Peters (2009) suggests, it is also the result of the reputation philosophy has acquired, as highly intellectual and remote from everyday concerns. This, coupled with practical, workload constraints for many teachers was the starting point of our work. My initial experiences in teacher preparation, despite my best efforts, left me thinking that whilst I was doing some things well, particularly those relating to pedagogy and learning, my knowledge of philosophy and its relevance to our everyday lives, whilst growing, was not adequate for the task of capturing the hearts and minds of teachers (LH). From the view of the academic philosopher, some teachers’ initial reluctance to learning philosophy related to a lack of confidence. My initial experience in teacher preparation was, in short, 210

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one of frustration with teachers feeling alienated by philosophy to the point that there was no entrance to the field for them (SDC). Despite knowing what they wanted to achieve, many teachers found it hard to recognize philosophical ideas, or know where to begin. Knight and Collins (2010, 2013) similarly reflect on teachers’ reluctance to engage with philosophy as a discipline despite their interest in its impact in the classroom. I wanted them to know that once they accessed the theoretical ideas, they would have a better grounding for their facilitation. I believed that they needed to start with philosophy itself and having this knowledge would provide the basis for pedagogy (SDC). Teachers, who were obviously overloaded with new curriculum, new examination processes and the daily pressures of their roles, were interested in classroom philosophy but felt incapable of learning a whole new area of academic theory. Some quick classroom activities were generally what they could manage, or at least find to be successful enough – they wanted to achieve the results they were seeing through the models presented to them but didn’t think they had the time and sometimes, more concerning to me, the ability to learn (SDC). Another obstacle we faced initially was that some teachers felt over-confident in their ability to facilitate philosophical inquiry, based on their expertise in other dialogic pedagogies. Turgeon makes a salient point that while teachers in many cases are ‘good listeners and facilitators of children’s learning’, they struggle to adapt this ability to ‘genuine philosophical inquiry with children’ (2013: 10–11). She and others have raised concerns that classroom dialogue is sometimes more conversational than philosophical, and called for a sense of rigour and critical reflection in classroom inquiry. Gardner, for instance, argues that ‘inquiry is no mere conversation’ and that ‘facilitation of inquiry is hard work!’ (1995: 47). We have found, further, that even teachers well-versed in thinking skills programmes or discussion-based learning require careful and sustained apprenticeship in philosophical methodology. How to best offer that apprenticeship was cause for further reflection. Reflecting on these initial obstacles led us to understand that doing philosophy with children requires teachers to be competent not only with the teaching/learning process, but also with philosophy itself as a theoretical discipline and as a method of rigorous inquiry. We concluded that the more teachers know about philosophy, the better will be the experience for the students, and that preparing teachers in this way requires cooperation between two groups of professionals who would appear at first glance to be coming from different perspectives.

Achieving synergy between philosophy and education We were committed to finding a common ground between philosophy and education for the teachers with whom we were engaging. Initially, the educational philosopher in our pair (SDC) found it challenging to make philosophy accessible to teachers without having had extensive long-term classroom practice herself. I had a long-standing view that teachers needed to be introduced to the theory first and foremost, learn philosophy as I had and then the rest would follow. This had worked for me. But in my experience, teachers and students were still left feeling alienated by the discipline and they certainly didn’t have the luxury of time to devote that I had in my years of study (SDC). We realized that the philosophical educator in our pair (LH) would need to help translate between the two disciplines that were confronting each other in our programme. As Yule suggests ‘teachers will always learn from other teachers because they are “there” and because they quite naturally think in practical terms’ (1995: 24). Our teachers needed someone already in the field to operate as a conduit between classroom praxis and philosophical praxis. There was certainly a sense of enthusiasm when teachers and students connected in with someone who had had success in their own school and who could make the connection to their everyday experiences. By working with Lynne, teachers who were perhaps sceptical that it could be done, could see first-hand that it was possible (SDC). 211

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With a clearer understanding of the importance and inter-dependence of our roles, our collaboration became even more exhilarating. Each of us readily acknowledged the shortcomings in ourselves and the expertise of the other. Through this collaboration and the subsequent delivery of the programmes I learnt about philosophers, philosophical theories and about philosophy’s connections to the curriculum. It was exciting and satisfying. However the part that absolutely inspired me, that made sense of everything, was what Sarah described as ‘Theory into Practice’. Suddenly philosophy came to life (LH). We also realized that there needed to be a closer connection between philosophical theory and practice to the teacher’s own hopes and experiences. If teachers were to make inquiry in the classroom philosophical, we needed to find an entrance for them that would give them the impetus to connect with the theory. In order to do this, we worked hard to show how philosophy connected to the curriculum they were required to adhere to as well as to the wider education objectives that aligned with philosophical theory (SDC). We began by talking, planning and exploring ideas and possibilities for placing teachers’ knowledge and values in the centre. We took a philosopher and a philosophical theory and engaged in activities to bring those to life in the classroom. For example, Carol Gilligan’s ‘Ethic of Care’ was illuminated through practical Heinz Dilemma adaptations that related to the teachers’ own lives. We then discussed how these theories would look in classrooms and the teachers wrote age-appropriate scenarios that illustrated the dilemma. The result of this approach was that teachers who had previously seen philosophy as out of their reach could suddenly see the relevance to their own lives, to their own practice, to their subject area and, importantly, to the students in their care. This led to an increase in their confidence and a willingness, even excitement, to try philosophy in their classrooms. Teachers began to wonder, talk and write about Plato’s Cave, The Trolley Problem, and the Prisoners’ Dilemma. They chatted about these things in their spare time. Philosophy came alive. This was the part that had been missing in my own efforts to prepare teachers for philosophy in the classroom. Our collaboration provided that part, and I think I have become a better teacher-educator as a result (LH). We concluded that while it is vital that teachers understand the philosophical underpinnings of P4C materials and their other curricula, in order for them to help students locate philosophical meaning in those materials and in their lives, this must be introduced to teachers in the context of an engaging, open-ended and respectful inquiry that begins from their own professional aims, expertise and questions.

Implications for future direction in teacher preparation in P4C Working together led to a continual review and reconstruction of our practice in teacher preparation. Despite many years working individually in preparing teachers to use philosophy in the classroom with differing levels of success, our interactions elucidated how each of us could strengthen our work with teachers. While such illumination of our own work was the primary purpose of our study, we believe our findings have implications for the broader P4C community. The most significant finding from our study is that enabling philosophy in schools to be philosophical, rigorous and meaningful requires the involvement of both philosophers and educators in the preparation of teachers. In our case, the relationship between philosopher and educator was greater than the sum of our individual parts. The hurdles and opportunities we had experienced operating from either side of this interdisciplinary space were overcome by working together in an equal partnership. Teachers saw how an experienced educator practised philosophy in a classroom, were introduced to philosophical knowledge and skill from a philosopher working in education, and began to see themselves as philosophical educators. 212

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While it may be impossible for all teachers to undergo an equivalent to an undergraduate course in philosophy or for philosophers to receive certification-level preparation in education, it is clear that teacher preparation in P4C must draw equally on both disciplines. Our reflections have exposed four questions in relation to this implication, which need to be addressed by the P4C community. The questions are not new, but some new insights about them became evident through our association. First, how do we find ways to empower teachers to feel that the discipline of philosophy is accessible to them? Splitter suggests involving philosophers in the education community through activities such as seminars for teachers, ‘taking the time to familiarize themselves with schools and classrooms with a view to conducting philosophical conversations with children’ (2006b: 17), and engaging in direct P4C teacher training. He also promotes teachers beginning philosophy in their classrooms alongside their own continued philosophical training and education through seminars and local resources. In addition, our own work suggests the engagement of practitioners with the wider P4C community, drawing on relevant literature and successful models, and having forums through which these opportunities and concerns may be discussed. Second, how can we encourage and facilitate the partnership of philosophers and educators equally in the preparation of teachers? Our experience of a philosopher and an educator team teaching pre-service and in-service courses is one successful model. We found these courses to be an ideal tertiary setting where there could be equal contributions from the disciplines of philosophy and education. We were incredibly fortunate in this regard but it is not impossible to think that this synergy cannot be found elsewhere. Third, what do we mean by doing philosophy with children? Splitter (2006a) suggests a distinction between philosophical process and content – a distinction reflected in challenges expressed by P4C practitioners and in criticisms of P4C in the research literature. Regarding process, the literature contains extensive observations about the need for critical reflection and rigour that separates philosophical inquiry in the classroom from conversation, discussion or even critical thinking in the classroom. However, as Murris (2000) asserts, we should not assume that philosophy with children should look like philosophy with adults. A greater understanding of how children learn, interact and engage in dialogue can only occur when educators and philosophers work in consultation with one another. Philosophical content is usually understood in terms of questions related to ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology and other traditional branches of Western philosophical study. However, we shouldn’t downplay the significant connections between such philosophical categories and the school curriculum. Indeed, as Cam (2006: 48) posits, philosophy ‘makes contact with every learning area. We can see this immediately from the various areas of study that make up academic philosophy, such as philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of mathematics, of biology, of history, and so on. Philosophy is a Central Station through which one can travel backwards and forwards to other areas of study in all directions’. Indeed, some of the most positive feedback we received in our programme pertained to how teachers saw philosophy as enhancing the way they understood other school subjects. Lastly, how can we best prepare teachers at the pre-service level to use philosophy in their classrooms? Given the hurdles both authors faced from either side of the disciplinary boundary in preparing teachers already in the field, it seems reasonable to suggest that the most successful entrance to philosophy for teachers would take place during their pre-service education. In a climate where practical, standardized knowledge is valued over questioning and theoretical adventure, a reassessment is required. Philosophy of education has all but disappeared from pre-service vernacular (Peters 2009) despite its application to practice. Our experience suggests 213

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that teachers already in the field have concerns related to the time and effort required to engage fully with a discipline that is new to them, which also leads to a lack of confidence. If philosophy were introduced in pre-service education – either in a dedicated way or intertwined with the other disciplines (mathematics, the arts, history, English) – it would be seen as a natural aspect of teaching, rather than a separate field to learn. Knight and Collins (2010, 2013) similarly advocate for introducing philosophy theory and practice into pre-service education. Their work with pre-service teachers has shown significant improvements in philosophical understandings by those destined for the classroom. We were able to experience in a small way what pre-service P4C preparation would be like in our undergraduate course, but more dedicated approaches are required if we are to have sustained success. Our partnership shed light on what we both had to learn in terms of our own approaches to teacher preparation. But it also solidified for us how valuable our experience was for teacher preparation on the whole. An ideal model would include both a philosopher and an educator in equal standing in order to provide a balance of the two necessary sets of expertise. Failing that, productive teacher preparation can be undertaken by either a philosopher with experience in education, or an educator with knowledge of philosophy. The critical thing is that teachers understand the need to study and practise philosophy itself, and that the community preparing teachers find ways to connect that study and practice to teachers’ knowledge, questions, concerns and goals.

References Barnes, D. (1998) Looking forward: the concluding remarks at the Castle Conference. In: Hamilton, M.L. & Pinnager, S. (Eds.) Reconceptualising teaching practice: self-study in teacher education. London: Falmer Press, ix–l. Cam, P. (2006) Philosophy and the school curriculum: some general remarks. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(1), 35–51. Clandinin, D.J. & Connelly, F.M. (2000) Narrative inquiry: experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Freakley, M. & Burgh, G. (2000) Engaging with ethics. Katoomba, New South Wales: Social Sciences Press. Gardner, S. (1995) Inquiry is no mere conversation (or discussion or dialogue): facilitation is hard work! Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 3(2), 38–49. Golding, C. (2006) What is philosophy in schools? Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(1), 1–21. Gregory, M. & Granger, D. (2012) John Dewey on philosophy and childhood. Education and Culture: The Journal of the John Dewey Society 28(2), 1–25. Haynes, J. (2008) Children as philosophers. New York: Routledge. Hamilton, M. & Pinnegar, S. (1998) Reconceptualising teaching practice. In: Hamilton, M.L. and Pinnager, S. (Eds.) Reconceptualising teaching practice: Self-study in teacher education. London: Falmer Press, 1–4. Knight, S. & Collins, C. (2010) Enlivening the curriculum: the power of philosophical inquiry. Theory and Research in Education 8(3), 305–318. Knight, S. & Collins, C. (2013) Opening children’s minds to philosophy: the crucial role of teacher education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46(11), 1–10. Lipman, M. (2004) Philosophy for Children’s debt to Dewey. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 12(1), 1–8. Peters, M. (2009) The philosopher as exile. Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference, Hawaii December 2009. Available at: (Accessed 2 December 2015). Scholl, R. (2014) ‘Inside-out Pedagogy’: Theorising pedagogical transformation through teaching philosophy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education 39(6), 89–106. Splitter, L. (2006a) Philosophy in a crowded curriculum. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(2), 4–14.


What’s philosophy got to do with it? Splitter, L. (2006b) Training teachers to ‘teach’ Philosophy for Children. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 14(2), 15–31. Turgeon, W. (2013) Teachers bringing philosophy into the classroom. In: Goering, S., Shudak, N.J. and Wartenberg, T.E. (Eds.) Philosophy in schools: an introduction for philosophers and teachers. New York: Routledge, 9–20. Yule, S. (1995) On trusting teachers with philosophy. Critical and Creative Thinking: The Australasian Journal of Philosophy for Children 3(1), 23–27.



Research directions and methods in Philosophy for Children

Introduction This final section of the Handbook includes a selection of research studies carried out recently in P4C, from around the world, which indicates the range of research interests and approaches adopted by scholars in this growing field. The chapters are diverse in terms of their focus of interest, their informing disciplines and their research methodologies. The section includes two reports of empirical studies of children’s critical thinking, drawn from different types of classroom data; a collection of shared practitioner self-studies focused on the role of the P4C facilitator; a conceptual and theoretical enquiry about the philosophical teacher; and a chapter based on a literature review and proposing a new research agenda on the positionality of the teacher, particularly in respect of race and ethnicity. Each of these chapters has implications that extend well beyond the field of P4C into broader areas of education, pedagogy and childhood studies. In the chapter: ‘Who talks? Who listens? Taking “positionality” seriously in Philosophy for Children’, Amy Reed-Sandoval and Alain Carmen Sykes explore the need for further research on ‘positionality’ in the P4C classroom, particularly with regard to race and ethnicity. Drawing from insights in Feminist Epistemology, Critical Race Theory and Multicultural Education scholarship, as well as P4C scholarship, they argue that Philosophy for Children scholars and practitioners should become far more attentive to ways in which the racial and ethnic ‘positionality’ of both students and teachers impacts on the dynamics and politics of the community of philosophical inquiry. The chapter that follows, ‘Empowering global P4C research and practice through selfstudy: The Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i International Journaling and Self-Study Project’, is a collaborative exploration of such ‘positionality’. Amber Strong Makaiau (USA), Jessica Ching-Sze Wang (Taiwan), Karen Ragoonaden (Canada) and Lu Leng (China) used self-study methodologies and online journaling to examine the nuanced roles of the P4C teacher facilitator. They argue that the insights gained from this international research collective provides the basis for a sustainable and culturally-responsive professional development approach to inform the work of other globalized P4C teacher educators, practitioners and researchers. In ‘Dialogical critical thinking in kindergarten and elementary school: Studies on the impact of philosophical praxis in pupils’, Marie-France Daniel, Mathieu Gagnon and Emmanuèle 217

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Auriac-Slusarczyk report on a number of research studies investigating young children’s expression of critical thinking. Drawing on the historical literature on critical thinking, they are concerned to identify young children’s cognitive development and to develop a stronger and more nuanced account of critical thinking. Their chapter also demonstrates the impact of the P4C programme in kindergarten and primary school. Empirical studies of enquiry-based teaching in subjects such as science form the basis for the argument of the next chapter, ‘Reconstruction of thinking across the curriculum through the community of inquiry’. The authors, Kim Nichols, Gilbert Burgh and Liz Fynes-Clinton, elucidate how teaching thinking skills develops teachers’ and students’ dispositions towards deeper thinking and inquiry. Research findings are drawn from two large-scale longitudinal studies in primary schools in Brisbane, Australia. The final chapter, ‘Philosophy for teachers: between ignorance, invention and improvisation’, written by Walter Omar Kohan, Marina Santi and Jason Thomas Wozniak, sets out to enrich our understanding of Philosophy for Children by working through a problematization of three key concepts: ignorance, invention and improvisation. Invoking the figures of Socrates, Matthew Lipman, Jacques Rancière and Simón Rodríguez, they propose that philosophical teaching in P4C entails not knowing: unlearning what we have already learnt and composing in the moment our way of thinking, of being a teacher and/or of being in an educational or social institution.


25 WHO TALKS? WHO LISTENS? Taking ‘positionality’ seriously in Philosophy for Children Amy Reed-Sandoval and Alain Carmen Sykes

Introduction This chapter reflects the following set of philosophical commitments and assumptions. Our respective ‘positionalities’ influence how we perceive and understand the world, as well as how our efforts to perceive and understand the world are viewed by others. We take the term ‘positionality’ to refer to one’s social location in relation to an existing economic, political, cultural and social network (Martín Alcoff 2008: 148). In accordance with feminist standpoint theory, we view this social network as one of power relations that influence ‘both the nature of the world we aim to understand and our efforts to understand it’ (Rouse 2009: 202). Standpoint theorists argue that their research can have liberatory effects for oppressed communities and researchers (Harding & Norberg 2005; Collins 2009). A standpoint-grounded examination of Philosophy for Children (P4C) programs presents possibilities for exploring their potentially liberatory, and potentially marginalizing, effects. We submit, following Linda Martín Alcoff, that one’s positionality ‘is a place from within which meaning can be discovered and values interpreted’ (Martín Alcoff 2006: 148). It is correlated to ‘kinds of perceptual practices and bodily knowledges that, as such, may fall beneath the cracks of the sort of beliefs that can be assessed in rational debate (ibid.: 92). This working understanding of ‘positionality’ has clear connections to Positioning Theory in social psychology, which explores how context, particularly in the realm of ‘rights and duties’ in a given local, both shapes and gives meaning to our linguistic interactions (see Harré 1999). Let us proceed, then, with these philosophical assumptions: (1) one’s positionality, or one’s social location, is relevant to how we interpret values and discover meaning; (2) this is a process that often falls beneath the cracks of rational debate; and (3) one’s positionality influences how others perceive one’s efforts to understand and make claims about the world. With these assumptions in mind, we shall argue that concerns of positionality ought to be taken seriously in the research, scholarship and practice of Philosophy for Children (P4C). Why should positionality matter to P4C? Philosophy for Children classes are often organized in accordance with Matthew Lipman’s and Ann Margaret Sharp’s prominent Community of Inquiry (COI) pedagogical technique. In a COI the facilitator often begins by reading a philosophically inviting text to her or his students. Then, the students are asked to raise a range of philosophical questions that the starting point has inspired for them. The facilitator 219

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writes these questions on the board and the students then vote on which question they would like to begin to explore. Throughout the questioning and voting process, Matthew Lipman argued, ‘some points are emphasized much more than others, suggesting that the comments of the group reveal what it thinks is important. In short, the emerging agenda for the discussion suggests both a variety of perspectives and a sense of proportion’ (Lipman 1998: 278). In cultivating philosophical thinking through a COI, Lipman argues, P4C facilitators are promoting a ‘higher-order democracy’ by teaching their students how to ‘think reasonably.’ We support the venerable democratic goals of P4C (on this point, see also Sharp 1991). However, drawing upon several important recent critiques of prominent Philosophy for Children methodologies, we argue that while these techniques are a definite improvement on the ‘banking education’ they aim to replace, they nevertheless underserve, and perhaps even marginalize, children who suffer epistemic injustice. Children and youth who are positioned such that their lived experiences and philosophical questions are socially under-valued and unrecognized, and thus under-represented in class, may struggle to articulate the questions that are most meaningful to them in the P4C classroom. Furthermore, they may not perceive any relevance to their lives of those classroom discussions in which their interests are not represented. This may leave them feeling silenced, and therefore less likely to participate in the COI; on this point see also Karin Murris (2013), who argues that children may be silenced through the ways in which adults in authority hear and interpret their contributions. Because of this, a COI that does not take positionality seriously may reinforce the epistemic authority of dominant social groups whose perspectives will be normative in the P4C classroom—thereby undermining P4C as a truly democratic process. This chapter is primarily concerned with children in P4C classes who are positioned as racial and ethnic minorities. This is because, while there has been a considerable amount of important scholarship on gender, feminism and P4C (see, for instance, Sharp 1989; Turgeon 1997; Bleazby 2009), the dynamics of race and ethnicity in the P4C classroom remain relatively unexplored. It is important to note that while there is a limited amount of scholarship exploring economic class and sexuality in the P4C classroom (see D’Angelo 1979; Gregory 2004), these are also areas that deserve significantly more philosophical attention. For considerations of space, however, we shall not be exploring these aspects of positionality and P4C in depth, but we highlight them as important avenues of future research. This chapter argues for greater attentiveness to considerations of positionality in the research and practice of P4C, particularly with regard to race and ethnicity. Our analysis is informed by insights of Critical Race Theory (CRT) (Delgado 1989; Ladson-Billings 1998; Howard 2010) and multicultural education scholarship, as well as the attentiveness to ‘the positionality of the child’ (qua child) in P4C. We end by providing four concrete recommendations for research avenues on the subject of race/ethnicity and P4C.

Why positionality matters in P4C The positionality of the child in P4C scholarship Interestingly, Philosophy for Children was itself born of a concern for positionality—that of children and youth, broadly understood. Indeed, in arguing that children are capable of doing philosophy, pioneering Philosophy for Children practioners also argued that children’s philosophical capabilities are systematically ignored, under-served and marginalized in our existing social order. In doing so, they articulated childhood and the very act of doing philosophy as a child in terms of the economic, political, cultural and social network that often surrounds it. 220

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For instance, Matthew Lipman (1980) was clearly reflecting on the positionality of children (qua children) when we explained that ‘since children do not have full formed frames of reference in which to place each experience as it happens, each such experience takes on a puzzling, enigmatic quality. No wonder, then, that children wonder at the world’ (Lipman 1980: 33). Here, Lipman acknowledges that children are (comparatively) ‘new to the world’ and thus approach it with a robust sense of philosophical wonderment that does not always occur for adults. With this understanding of childhood in mind, other P4C scholars have explored the distinctive philosophical ‘style’ of children, as well as the relationship between childhood and play (see, for instance, Guarda 1986; Weinstein & Cannon 1986; Gils 1995; Stanley 2012). This literature acknowledges the positionality of children (qua children) through exploring how the philosophical process that children engage in often differs from that of many adults. It renders clear that we cannot understand the philosophical capabilities of children strictly in terms of ‘adult methods’ of doing philosophy. There are other important ways in which P4C scholars have reflected upon the social networks surrounding childhood. A number of P4C scholars have written specifically on the issue of children’s rights (see, for instance, Matthews 1994). This literature shows that in understanding children as philosophical we come to understand them as rights-bearers. Conversely, in seeing how children are systematically denied rights we come to understand more fully the pressures that thwart children who strive to do philosophy. As we can see, P4C scholarship is remarkably sensitive to the positionality of children qua children. More recently, however, a few P4C scholars have begun to explore how other features of many children’s positionalities—particularly race and ethnicity—tend to be neglected in P4C practice and scholarship. We now turn to this small but important literature.

P4C and race/ethnicity In the small amount of existing literature on P4C and race and ethnicity one finds two prominent, interrelated strands of concern. First, several authors have argued that COI and ‘picture book philosophy’ not only under-serve, but perhaps even marginalize, the philosophical questions and perspectives of racial and ethnic minority students. Second, several authors have pointed to limitations in popular P4C literature and lesson plans for the purpose of serving racial and ethnic minority students. Both of these concerns are attributed to the fact that P4C methodologies are employed in the absence of any explicit acknowledgement on the part of the P4C facilitator of the racial dynamics that may influence and surround the P4C classroom. An important illustration of how prominent P4C methodologies (particularly COI) can under-serve and perhaps even marginalize children and youth who are racial and ethnic minorities comes from Nell Rainville (2000), who argues in her Philosophy for Children in Native America: A post-colonial critique that while Philosophy for Children is often presented as both intrinsically democratic (in its methodology), as well as useful for the purpose of teaching children and youth how to be active democratic citizens, she has ‘yet to find a paper in the growing Philosophy for Children literature which acknowledges that ways in which our so-called democratic institutions have arisen out of, and continue to perpetuate, the political, economic and ideological and cultural oppression of Native Americans’ (Rainville 2000: 65–66). She further argues that Philosophy for Children instructors, in striving to ‘remain philosophically neutral’ about socio-political issues, may in fact contribute to the marginalization of Indigenous peoples if Native American students are represented in the classroom. 221

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This is because, she argues, ‘a lack of public recognition for Aboriginal peoples and their concerns may make it difficult for students to formulate challenges toward, and to articulate their reasons for wanting to challenge, dominant societal and classroom perspectives’ (ibid.: 69). Furthermore, Rainville argues that ‘in many cases children may be aware of their own, or others’, discomfort [with regard to dominant classroom perspectives about racism and colonialism] but lack familiarity with the concepts or the vocabulary necessary for responding to this awareness’. These are ways in which a lack of explicit concern for the positionality of Native Americans and Native children and youth in the P4C classroom underserves Native American children. But Rainville argues further that failure to attend to how Native children are positioned may in fact marginalize them even further. This is because a ‘philosophically neutral’ P4C class may contribute to a ‘cultivated ignorance of non-Natives’ (ibid.: 68) by allowing non-Native students to believe that they are participating in an ideal democratic dialogue without having to engage with the thoroughly undemocratic political context that surrounds them. Another powerful critique of the lack of dialogue about race and ethnicity in the P4C classroom comes from P4C teacher and scholar Darren Chetty (2014), who argues, following Rainville and Kohan (1995), that ‘it is not neutral to ignore the foundations of systematic discrimination and the ways institutions have arisen out of and continue to perpetuate the oppression of minoritised groups’ (Chetty 2014: 15). Indeed, Chetty argues that P4C picture books like Elmer and Tusk Tusk by David McKee, both of which were recommended to Chetty for the purpose of facilitating P4C dialogues about race, are problematic for this purpose because they do not reflect the way that racism actually operates in our world. Elmer, for instance, tells the story of an elephant who is multicolored like a patchwork quilt and thus does not resemble the other elephants. He gets laughed at and feels ostracized. He therefore rolls around in berries so that an ‘elephant color’ rubs off on him. Over the course of this experience, however, Elmer realizes that he should learn to accept himself as he is—as a multicolored elephant—and the other elephants swiftly learn to accept Elmer, too. While it is easy to see why one might recommend Elmer for the purpose of inspiring P4C dialogue about race, not to mention a range of other philosophical questions, Chetty discusses several key ways in which the text is not suitable for this purpose. First, Elmer is presented as ‘one of a kind’ and thus not a member of a larger group. Chetty argues that ‘as such this is not analogous to multiculturalism or to the lone child of color in a classroom who will most likely have a family’ (Chetty 2014: 19). Thus, the story of Elmer does not reflect the way racism tends to operate in our actual social world, in which whites are a dominant social group, and social groups of people of color are often oppressed along racial lines. Chetty further argues that ‘whilst no discrimination or prejudice is featured in Elmer, Elmer is shown as being so unhappy with his superficial color difference that he attempts to remove the difference.Thus, the problem of being different is not given a social context but seen as a psychological problem’ (ibid.: 20). Chetty argues, again following Rainville, that it is problematic to expect a child of color in a Philosophy for Children classroom, particularly when the child is in a white-majority class with a white teacher, to raise the sorts of questions that will inspire fruitful dialogue about racism in our society. If P4C practioners do not engage more directly and purposefully with racism as it actually operates in our social world (and thus the P4C classroom), Chetty argues, Whiteness will continue to be normalized. He explains that ‘selecting stories that do not trouble the status quo while espousing a commitment to open-ended discussion and the questioning of assumptions invites accusations of ‘doing ideology’, albeit in a subtle form’ (p. 26). Chetty, Rainville and a number of other P4C scholars have pointed to a general lack of adequate P4C picture books dealing with racism in way that parallels our actual social world (Reed-Sandoval 2014; Monteros 2015). 222

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As we have seen, Chetty’s article makes clear the importance of taking positionality seriously in the P4C classroom, with regard to race and ethnicity. Given the realities of our social world it is unsurprising that when P4C facilitators in Western liberal democracies seek to develop a liberal ‘democratic’ and ‘neutral’ COI, even with the very best of intentions, such systemic factors can interfere with this goal. For instance, in a 2010 survey in the United States in which 250 Black and Latino male students were asked about the influence of race on their educations, over 80 percent reported feeling that their race caused teachers to have a negative opinion of them (Howard 2010: 103). This ‘feeling’ is supported by evidence: the US National Center for Education Statistics indicate that Black males and females are almost twice as likely as any other group to be suspended (NCES 2006, cited in Howard 2010). Additionally, Steele’s (1997) research on stereotype threat indicates that students are likely to underperform in situations in which their identity is negatively stereotyped. In educational contexts in which structural racism is present, as demonstrated by differential achievement and discipline rates, we posit that students of color may be less likely to fully participate in P4C programs that are reliant on verbal participation. Blackwell (2010) states that intended anti-racist conversations can marginalize students of color by positioning them as ‘the cultural expert’, ‘the teacher’s aide’ or ‘the witness’. Providing a situation in which students are exposed to philosophical questions and invited to speak is not sufficient to provide an open inquiry. Students of color must also feel safe and empowered to speak.

Avenues for future research on race/ethnicity and P4C We argued in the previous section that positionality should be taken seriously in P4C. Focusing in particular on race and ethnicity, we have aimed to show that P4C classes that do not explicitly acknowledge real, contextualized structural racism in society (and, consequently, in the P4C classroom) may marginalize students of color whose experiences and philosophical perspectives are marginalized in White-normative society. This is because purportedly ‘neutral’ P4C classes may normalize Whiteness and give students the impression that they can engage in the democratic enterprise without reflecting upon systemic injustices that surround them and impact the P4C classroom. In our final section, we provide four recommendations for future research on the subject of race/ethnicity and P4C. The first avenue for future research that we recommend pertains to the racial/ethnic positionality of the P4C teacher/facilitator. Under this rubric we have identified two core themes that warrant future research (note that this list is of course not exhaustive). First, more research should be done on ways to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the P4C community and amongst P4C teachers. In the book Change(d) agents: new teachers of color in urban schools, Achinstein and Ogawa (2011) indicate that the presence of teachers of color has a positive correlation with increased academic performance, particularly amongst students of color (while increased academic performance is not always a goal of P4C teachers, it is often a goal of the systems within which they are situated). It decreases school absences and increases enrollment in advanced coursework and college attendance (McIntyre & Pernell 1983; England & Meier 1986; Fraga, Meier & England 1986; Meier, Stuart & England 1989, cited in Achinstein & Ogawa 2011; Farkas, Grobe, Sheehan & Shaun 1990; Hess & Leal 1997; Klopfenstein 2005). We submit that increasing representation of teachers of color in P4C may have a positive impact on the comfort-level and ease of philosophical questioning of students of color in the P4C classroom. In addition, it can increase the range of topics and approaches to philosophizing featured in the P4C classroom. Thus, further research should be conducted on how to increase racial and ethnic diversity amongst P4C teachers themselves. 223

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Second, we recommend that additional research be done on strategies that teachers— including White teachers—can employ to navigate their own racial positionalities in the P4C classroom. Parmar and Steinberg (2008) write convincingly about the value of discussing one’s racial, ethnic, and religious identity with students. By deserting a ‘color and identity-blind ideology,’ these educators—one of whom identifies as White and Jewish, the other of whom identifies as Asian Indian—found that they were able to connect more effectively with Black and Hispanic students in a class that uses hip-hop to explore music and art. Howard (2010) and Nieto (2010) emphasize that educators should explore personal identity prior to engaging with students. This is particularly significant in the United States, where the numbers of students of color are rapidly increasing, but over 80 per cent of the teaching force is White and female. Indeed, because of the history of structural and institutional racism in the United States, it is important that educators closely consider how they may be perceived by students. We submit that P4C scholars should explore the role of the teacher not only as the seer of the students, but also as seen by them. The P4C teacher is engaged in a dynamic relationship in which ‘teacher’ and ‘students’ are affected by their positionalities. A third recommended avenue of future research pertains to the potential power of silence in P4C students. We suggest that silence should be re-conceptualized as a valuable form of philosophical participation. It is obvious that speech is a highly valued form of participation in Philosophy for Children programs. As this chapter has suggested, however, this can be problematic for children who feel marginalized in the class and thus do not feel safe expressing their ideas verbally. We believe that taking positionality seriously in P4C requires that P4C practitioners be attentive to and philosophically curious about student silences. To support this, further research needs to be done on non-verbal forms of participation in Philosophy for Children programs. We should pursue the question of how silences, facial expressions, tears and physical motion can be rendered philosophically meaningful and how these forms of participation can be integrated into lessons. Our fourth recommendation pertains to the implications of P4C teaching (at its most successful) for racial and ethnic minority students who are navigating an educational system that is mired in racism. To be clear, we certainly do not deny the value of providing to students of all backgrounds the opportunity to engage in philosophical exploration. However, given the fact of racism in so many schools and institutions around the world, we should be concerned about how young people of color will be perceived by authority figures when they think critically and openly question authority after learning these skills in their P4C class. As previously discussed, African American and Hispanic students experience much higher rates of disciplinary action than White or Asian students in the United States. If a Black or Hispanic student questions White-normative epistemic authority outside of P4C using the discourse skills that she has been practicing in her philosophy class, will she be disciplined for insolence while a White child is applauded for her critical thinking skills and anti-authoritarian stance? Again, this is not an argument for denying P4C to racial and ethnic minority students. Rather, we are suggesting that additional research about the broader implications of P4C training for children and youth of color is required if we are to take positionality seriously in the P4C classroom.

Conclusion The term ‘positionality’ refers to one’s social location in relation to an existing economic, political, cultural and social network. This chapter maintains that one’s positionality is relevant


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to how we interpret values and discover meaning. This is a process that often falls beneath the cracks of rational debate. One’s positionality influences how others perceive one’s efforts to understand and make claims about the world. We have seen that there is, in fact, a wellestablished precedent for considering positionality in P4C—in terms of ‘the positionality of the child’ (qua child) as a situated yet ever-shifting identity. Clearly, positionality is highly relevant to the enterprise of Philosophy for Children, given the emphasis that P4C places on discovering meaning and interpreting values through COI and ‘picture book philosophy’. Race and ethnicity, however, remain relatively under-explored in P4C scholarship, but this is, fortunately, starting to change. We have suggested four different avenues for future research through which this lacuna can begin to be addressed.

References Achinstein, B. & Ogawa, R.T. (2011) Change(d) agents: New teachers of color in urban schools. New York: Teachers College Press. Blackwell, D.M. (2010) Sidelines and separate spaces: making education anti-racist for students of color. Race, Ethnicity and Education 13(4): 473–494. Bleazby, J. (2009) Philosophy for children as a response to gender problems. Thinking 19 (2–3): 70–78. Chetty, D. (2014) The elephant in the room: Picturebooks, philosophy for children and racism. Childhood & Philosophy 10(19): 11–31. Collins, H. (2009) Black feminist thought. New York and London: Routledge Classics. D’Angelo, E. (1978) The ideological nature of teaching philosophy to children. Revolutionary World 26: 55–60. Delgado, R. (1989) Storytelling for oppositionists and others: a plea for narrative. Michigan Law Review 87(8): 2411–2441. Gregory, M. (2004) Being out, speaking out: vulnerability and classroom inquiry. The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education 2(2): 53–64. Guarda, V. (1986) How does the child benefit from philosophy for children? Thinking 6(3): 30–31. Harding, S. & Norberg, K. (2005) New feminist approaches to social science methodologies: an introduction. Signs 30(4): 2009–2015. Harré, R. (1999) Positioning theory: Moral contexts of intentional action. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Inc. Howard, T.C. (2010) Why race and culture matter in schools: closing the achievement gap in America’s classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press. Ladson-Billings, G. (1998) Just what is critical race theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 11(1): 7–24. Lipman, M. (1980) Philosophy in the classroom. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (1998) Teaching students to teach reasonably: some findings of the philosophy for children program. The Clearing House 71(5): 277–280. Martín Alcoff, L. (2006) Visible identities: race, gender, and the self. New York: Oxford University Press. Matthews, G. (1994) The philosophy of childhood. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Monteros, A. (2015) Philosophy for children in the Mexico-US borderlands (unpublished manuscript). Murris, K. (2013) The epistemic challenge of hearing child’s voice. Studies in Philosophy of Education 32(3): 245–249. Nieto, S. (2010) The light in their eyes: creating multicultural learning communities (10th anniversary edition). New York: Teachers College Press. Rainville, N. (2000) Philosophy for children in Native America: a post-colonial critique. Analytic Teaching 21(1): 65–77. Reed-Sandoval, A. (2014) The Oaxaca philosophy for children initiative as place-based philosophy: why context matters in philosophy for children. The APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 14(1): 9. Rouse, J. (2009) Standpoint theories reconsidered. Hypatia 24(4): 200–209. Sharp, A.M. (1989) Women, children, and the evolution of philosophy. Analytic Teaching: The Community of Inquiry Journal 14(1): 6–51. Sharp, A.M. (1991) Community of inquiry: education for democracy. Thinking 9(2): 31–37. Stanley, S. (2012) Why think? Philosophical play from 3–11. London: Continuum.


Amy Reed-Sandoval and Alain Carmen Sykes Steele, C. (1997) A threat in the air: how stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist 52(6): 613–629. Turgeon, W. (1997) Reviving Ophelia: a role for philosophy in helping young women achieve selfhood. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 13(1): 2–4. Weinstein, M. & Cannon, D. (1986) A survey of philosophical thought in children. Analytic Teaching 6(2): 12–13.


26 EMPOWERING GLOBAL P4C RESEARCH AND PRACTICE THROUGH SELF-STUDY The Philosophy for Children Hawai‘i International Journaling and Self-Study Project Amber Strong Makaiau, Jessica Ching-Sze Wang, Karen Ragoonaden and Lu Leng

This chapter explores how four international Philosophy for Children (P4C) researchers use self-study methodologies (Loughran, 2007) to systematically examine the nuanced roles of a teacher facilitator in a philosophy for children Hawai‘i (p4cHI) community of inquiry. It also offers sustainable structures for supporting the professional development of P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers like us. Respectively from the USA, Taiwan, Canada, and China, we came together in the spring of 2014 to form the p4cHI International Journaling and SelfStudy Project. Inspired by the findings of a recent study that reported on the positive role of self-study and online journaling in an international p4cHI research collective (Makaiau, Leng & Fukui, 2015), our group was interested in experimenting further with this new direction and method in P4C research. We wanted to: 1

Expand the culturally responsive international p4cHI research collective that was initially created by Makaiau, Leng, and Fukui (2015); 2 Explore the role of a p4cHI teacher/facilitator with international partners; 3 Reflect on the professional and personal impact of belonging to an international research collective; 4 Disseminate and mobilize knowledge relating to the professional development of P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers. In this chapter, we recount how the methods of self-study and interactive online journaling led us to the discovery of emergent pedagogical tensions in our practice as p4cHI teacher/ facilitators. These tensions revolve around reflections arising from our conceptions of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). SoTL engages faculty to reflect upon and initiate positive 227

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changes to curricula and pedagogical practices (Hubball, Clarke, & Poole, 2010). In our case, scholarly reflections focused on (1) the dichotomy of having a Socratic or Confucian approach to teaching and learning; (2) developing community or fostering inquiry with students; (3) acknowledging or deconstructing the cultural mores of our international contexts; and (4) focusing on technical or creative modes of professional practice. We purposely frame the tensions not as binary opposites, but within a balanced holistic perspective, similar to the yin and yang. In our conclusion, we share the new knowledge gained from our collaborative work and we position self-study research methodologies and online journaling as a professional development model for globalized P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers.

Background and theoretical framework p4cHI is Thomas Jackson’s (2001) teacher-lead and culturally responsive offshoot of Lipman’s original P4C movement. It is an innovative approach to education that transforms the schooling experience by engaging learners in the activity of philosophy. p4cHI practitioners set out to convert traditional classrooms into ‘intellectually safe’ (Jackson, 2001: 460) communities of inquiry where students and teachers co-create and co-construct their abilities to think for themselves in responsible ways. Defined by both a theoretical framework and actual set of classroom strategies, p4cHI is best characterized as a philosopher’s pedagogy (Makaiau & Miller, 2012) that can be adapted and modeled to fit the needs of students in a wide range of educational settings. It is for these reasons that p4cHI practitioners are now found in a number of locations across the globe, and why researchers like us, who are working to study p4cHI in a wide range of geo-sociopolitical contexts, need methods that bend to the interests of our diverse backgrounds and facilitate a common ground for us to discuss and to reflect together. Tracing its roots back to teacher inquiry (Dewey, 1938), action research (Loughran, 2004), and reflective practice (Schön, 1983; Zeichner & Liston, 1996), self-study is a research methodology used by teachers and teacher educators to create structures for ongoing professional development (Beck, Freese, & Kosnik, 2004; Macintyre & Buck, 2007) in a variety of cultural contexts. It is a systematic analysis of practice that acknowledges how the integration of ‘self in research design . . . can contribute to our understanding of teaching and teacher education’ (Hamilton, Smith, & Worthington, 2008: 17). Aimed at promoting the development of ‘personal, constructivist, and collaborative’ (Beck et al., 2004) professional communities of inquiry, self-study is a promising methodology for researchers like us, who are ‘concerned with both enhanced understanding of teacher education in general and the immediate improvement of our practice’ (LaBoskey, 2007: 818). With that said, concerns relating to the validity in the research process of self-study exist. To address them, self-study researchers systematically and rationally examine their professional practice in teaching by collecting extensive data, analyzing and processing their instructional situations, and reflectively examining critical events throughout their personal and professional lives. They not only acknowledge the role of the self in research, but also emphasize that the focus is not on the self but more the relational space between the self and practice. In this self-study we used an interactive online learning journal (Lee, 2010; Moon, 2006) to create the conditions that we needed for reflective practice (Loughran, 1996) in our international research collective. In line with Spalding and Wilson (2002), who examined pedagogical strategies for encouraging reflective journal writing, we recognized the importance of using interactive technologies to facilitate our cross-cultural research collaboration (O’Brien, Alfano, & Magnusson, 2007) and overall journaling process (Makaiau, Leng, & Fukui, 2015). We hypothesized that, despite our geographic distance, these methods would provide us with 228

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greater opportunities for ‘constructing our learning together, probing one another’s ideas, and reviewing and reframing our ideas collaboratively’ (Kosnik, Samaras, & Freese, 2006: 153).

Research questions The following research questions were used to guide this study: What does it mean to be a facilitator in a p4cHI community of inquiry? What is the role of interactive online journaling and self-study in the development of our practice and understanding of what it means to be p4cHI facilitators? What is the impact of culture on the role of a p4cHI facilitator?

Data sources Data came from the interactive online journal that we kept with one another and two other colleagues, Mitsuyo Toyoda from Japan and Ann Yeh from Tawain. We wrote in the journal at least once a week for six months (8/28/2014 to 1/8/2015) and we used Google documents to share our writing with one another in a ‘live’ online setting. ‘The content of our journals included personal reflections, perceptions and questions’ (Elliott-Johns et al., 2010: 81). To get our journal started, we used email to brainstorm a set of working guidelines. They included: having each participant select a color to write in, making sure to write once a week, maintaining intellectual safety, asking questions that are important and interesting, engaging in personal reflection and dialogue with others, examining both theoretical and practical aspects of p4cHI, and committing to growing professionally and personally. Then, to launch our online community of inquiry, we each wrote an initial journal entry that answered the following questions: What are three things that you would want others to know about you? What are your previous experiences with teaching/facilitating a p4cHI community of inquiry? What are the reasons that you want to participate in this international self-study journaling project about the role of the facilitator in a p4cHI community of inquiry? From there, new wonderings and insights emerged, and we used those questions and comments to guide further inquiry. This led to ongoing and continuous dialogue, which was characterized by careful listening, questioning, and openness to different viewpoints. At the end of our data collection period, we had 78 pages of single-spaced journal entries and written dialogue. Secondary data sources included emails and analytic memos (Charmaz, 2006; Creswell, 2007).

Data analysis To analyze our data, we drew from the methods of constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). This occurred in three phases. In phase one, we worked on our own and engaged in the analytic process of open coding (Charmaz, 2006). This included placing ‘names’ on the themes that emerged from our back and forth comparison of the data (Charmaz, 2006: 47–57). Then, in phase two, we came together via Skype and worked as critical friends (Miles & Huberman, 1994). We shared our open codes and collectively refined, collapsed, and organized our individual findings. We used the methods of axial (Charmaz, 2006: 60–63) and theoretical coding (Charmaz, 2006: 63–67) to bring together our initial open codes and created a composite set of analytic themes. For each of these themes we specified their ‘properties and dimensions’, and related each theme to sub-themes (Charmaz, 2006: 60). This culminated in the development of four main themes and three related sub-themes. In phase three, we wrote up our findings and collaborated further to revise and refine our thinking. 229

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Collaborative analysis of our journal produced four major themes. These themes, described as tensions, were representative of the choices that we struggled with and tried to balance during our experiences facilitating p4cHI communities of inquiry. They are described in the following sections.

Theme 1: Socratic or Confucian? The first theme to emerge from the analysis of the data relates to the tensions we experienced as we struggled to identify with a generalized approach to teaching and learning. From the data we found that the defining features of a p4cHI facilitator are not static. In our roles as facilitators we were constantly changing, and these adjustments depended on factors like ‘the maturity of community, the framework of classes (whether you are teaching a specific content or not), [and] the flow of dialogue’ (Mitsuyo, 10/10/14). We also learned how we compared ourselves to personas like Socrates and Confucius help us sort through this tension. This comparison first appeared in a journal entry from Jessica: In p4cHI, I often find myself playing two roles at the same time: that of Socrates and of Confucius. The Socrates in me is like a midwife who, by asking questions, tries to help students express and consolidate their inchoate ideas. The Confucius in me is like a mentor who, by sharing and connecting dots of insights, tries to help students enlarge their hearts and minds with powerful ideas and meaningful discoveries. (9/27/14) In response to her entry Amber extended the inquiry by adding, ‘the Socrates and Confucius metaphor is very powerful/helpful . . . where we fall on the scale definitely changes . . . depending how much we feel we ‘know’ about any given topic’ (10/2/14). Further analysis of the data revealed how many of our additional journal entries revisited this idea of a Socrates-Confucius paradigm. In these entries, we described ourselves as being caught between the tensions of wanting to maintain a beginner’s mind (Suzuki, 2010) full of questions, or wanting to impart knowledge. This initial rumination culminated in a search for the distinction between a p4cHI facilitator being more like a teacher or student?

Teacher or student? In our struggle to clarify the differences between teachers and students, many of us wrote about the contradiction between our own educational experiences and the type of p4cHI facilitator that we wanted to be. For example, Lulu explained the divergence between her childhood experiences and her current efforts to practice p4cHI in China. My personal education history furnishes me with a mental model of teaching . . . course objectives, develop students’ activities and plan for assessment . . . but in p4cHI, I need to break the chains and learn to ask myself: is my role to transmit knowledge or nurture independent and critical thinkers? Can I really show respect to every student’s ideas? Am I here to learn from my students? Am I flexible enough to allow students to guide their own learning process? Am I sensible enough to respond to students’ needs and interests? (9/21/14) This entry stimulated Amber’s and Jessica’s thinking. Amber responded ‘we can’t assume that we will always be capable of being the teacher under every circumstance in the classroom, 230

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we have to be open to the role reversing’. Jessica embraced this openness but offered a reminder: ‘to say that children can teach us something is not the same as saying that they are teachers’ (9/9/14). As the dialogue continued we reached a consensus that there was a crucial difference between being a teacher and student: the teacher ‘should model the ideal participant’ (Amber, 12/8/14; Jessica, 1/18/15). This led us to an inquiry about when and where to intervene during a community of philosophical inquiry.

Intervening too much or intervening too little? Questions about good reasons for intervening were prevalent in our journal entries. We thought together about whether or not to enter into the inquiry, or make ‘a suggestion to move in a direction that [the facilitator] believes to be more educationally worthwhile to pursue at that particular point’ (Jessica, 9/14/14). As we explored what we meant by ‘educationally worthwhile’ we recognized that there was an even larger tension at play. This tension related to the decisions we made about whether to focus on the social and emotional needs of our community, or the development of our students’ capacity for inquiry and intellectual growth.

Theme 2: community or inquiry? The second major theme to emerge from the analysis of the data captured our shared struggle to maintain both an intellectually safe and academically challenging classroom community of inquiry. It is illustrated in a journal entry of Amber’s in which she describes a decision that she made while facilitating a p4cHI inquiry with university students. At the end of their inquiry I could sense that a couple of students were beginning to ‘attack’ particular claims that were being made by other students, and I jumped in because I thought it would be a good time to intervene and neutralize the intensity of the inquiry . . . the classroom should be intellectually challenging, but I want it to be done in a pono (Lee, 2006) community where everyone is thoughtful, caring, and thinking about working towards a greater good. (11/7/14) This sentiment was echoed by Jessica who believed that ‘bringing everyone together in a circle facing each other sets up a moral imperative for everyone—namely, the need to learn to be responsible for themselves and for each other’ (11/3/14). This remark led the group to consider whether we should see p4cHI community as ‘a moral community first and a thinking community second,’ (Jessica, 11/3/14) or whether the two are actually ‘so interconnected and dependent on one another’ (Amber, 11/3/2014).

Theme 3: acknowledging or deconstructing culture? It also became apparent during the analysis of the data that, despite our collective belief in the power of p4cHI to promote humane and socially just classroom experiences in diverse settings, we often struggled to reconcile tensions between acknowledging or deconstructing cultural differences in our daily practice. Take for example Mitsuyo’s entry about eye contact. She described how her student asked if ‘it was inappropriate to look eye directly in Japan’, which runs counter to her belief that ‘facial expression and eye contact help us to feel safe’ (10/15/14). Mitsuyo wondered if she should have challenged her own view of communication. Karen also shared her thought about this intercultural tension: ‘In Canadian Aboriginal 231

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cultures, it is considered rude to maintain eye contact, whereas the dominant discourse in Canadian education is that a person who does not maintain eye contact is lacking integrity and honesty’ (11/3/14). Amber responded with more questions, When you look someone in the eye does that mean that we are more safe with one another? Could there be other ways of physical communication or body language that are akin to looking at someone in the eye? Or is there something so special about eye contact that makes it in the biggest indicator of safe relationships? (11/17/14) In her encounter with children in Taiwan, Jessica shared that they did not maintain eye contact. She decided to openly discuss the issue with the children. They admitted feeling shy mostly but agreed that they would concentrate and understand better with proper eye contact. Jessica felt assured to help them develop ‘a new habit, a new way of being with oneself and the other, and a new way of encountering the world’ (10/26/14). Through transcontinental dialogue like this, we learned that deliberations about the impact of culture on our teaching and on our decisions to acknowledge and deconstruct the value-laden mores of each international context are ongoing and necessary considerations when thinking about the role of a p4cHI teacher/facilitator.

Security or risk? Directly linked to the cultural contexts of our practice were feelings of security or risk. In our group, this was especially pertinent to Lulu as she attempted to practice p4cHI in China. In a number of entries, she described feeling powerless in her ability to practice the true spirit of p4cHI—‘the spirit in fostering wonder and inquiry, the spirit of cultivating student-teacher learner, and the spirit of advocating democracy in China . . . but when people can THINK, that is too dangerous, as it may challenge government’s role’ (10/2/14). Coming from a similar cultural context, Jessica and Lulu both saw that p4cHI facilitation can be ‘risk-taking for many teachers’ (Lulu, 9/21/14) because ‘teachers do not know what do with the voices of their students if they happen to fall out of the normal trajectories of the good, right answers’ (Jessica, 12/16/14). In one of Mitsuyo’s journal entries, this fear of uncertainty was also expressed as the tension between self-assurance and self-doubt. I often feel scared to sit in a circle because I worry that I might miss interesting points embedded in what students say . . . then I hear Dr. J saying, ‘relax and just pay attention to children’s voices. You have to enjoy the dialogue.’ I think that is definitely right. If the teacher feels pressured and does not feel safe, she cannot contribute to the dialogue. (10/15/14) With reference to her mentor, Mitsuyo’s candid sharing demonstrates how the support of international partners helps to increase the security and self-assurance that teacher/facilitators need when they are experimenting with p4cHI in new spaces.

Theme 4: technical or creative? The final theme to emerge from the analysis of the data was the tension between needing to adhere to mainstream technocratic approaches to school reform and our collective desire to experience our facilitative roles as creative enterprises. In each of our home countries, 232

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the educational environment did not seem to ‘put much of a premium on imagination, on personal spirit, or creative thinking’ (Karen, 9/11/14), and we struggled between meeting prescriptive external demands and exercising personal judgement. Amber wrote, ‘I guess my question is whether there really are set learning goals that we are striving for when we facilitate a p4cHI style inquiry or is it truly an “in the moment” experience’ (9/10/15). Mitsuyo believed that it should be more creative and open ended. She disagreed with Japanese teachers ‘preparing questions before hand and [guiding] the dialogue, in accordance with their lesson plan’ (10/15/14). In her opinion, this was not p4cHI. Jessica agreed with Mitsuyo and described the p4cHI approach as ‘an art of democracy.’ [This art] is one that cannot be reproduced, that always renews itself and rejoices over itself. Even if P4C classes don’t always present bright pictures, the dark moments will remain the background shadows that can make the brightness shine through. If there are no dark moments, how could there be beautiful creation? . . . No tolerance for digression or failures leads to no growth of the human person (not just the student, but also the teacher). (9/10/14) With this in mind, we rested on the idea that ‘inquiry and social constructivism’, both of which are inherent in a p4cHI approach to education, can effectively be used to ‘teach the standards’ (Lulu, 9/21/14). This was an important take-away for our group of teacher educators who, in their day-to-day interactions with teachers, struggle to maintain the art and craft of philosophical inquiry that is so needed in our profession.

Professional development: what did we learn? As the self-study came to a natural conclusion, we turned our attention to this reflective, inquiry-based process by revisiting our commitment to the improvement of individual practice and teacher education in general. With new understandings about the nuanced roles of a teacher facilitator in a p4cHI community of inquiry, we found ourselves better prepared to communicate the normalcy of uncertainty and confusion in the experiences of teachers who are aiming to convert traditional classrooms into intellectually safe communities of inquiry. More keenly attuned to the impact of place-based cultural contexts on our practice in Hawai‘i, Taiwan, Canada, China, and Japan, we also strengthened our resolve to model and engage in a p4cHI pedagogy that is imbued with a moral ethos of a time and place. Commensurate with SoTL, we realized that the strength of our international research collective was rooted in our connections to and deep understanding of contexts, experiential approaches supported by a robust critical framework, and the pursuit of positive change in educational environments. More aware of the tensions surrounding culture, pedagogical stance, creativity, criticality, and history, we learned how to see the ongoing development of teachers as occurring along a continuum, which can be facilitated through the exploration of reflective practices (Sheets, 2005) in an online journal (Lee, 2010). We also became inspired to cultivate future projects in our research collective, including an investigation into the relationship between p4cHI, critical friendship, and mindfulness.

Connections to P4C literature The role of the facilitator in a P4C community of inquiry is not a new research topic. For example, a number of previous scholars have questioned the kind of education, training, 233

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or qualifications needed for effective P4C facilitation: whether it be basic familiarity with academic philosophy and training in philosophical inquiry itself (Murris, 2000); goals for novice facilitators (Gardner, 2015); the cultivation of philosophical sensitivity (Gardner, 2015; Lone & Israeloff, 2012); or even an epistemological ‘paradigm shift’ (Haynes & Murris, 2011). Other scholars have looked into some of the themes or sub-themes we identified in our findings. Take the tension between inquiry and community as an example. P4C scholars have argued for the need to ‘push for depth’ (Gardner, 2015: 82) or to pursue ‘epistemic progress’ in inquiry (Golding, 2012), while others have called attention to the ‘the emotional life’ in a community (Burgh & Yorshansky, 2011: 445) and a systematic pedagogical approach to educating empathy (Schertz, 2007). While much of this scholarship resonates with the findings from our research, it does not offer sustainable structures for supporting the professional development of international P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers like us.

Significance to future research in P4C To ensure that the worldwide P4C movement continues to grow in responsible ways, P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers from across the globe will need to work together to create culturally responsive professional development models that engage P4C teacher facilitators in inquiry as a means of promoting shifts in practice (Macintyre & Buck, 2007). In this chapter, self-study research methodologies, online journaling, and international faculty partnerships are presented as promising approaches for achieving this goal. Designed to give structure to the ongoing professional development of P4C teacher facilitators, who work in a wide range of cultural contexts and educational settings, self-study and online journaling empower P4C teacher educators, practitioners, and researchers like us, who are interested in self-reflection, dialogue, professional and personal growth, and learning about the crosscultural relationships and connections that can be made between international colleagues.

Acknowledgement Jessica Wang would like to acknowledge her gratitude to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan for supporting this international project (MOST103-2633-H-415-001).

References Beck, C., Freese, A., & Kosnik, C. (2004). The preservice practicum: learning through self-study in a professional setting. In Loughran, J., Hamilton, M.L., LaBoskey, V.K., & Russell, T. (Eds). International handbook self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 1259–1293). Kluwer, Netherlands: Dordrecht. Burgh, G. & Yorshansky, M. (2011). Communities of inquiry: politics, power and group dynamics. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43(5): 436–452. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier Books. Elliott-Johns, S., Peterson, S., Allison-Roan, V., & Ramirez, L. (2010). A cross-continent collaboration: Seeking community to support critical inquiry in teacher education. In Erickson, L.B., Young, J.R., & Pinnegar, S. (eds.). Navigating the public and private: negotiating the diverse landscape of teacher education (pp. 81–84). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.
 Gardner, S. (2015). Inquiry is no mere conversation (or discussion or dialogue): facilitation is hard work. Journal of Philosophy in Schools 2(1): 75–90.


Empowering global P4C research and practice Glaser, B.G. & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine. Golding, C. (2012). Epistemic progress: a construct for understanding and evaluating inquiry. Educational Theory 62(6): 677–693. Hamilton, M.L., Smith, L., & Worthington, K. (2008). Fitting the methodology with the research: An exploration of narrative, self-study and auto-ethnography. Studying Teacher Education 4(1): 17–28. Haynes, J. & Murris, K. (2011). The provocation of an epistemological shift in teacher education through Philosophy with Children. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45(2): 285–303. Hubball, H., Clarke, A., & Poole, G. (2010). Ten-year reflections on mentoring SoTL research in a research-intensive university. International Journal for Academic Development 15(2): 117–129. Jackson, T. (2001). The art and craft of ‘gently Socratic’ inquiry. In Costa, A.L. (Ed.) Developing minds: a resource book for teaching thinking (3rd edition). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Kosnik, C., Samaras, A.P., & Fressse, A.R. (2006). Beginning with trusted friends: venturing out to work collaboratively in our institutions. In Fitzgerald, L., Heston, M., & Tidwell, D. (Eds) 6th International Conference on S-STEP: Collaboration and Community: Pushing Boundaries (pp. 152–156). Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa. LaBoskey, V.K. (2007). The methodology of self-study and its theoretical underpinnings. In Loughran, J., Hamilton, M.L., LaBoskey, V.K., & Russell, T. (Eds). International handbook self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 817–869). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer. Lee, O. (2010). Facilitating preservice teachers’ reflection through interactive online journal writing. Physical Educator 67: 128–139. Lee, P.J. (2006). Ho‘oponopono: the Hawaiian way to put things back into balance. Mountain View, HI: I.M. Publishing. Lone, J.M. & Israeloff, R. (Eds) (2012). Teaching precollege philosophy: the cultivation of philosophical sensibility. In Philosophy and education: Introducing philosophy to young people. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle, UK. Loughran, J. (1996). Developing reflective practice: Learning about teaching and learning through modeling. London: Falmer Press. Loughran, J. (2004). A history and context of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices. In Loughran, J., Hamilton, M.L., LaBoskey, V.K., & Russell, T.L. (Eds). International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 7–39). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer. Loughran, J. (2007). Researching teacher education practices: responding to the challenges, demands, and expectations of self-study. Journal of Teacher Education 58(1): 12–20. Macintyre, L. & Buck, L. (2007). Professional development risks and opportunities embodied within selfstudy. Studying Teacher Education 3(2): 189–205. Makaiau, A.S., Leng, L., & Fukui, S. (2015). Journaling and self-study in an international research collective. Studying Teacher Education 11(1): 64–80. Makaiau, A.S. & Millar, C. (2012). The philosopher’s pedagogy. Educational Perspectives 44(1–2): 8–19. Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Moon, J. (2006). Learning journals: a handbook for reflective practice and professional development. London: Routledge. Murris, K. (2000). The role of the facilitator in philosophical enquiry. Thinking 15(2): 40–47. O’Brien, A.J., Alfano, C. & Magnusson, E. (2007). Improving cross-cultural communication through collaborative technologies. In De court, Y., Ijsselsteijn, W., Midden, C., Eggen, B., & Fogg, B.J. (Eds) Persuasive technology. London: Springer. Schertz, M. (2007). Avoiding ‘passive empathy’ with Philosophy for Children. Journal of Moral Education 36(2): 185–198. Sheets, R.H. (2005). Diversity pedagogy: examining the role of culture in the teaching learning process. Boston, MA: Pearson. Spalding, E. & Wilson, A. (2002). Demystifying reflection: a study of pedagogical strategies that encourage reflective journal writing. Teachers College Record 104(7): 1393–1421. Schön, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Suzuki, S. (2010). Zen mind: beginner’s mind. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications. Zeichner, K.M. & Liston, D.P. (1996). Reflective teaching: an introduction. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


27 DIALOGICAL CRITICAL THINKING IN KINDERGARTEN AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Studies on the impact of philosophical praxis in pupils Marie-France Daniel, Mathieu Gagnon and Emmanuèle Auriac-Slusarczyk

The creator of the Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme, Matthew Lipman, suggests that children are able to mobilize critical thinking (CT), particularly when they are stimulated in this direction through P4C programme, and that they should be encouraged to do so as soon as they start school (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan, 1980). From this perspective P4C is a very useful pedagogy that contributes to improving the quality of education (Lipman, 1995, 2005). CT is one component of reasoning activity, and combines fruitfully with logical and creative thinking, and with caring attitudes to stimulate meaningful thinking about the world, as proposed in the P4C programme (Lipman, 1995). Lipman’s thesis remains controversial in the community of academic philosophers and researchers, and continues to fuel debate. To shed light on this controversy, it is essential to evaluate pupils’ cognitive and epistemological development in order to, first, investigate the philosophical quality of the exchanges and, as a corollary, to illustrate the positive impact of P4C on learning in schools. To that end, many philosophers and researchers involved in P4C have studied ‘evolution’ or ‘epistemic progress’ manifested within pupils’ discourse (among others: Auriac-Slusarczyk & Colletta, 2015; Golding, 2009, 2013; McCall, 2009; Millett & Tapper, 2012; Rondhuis, 2006). Also, since the 1980s, many studies have demonstrated the positive impact of P4C sessions on the development of logical reasoning in elementary and secondary school pupils (for a review: Topping & Trickey, 2007; Trickey & Topping, 2004). However, a review of the literature relating to P4C shows that the only existing empirical studies on CT are conducted with adolescents in secondary school (among others: Collins, 2004; Gagnon, 2011; Haynes & Haynes, 2000; Lam, 2012; Othman & Hashim, 2006). This chapter seeks to answer the following questions: Can P4C contribute to the development of CT in kindergarten and elementary school pupils? What elements should be embedded in the definition of CT? First we present the concept of CT as explored by philosophers. Then 236

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we briefly describe the empirical model of the developmental process of CT that emerged from our analyses of pupils’ exchanges during P4C praxis. Finally, using this model as an analysis grid, we present the results of research projects we conducted with apprentice philosophers aged five to 12 years. Results show that these pupils did in fact engage in the process of CT, as defined in our model.

Critical thinking Where does the concept of critical thinking come from? How is it conceptualized in the field of P4C? How is critical thinking studied empirically in the fields of psychology and epistemology? CT seems to have its source in informal or applied logic. At the beginning of the twentieth century, John Dewey, building on the theoretical model of Charles Sanders Peirce, proposed a reflective method in five steps to provide individuals with a tool to evaluate the causes and consequences of their actions (Dewey, 1903/1933). Dewey stressed the importance of teaching/learning to think, in order to help students to reflect in an autonomous and critical manner. His aim was to improve the quality of the individual and of the democratic experience (1916/1983). The movement of informal or applied logic continued to develop during the 1950s with philosophers such as Max Black and Monroe Beardsley, who attempted to make logic accessible to students. Black did so by associating logic with language, and Beardsley by emphasizing the search for meanings (vs. the search for truth). Then in 1962, Robert Ennis proposed a first definition of the concept of CT based on logical reasoning. Later on, Ennis’s definition of CT came to include two thinking modes, logical and creative, and the intellectual predispositions associated with these modes. These two modes of thinking are included in Lipman’s P4C programme. In the 1980s, the concept of CT was further developed by philosophers such as Richard-Stanley Peters, John Passmore and Michael Scriven, to name only a few. Their works represent a significant contribution to recognition of the importance of thinking in education. Today, the most quoted definitions of CT are those of Ennis (1962, 1985), Lipman (1988), John McPeck (1990), Richard Paul (1990) and Harvey Siegel (1988) (for more information, see Auriac-Slusarczyk, Adami & Daniel, 2011). Since Lipman is the creator of the P4C programme, with his first collaborator AnnMargaret Sharp and with Frederick Oscanyan, we succinctly present his definition of CT, inspired by the works of Peirce and Dewey. For Lipman, CT contributes to reinforcing complex thinking, which is mobilized through peer dialogue concerning situations, concepts or principles associated with daily life (Lipman, 1995). CT is a tool to counter non-reflective thinking and action. Individuals need critical thinking in order to think well and to evaluate, among all the information received, the most relevant in accordance with the objectives they pursue. At the core of Lipman’s definition is the notion of ‘good judgment’, that is, judgment that takes into account the central elements of a problem and follows the inquiry steps to solve it. In this sense, CT is governed by criteria, is self-correcting and is sensitive to context (Lipman, 1988, 2003). Like Lipman, many proponents of P4C consider CT to be a meaningful tool for the reconstruction of society, but only to the extent that it is embedded in a non-indoctrinating pedagogy such as the community of inquiry (Fisherman, 2010; Matt, 1985; Tsiplakides, 2011; Weinstein, 1988). Some maintain that CT aims at the rational validation of achievements, structures and values based on criteria (Weinstein, 1988, 1994). Others define CT as thinking that is imaginative (Pritchard, 1987), autonomous and open to differences (Matt, 1985), and


Marie-France Daniel et al.

that falls within the scope of inter-relational and dialogical ethics (Boe & Hognestad, 2010). CT is thinking that questions (Scholl, 2005) and searches for meanings (Nowell, 1995) to the extent that the content of discussions among pupils is contextualized based on the pupils’ school and family experiences (Weinstein, 1988). Proponents of P4C consider that CT, unlike the problem-solving approach with which it is sometimes confused, cannot be evaluated with standardized tests, which are too restrictive (Gagnon, 2011; Matt, 1985; Pritchard, 1987). Over the last thirty years, researchers from various fields (i.e. health sciences, developmental psychology, epistemology) have been empirically investigating CT in students (students not involved in P4C). Among these, some establish a correlation between the development of CT and the personal epistemological development of students. A review of the literature indicates that most studies are conducted with adolescents and particularly with young adults attending college and university (for an overview: Hofer & Pintrich, 2011). To measure the development of CT, most researchers use interviews or individual tests that are primarily associated with applying the rules of formal logic (Kwak, 2007).

Empirical research Over the past ten years, we have conducted research projects on CT1 in 28 groups of pupils aged five to 12 years from several countries (Quebec, Ontario, France, Mexico and Australia).2 Analyses were carried out on transcripts of pupils’ exchanges during P4C sessions.3

Phase 1. Toward a model of the developmental process of (dialogical) critical thinking The first research result we obtained was based on the qualitative methodology of Grounded Theory (GT) (Charmaz, 2005). The objective of a GT analysis is to draw out a new understanding of a phenomenon from data collected on the ground. Thus, although we were familiar with the classical definitions associated with CT, we focused on the pupils’ manifestations of CT. A developmental process of dialogical CT emerged from our analyses of pupils’ exchanges. In this process, CT is referred to as ‘dialogical’ CT (DCT) to highlight and clarify that CT mobilized within the P4C community of inquiry emerges from interactions and dialogue among peers. Philosophical dialogue stimulates divergence in points of view, which raises doubts or cognitive conflicts in pupils’ minds. The teacher can participate in raising these doubts by asking pupils for counter-examples, different alternatives and so on. These doubts and cognitive conflicts represent the starting point of the reflective and critical process (Dewey, 1903/1933). The analyses revealed that DCT is not exclusively oriented towards argumentation and conceptualization (logical thinking). DCT also encompasses reflection based on divergent relationships with the intention of transforming perspectives (creative thinking), evaluating behaviours and social/ethical values to improve societal bases for human life (responsible thinking), and reconsidering one’s thoughts and perspectives in order to self-correct one’s representations of the world and one’s relationship to or engagement in the world (meta-cognitive thinking). The analyses of the transcripts also revealed that the manifestations of these four thinking modes (logical, creative, responsible, meta-cognitive) included in our interpretative model are articulated along a spectrum from the simpler to the more complex. We used the notion 238

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of ‘epistemological perspectives’ to express the diversity of manifestations inherent in each thinking mode and also to account for the increasingly complex process of DCT in pupils. Here epistemology refers to a relational epistemology (versus an individual one) that situates the development of thinking within a process of social construction: a process of dynamic thought and language construction with others (Thayer-Bacon, 2003). The concept of perspective refers to the groups of pupils’ representations of the world (i.e. are their representations of the world centred on the self? Are they open to others’ points of view or alternatives? Are they striving towards responsible improvement of society?). To guide the interpretation of subsequent transcript analyses, six epistemological perspectives that progressively emerged from repeated transcript analyses were named as follows: Egocentricity, Post-Egocentricity, Pre-Relativism, Relativism, Post-Relativism/ Pre-Intersubjectivity and Intersubjectivity (examples to illustrate the epistemological perspectives can be found in Daniel & Gagnon, 2011; and Daniel, Pettier & Auriac, 2011). In the perspective of Egocentricity, pupils’ representations of the world are personal and concrete, and statements are simple and generally isolated from peers’ ideas (vs. relationships). In PostEgocentricity there is a slight decentring of representations that refer to the specific experience of the pupils’ immediate surroundings (i.e. family members). In Pre-Relativism, points of view underlie the beginning of generalized representations but remain rooted in the concrete environment. In Relativism, pupils’ statements are issued from reasoning, based on experience; they may present concrete and/or incomplete justifications; and statements imply convergent relationships between points of view. In Post-Relativism/Pre-Intersubjectivity, representations involve conceptualized statements that introduce divergent relationships; they presuppose the beginnings of a constructive evaluation. In Intersubjectivity, statements are conceptualized and justified with criteria; they are not expressed as closed conclusions but rather as questionings; the relationships they underlie are divergent; and they seek correction and transformation of perspectives toward a Common Good (see Daniel & Gagnon, 2016). The operational model (see Appendix) became a meaningful tool for evaluating the pupils’ developmental process toward DCT.

Phase 2. Some empirical results The model of the developmental process of DCT was used as a grid to analyse pupils’ exchanges during one full school year, and thus to identify which thinking modes and epistemological perspectives are mobilized when pupils philosophize (see Daniel et al., 2005; Daniel & Gagnon, 2011, 2012; Daniel, Pettier & Auriac, 2011). In this chapter, we limit the presentation of results to the epistemological perspectives without differentiating the thinking modes. For kindergarten pupils, results reveal that in most groups, at the end of the school year, the epistemological perspective of Pre-Relativism predominates, no matter what the subject, and no matter who acted as facilitator. A comparative study was then conducted with two groups of kindergarten pupils (experimental and control groups) who shared the same socio-economic and school conditions. The experimental group of apprentice philosophers tried to answer the question: ‘Are we free?’, whereas the control group asked themselves: ‘What is love?’ By grouping results linked to Egocentric (Egocentricity and Post-Egocentricity) and Relativist (Pre-Relativism and Relativism) perspectives, we obtain the following results (see Table 27.1): 35 percent of pupils’ interventions in the experimental group were manifested in an Egocentric perspective and 65 percent in a Relativist perspective, whereas in the control group, 60 percent of interventions were manifested in an Egocentric perspective and 40 percent in a Relativist perspective. 239

Marie-France Daniel et al. Table 27.1  Comparison between two kindergarten classrooms Group with P4C Egocentricity Post-Egocentricity Pre-Relativism Relativism

11% 24% 54% 11%

Group without P4C {35%} {65%}

35% 25% 36%  4%

{60%} {40%}

Is Pre-Relativism a simple or complex perspective for kindergarten pupils? To find out, we compared results from the kindergarten experimental group with a group of fifth graders who had no experience of philosophical praxis, and who were participating for the first time in an exchange on a question related to the same theme as the kindergarten group: ‘What does it mean to be free?’ Results (see Table 27.2) indicate that a greater percentage of kindergarten pupils’ interventions was situated in Egocentricity in comparison to fifth graders (11% vs. 1%); a greater percentage of fifth graders’ interventions was situated in Relativism (17% vs. 11%) and in Post-Relativism (1% vs. 0%) compared to those of kindergarten pupils; in both groups of pupils the predominant epistemological perspective was Pre-Relativism (54% and 53%). From this latter data, we might infer that Pre-Relativism is a complex epistemological perspective for kindergarten children. We compiled results on epistemological mobilization in other groups of elementary school pupils who participated in the research (pupils from different countries who had different discussion themes and whose teachers had different facilitating styles). These results show that after one year of philosophical praxis with P4C, the groups from the first cycle of elementary school were generally situated in a Pre-Relativist epistemology with a tendency toward Relativism, and that the groups from the second cycle of elementary school were generally situated in Relativist epistemology with a tendency toward Post-Relativism. A single group from the second cycle of elementary school that had more than two years of P4C praxis mobilized DCT consistent with Intersubjectivity. Again, we can ask: is Relativism a complex perspective for pupils at the end of elementary school? Results from two distinct studies, using the developmental process model of DCT as an analysis grid, and conducted among undergraduate university students, indicate that the epistemology of these young adults fluctuates between Egocentricity and Relativism (Forges, 2013; Lechasseur, 2015). Given these results, Relativism would appear to be a complex epistemological perspective for pupils at the end of elementary school.

Table 27.2  Comparison between two groups of different ages

Egocentricity Post-Egocentricity Pre-Relativism Relativism Post-Relativism

Kindergarten with P4C

Fifth grade without P4C

11% 24% 54% 11%  0%

 1% 28% 53% 17%  1%


Dialogical critical thinking in kindergarten

Discussion From a theoretical point of view DCT differs from CT, as the components of DCT were not ‘inferred’ from existing definitions, but rather ‘emerged’ from the analyses of philosophical exchanges among pupils. As a result, DCT comprises four thinking modes and six epistemological perspectives. It is essential that these components be included in a definition of CT because they better illustrate the complexity of pupils’ thinking and its progress following P4C praxis. From an empirical point of view, results compiled from the literature show the impact of P4C on the development of logical reasoning in elementary and secondary school students, and they showed the mobilization of CT in adolescents. The results of the research presented in this chapter demonstrate for the first time that P4C has a significant impact on the mobilization of DCT among pupils in kindergarten and elementary school. Moreover, most of the results compiled on logical reasoning relied on a quantitative paradigm, that is, they issued from standardized tests. The appropriateness of using standardized tests is regularly questioned in the study of CT and P4C. Conversely, the results on DCT issued from observing classroom interactions and analysing transcripts of exchanges among pupils. The qualitative methodology employed not only supports the quantitative results concerning the impact of P4C on the pupils’ cognitive development, but also, and mainly, provides indications of the thinking modes and epistemological perspectives that are involved in DCT. In that sense, the qualitative method allows us to widen and increase our comprehension of the processes of mobilization and development of DCT when children engage in philosophical dialogue.

Conclusion Can P4C contribute to the development of CT in kindergarten and elementary school pupils? Innovative and exploratory results corroborate Lipman’s thesis insofar as the results show that apprentice philosophers from kindergarten and elementary school are able to engage in the co-construction of DCT when they are stimulated by an approach such as P4C. These results do not indicate that children mobilize an accomplished DCT, one that is anchored in Intersubjectivity, but the results do indicate that children’s representations of the concepts discussed transcend the simple perspectives associated with Egocentricity, being situating within more complex epistemologies. In addition, the developmental model of DCT provides researchers and teachers with a tool for systematically evaluating pupils’ cognitive and epistemological evolution and progress when they are engaged in P4C praxis, and thus for assessing the value of the philosophical quality of their exchanges. It would be appropriate to conduct further empirical research in other groups of pupils, of different cultural, socio-economic and educational backgrounds to verify/complete the current results. It would be relevant to examine, for example, the components inherent in DCT and their interactions. It would also be useful to examine the influence of educational policy on the developmental process of DCT; to study the impact of the adults’ teaching style on pupils cognitive and epistemological development; and to verify whether pupils can mobilize DCT on their own without the intervention of a teacher, and whether DCT is retained as a competency in the long term, when philosophical praxis is no longer present.


Appendix: operational model of the developmental process of DCT Mode/ Epistemological perspective






Statement based on the perceptual experience of a specific and personal fact.


Statement based on experience (personal or someone close) and reasoning.


Somewhat generalized statement that is not justified, or has an implicit, circular or false justification.


Incomplete or concrete justification (explanation)/ reasoning based on experience.

Post-Relativism/ PreIntersubjectivity

Justification based on ‘good reasons’/simple reasoning.

Retrospective Statement that Statement that statement is related to gives meaning about a a personal to a personal and personal and and specific concrete point of specific task, behaviour view. point of view, tied to a feeling, etc. social or moral belief. Particular/concrete Retrospective Statement that statement statement tied gives meaning about a to a moral to a personal personal task, or social rule point of view point of view, (learnt). Not (but distanced feeling, etc. contextualized. from self). (distanced from self). Descriptive Statement linked Statement that is retrospective to a somewhat new, divergent of a personal generalized or that presents task, point of action in a different view, feeling, moral or social situations/ etc. (distanced perspective. solutions/ from self). hypotheses (units) in relation to a personal idea or to someone else’s idea (peer or text). Descriptive/ Statement that Relationship that explanatory explains a will gives meaning retrospective to understand/ to a peer’s of another include others point of view person’s task, (from the (by completing thought, etc. immediate it or adding a (immediate environment). nuance). environment). (contextualized). Descriptive/ Statement that Relationship explanatory justifies a desire that presents a retrospective to understand/ different context of another include that takes person’s task, others (distant into account thought, environment) the group’s etc. (distant (contextualized). perspective. environment).

Dialogical critical thinking in kindergarten Intersubjectivity

Evaluative Justification based relationship on criteria. that provides Conceptualization a different based on meaning and evaluative transforms the reasoning. perspective. Conceptualization Transformation

Evaluative Doubt that statement underlies the that expresses evaluation of a change in categories (rules, perspective principles, following the social/moral integration of values). criticism. Categorization Correction

Notes 1 The research projects were subsidized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2 Principal investigator: Marie-France Daniel. Collaborators: Louise Lafortune, Richard Pallascio,Teresa de la Garza, Christina Slade, Laurance Splitter (Project 1). Mathieu Gagnon, Emmanuèle Auriac-Slusarczyk (Project 2). 3 For methodological details, see Daniel et al., 2005; Daniel & Gagnon, 2011.

References Auriac-Slusarczyk, E. & Colletta, J.-M. (Eds) (2015). Les ateliers de philosophie: une pensée collective en acte. Clermont-Ferrand, France: Presses universitaires Blaise-Pascal. Auriac-Slusarczyk, E., Adami, J. & Daniel, M.-F. (2011). Tester les prédispositions à l’esprit critique au primaire. Psychologie & Education 1: 55–80. Boe, M. & Hognestad, K. (2010). Critical thinking in kindergarten. Childhood & Philosophy 6(11): 151–165. Charmaz, K. (2005). Grounded theory in the 21st century: applications for advancing social justice studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd edition) (pp. 507–537). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Collins, C. (2004). Education for a just democracy: the role of ethical inquiry. (Doctoral dissertation). University of South Australia, Adelaide. Daniel, M.-F. & Gagnon, M. (2011). A developmental model of dialogical critical thinking in groups of pupils aged 4 to 12 years. Creative Education 2(5): 418–428. Daniel, M.-F. & Gagnon M. (2012). Pupils’ age and philosophical praxis: two factors that influence the development of critical thinking in children. Childhood & Philosophy 8(15): 105–130. Daniel, M.-F. & Gagnon M. (2016). Dialogical critical thinking with 5 to 12 year-old pupils: a continuous epistemological development. In G. Gibson (Ed.) Critical thinking: theories, methods and challenges (pp. 45–76). New-York: Nova Publishers. Daniel, M.-F., Lafortune, L., Pallascio, R., Splitter, L., Slade, C. & de la Garza, T. (2005). Modeling the development process of dialogical critical thinking in pupils aged 10 to 12 years. Communication Education 54(4): 334–354. Daniel, M.-F., Pettier, J.-C. & Auriac, E. (2011). The incidence of philosophy on discursive and language competencies of pupils aged four years. Creative Education 2(3): 296–304. Dewey, J. (1903/1933). How we think. Boston: Heath and Co. Dewey, J. (1916/1983). Démocratie et éducation. Introduction à la philosophie de l’éducation. Artigues-prèsBordeaux: L’Âge d’Homme. Ennis, R. (1962). A concept of critical thinking. Harvard Educational Review 32(1): 81–111. Ennis, R. (1985). Critical thinking and the curriculum. National Forum: Phi Kappa Phi Journal 65(1) : 28–31. Fisherman, D. (2010). Thinking as two – philosophy, critical thinking and community of inquiry. Childhood & Philosophy 6(12): 211–227.


Marie-France Daniel et al. Forges, R. (2013). Formation initiale des enseignants en enseignement de l’ÉPS. Étude des manifestations d’une pensée critique visée, manifestée et stimulée. (Doctoral dissertation). Montreal: Université de Montréal. Gagnon, M. (2011a). La pratique de la philosophie en communauté de recherche et le développement de la pensée critique d’adolescents. In M. Gagnon & M. Sasseville (Eds) La pratique de la philosophie en communauté de recherche: applications et enjeux (pp. 267–282). Quebec City: PUL. Gagnon, M. (2011b). Proposition d’une grille d’analyse des pratiques critiques d’élèves en situation de résolution de problèmes dits complexes. Revue Recherches Qualitatives 30(2): 122–147. Golding, C. (2009). ‘That’s a better idea!’ Philosophical progress and philosophy for children. Childhood & Philosophy 5(10): 223–269. Golding, C. (2013). We made progress: collective epistemic progress in dialogue without consensus. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47(3): 423–441. Haynes, F. & Haynes, B. (2000). The development of a conceptual framework for critical thinking and problem solving in K12. Critical and Creative Thinking 8(1): 15–22. Hofer, B. & Pintrich, P. (2011). Personal epistemology. The psychology of beliefs about knowledge and knowing. New York: Routledge. Kwak, D. (2007). Re-conceptualizing critical thinking for moral education in culturally plural societies. Educational Philosophy and Theory 39: 460–470. Lam, C.-M. (2012). Continuing Lipman’s and Sharp’s pioneering work on philosophy for children: using Harry to foster critical thinking in Hong Kong students. Educational Research and Evaluation 19(2): 187–203. Lechasseur, K. (2015). Modélisation de la mobilization des savoirs par une pensée critique chez des étudiantes en sciences infirmières lors de stages cliniques. In G. Kpazaï (Ed.) Pensée critique et innovations dans la formation universitaire (pp. 109–137). Montreal: Éditions Peisaj. Lipman, M. (1988). Critical thinking: what can it be? Educational Leadership 46(1): 38–43. Lipman, M. (1995). À l’école de la pensée. Brussels: De Boeck Université. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M. (2005). Renforcer le raisonnement et le jugement par la philosophie. In C. Leleux (Ed.) La philosophie pour enfants: le modèle de Matthew Lipman en discussion (pp. 11–24). Brussels: De Boeck Université. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.-M. & Oscanyan, F. (1980). Philosophy in the classroom. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Matt, B. (1985). Coming to terms on critical thinking. Analytic Teaching 6(1): 14–18. McCall, C. (2009). Transforming thinking: Philosophical inquiry in the primary and secondary classroom. London: Routledge. McPeck, J. (1990). Critical thinking and subject specificity: a reply to Ennis. Educational Researcher 19(4): 10–12. Millett, S. & Tapper, A. (2012). Benefits of collaborative philosophical inquiry in schools. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44(5): 546–567. Nowell, L. (1995). Education as meaning-making and the development of critical thinking. Analytic Teaching 15(2): 19–25. Othman, M. & Hashim, R. (2006). Critical thinking and reading skills: A comparative study of the reader response and the Philosophy for Children approaches. Thinking 18(2): 26–35. Paul, R. (1990). Critical and reflexive thinking: a philosophical perspective. In B.F. Jones & L. IdolMaestas (Eds) Dimensions of thinking and cognitive instruction (pp. 445–494). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Pritchard, M. (1987). Critical thinking: problem-solving or problem creating? Analytic Teaching 8(1): 2–29. Rondhuis, T. (2006). Philosophical quality of children’s thinking patterns. Thinking 18(3): 16–22. Scholl, R. (2005). Students’ questions: Developing critical and creative thinkers. Thinking 17(4): 34–46. Siegel, H. (1988). Educating reason: rationality, critical thinking and education. New York: Routledge. Thayer-Bacon, B. (2003). Relational ‘(e)pistemologies’. New York: Peter Lang. Topping, K.J. & Trickey, S. (2007). Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: cognitive effects at 10–12 years. British Journal of Educational Psychology 77: 271–288. Trickey, S. & Topping, K.J. (2004). ‘Philosophy for children’: A systematic review. Research Papers in Education 19(3): 365–380. Tsiplakides, I. (2011). Critical and creative thinking in the English language classroom. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 1(8): 82–87. Weinstein, M. (1988). Reason and critical thinking. Informal Logic 10(1): 1–20. Weinstein, M. (1994). Critical thinking and the psycho-logic of race prejudice. Analytic Teaching 14(2): 21–33.



Thinking skills pedagogies, like those employed in a community of philosophical inquiry (COI), provide a powerful teaching method that fosters reconstruction of experience (Dewey, 1938), and its collaborative, dialogic approach enables students to think deeply about the thinking process within a supportive, structured learning environment, by fostering the transformative potential of lived experience. Our proposition here is that COI-based approaches transform thinking in both teachers and students that allows them to successfully engage in, and integrate, inquiry-based interactions and thinking behaviours across the curriculum. Based on a systematic review of 13 empirical studies of thinking skills interventions across primary and secondary classrooms, Baumfield (2006) presents the notion that thinking skills approaches, like those utilised in a COI, are powerful pedagogical strategies because they provide access to students’ thinking and they stimulate teacher inquiry. Baumfield’s review revealed that the importance of fostering teacher inquiry skills is that the teacher models and promotes inquiry behaviours in students. Teachers have a greater tendency to pose higher order questions when they use a thinking skills approach which models higher order questioning behaviours for students. The supposition is that this facilitates student higher order questioning. These changes in classroom dialogue are critical to inquiry-based learning and deeper, greater metacognitive abilities. When teachers engage in teaching thinking skills they commonly find a change in students’ enthusiasm to learn and are surprised by this shift in engagement. Baumfield describes this as a cognitive dissonance experienced by teachers that arises from being surprised by the new and unexpected abilities that students are demonstrating. A study by Scholl, Nichols and Burgh (2014) with 59 primary school teachers (teaching years or grades one to six), with a broad range of teaching experience (one to 20 years), from five socio-demographically similar metropolitan schools in Brisbane, Australia, showed that the COI intervention group (n = 32 teachers) demonstrated this dissonance and the comparison group trained with thinking tools (n = 27 teachers) did not. Teachers were astounded by students’ responses in the classroom: ‘Some of the things they come out with, just actually blow me away because it’s that deeper thinking that they can do, that you don’t always appreciate with small children that they have it in there (Scholl, Nichols & Burgh, 2014: 265). This dissonance is an 245

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important instigator for shifting pedagogy toward genuine inquiry; one that supports higher intellectual quality in the classroom through higher order questioning, substantive conversation and problematising knowledge, which in turn transforms interactions that promote students’ higher order thinking (Scholl, Nichols & Burgh, 2014). Classroom interactions in the COI and comparison groups were coded with a productive pedagogies framework around intellectual quality (Lingard et al., 2001). At three months post intervention, teachers in the COI intervention group demonstrated statistically significantly higher intellectual quality in their classrooms compared to the teachers in the comparison group (large effect sizes = 0.41 to 0.87 on different quality dimensions; substantive conversation – 0.41; deep understanding – 0.61; problematising knowledge – 0.87). Teachers’ reflections on their teaching, as a result of implementing COI in their classroom, confirmed the quantitative findings. One year six teacher commented that the COI: made me question and think about the way that I look at issues within the classroom and how valuable the contributions that the children have, not that I didn’t think that they were valuable, but giving them an opportunity to really talk about the big issues in life and it’s made me really think about the questioning techniques that I use. (Scholl, Nichols & Burgh, 2014: 267) Another interesting aspect of this shift in classroom behaviours and dialogue is the cognitive dissonance experienced by the students: a necessary condition for the development of students’ questioning and other inquiry skills. Baumfield argues that the development of teacher inquiry strategies elicits responses from students and these responses provide the catalyst for change in student behaviours. The Scholl, Nichols and Burgh (2014) study showed that teachers recognise the benefits of a COI on the development of students’ inquiry skills and see COI as ‘a tool or instrument to get the children to think more deeply about everything not just a discussion about a story but [to] get them to be inquiring in science’ (year or grade 2 teacher, cited in Scholl, Nichols & Burgh, 2014: 265). This chapter explores the potential for dissonance during students’ experiences of inquiry to be transformed into impetus for the acquisition and improvement of social and intellectual inquiry capabilities and thinking behaviours. We use two studies (see Nichols, Burgh & Kennedy, 2015; Fynes-Clinton, 2015), conducted by our research group at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, as contexts for reflection on the kinds of student transformations to which Baumfield (2006) refers. We start with a description of the research findings from these studies and then turn to philosophical reflection on those findings, focusing on the notion of reconstruction prevalent in Dewey’s educational theory and which underpins the conception of COI as pedagogy. The first study (Nichols, Burgh & Kennedy, 2015) sought to explore the impact of providing teachers with an inquiry-based science curriculum and embedded inquiry pedagogical intervention (COI) in comparison to the same inquiry science curriculum and embedded non-inquiry pedagogical intervention (collaborative strategic reading) on student questioning and other inquiry skills. The study involved 227 students from 18 teachers’ classrooms in nine socio-demographically similar primary schools across the city of Brisbane, Australia. The teachers were randomly allocated by school to one of the two conditions. The comparison condition received training in four inquiry-based science units and in collaborative strategic reading. The experimental group, COI condition, received training in facilitating a COI in addition to training in the same inquiry-based science units. The researchers followed the students across the teaching of four science topics (Living and Non-living Things, Cells, Forces, and Genetically Modified Crops) over years (grades) 246

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six and seven. Students’ discourse during small group activities was recorded and then coded for question types (procedural and substantive; Splitter & Sharp, 1995), questioning levels (recall, analytic and evaluative; Gall, 1970) and other inquiry skills (developing ideas, exploring alternatives, exploring key concepts, testing hypotheses and drawing conclusions; Cam, 2006). This study provided two clear results. First, that learning through a COI approach to science inquiry improved students’ substantive and procedural higher order questioning as well as other inquiry behaviours and supported students to transfer and apply these skills across contexts (multiple science topics). The results showed that the students in the COI condition maintained these behaviours and demonstrated significant improvements throughout the two years of the study. The inference drawn is that implementing a COI within inquiry science develops students’ questioning and other inquiry behaviours that support student engagement with science and society into the future. It allows teachers to foster in their students the inquiry skills required by the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2014). Second, the study showed that, no matter the quality of a science inquiry unit, providing only inquiry-based curriculum resources to teachers is not sufficient in supporting teachers to promote the questioning and other inquiry skills predicated by the Australian Curriculum. Teachers require quality pedagogical interventions that enable them to think about and inquire into the topics they are teaching. The findings of this study showed that embedding primary school teacher professional development in COI as inquiry pedagogy, when compared to collaborative strategic reading as non-inquiry pedagogy, into a science inquiry curriculum results in a significant shift in primary school students’ higher order questioning (large effect size – 0.76) and other inquiry skills Table 28.1  Examples of student (i.e. S1, S2, S3) inquiry skills from coded discourse (from Nichols, Burgh & Kennedy, 2015) Inquiry skill

Examples from student discourse

Developing ideas

S1: With social, will they turn the job market upside down in making GM food? S2: Is it possible that GM may be our future? S3: Is it possible that GM is our next future food? What about economic? S2: Is it benefitting us or only the farmers? S3: The government and farmers. S1: What if you’re allergic to bananas? S2: Then they’ll make bananas that are allergy free. S1: So, is it [GM] beneficial to us? Are the farmers the only ones that are benefitting from the economic – from money? S2: For the environment – cross-pollination. What happens when there’s cross-pollination? S1: The plant that is cross-pollinated to . . .  S2: It changes its DNA and then that becomes GM. S1: But it doesn’t break . . . (Pause) Does the car have cells? S2: How do we know that? You can’t stick a needle into it. Otherwise the needle would break. And it has cells, gas cells, molecules. S1: That’s from petrol. S1: But what happens when they [cars] crash? If it can break, what does that mean? S2: If it breaks and it doesn’t work again, that would tell that it isn’t living. S1: That is true.

Exploring alternatives Exploring key concepts

Testing hypotheses

Drawing conclusions


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(large effect size – 0.51). The study also showed there was a statistically significant improvement across the two years of the study, from the first year to the second year, in student higher order questioning in procedural categories (e.g. ‘Are we going to explain safety features of the bike with Newton’s laws?’), and in substantive categories (e.g. ‘What if the cell wall is like a fence and the cell membrane is the big entry and exit?’) (large effect size – 0.79), as well as other inquiry skills (large effect size – 0.67; see Table 28.1 for examples). These effect sizes are consistent with a meta-analysis of 29 empirical studies (Higgins et al., 2005) on the impact of using thinking skills interventions on primary and secondary school students’ attainment in science, mathematics and literacy. The overall mean effect size for the impact of thinking skills interventions on students’ reasoning skills in these learning areas was 0.58. These data, and the statistically significant changes in inquiry skills across the Nichols, Burgh and Kennedy (2015) longitudinal study, favour the notion that ‘cultivating the disposition of critical thinking is necessary before implanting the skills’ (Facione et al., 1995: 9). The research discussed here suggests that engaging in COI simultaneously and systematically involves teachers and their students in deep transformational learning and provides evidence for the process of reconstruction. In other words, COI nurtures students’ disposition toward critical thinking as demonstrated by a shift in inquiry skills and competencies. The findings of this study imply that infusion of COI pedagogy into scientific inquiry learning has the potential to invoke in students a state of cognitive dissonance (Facione et al., 1995; Harmon-Jones & Judson, 1999), where they are put into a situation of conflicting beliefs, attitudes, behaviours or knowledge. The dissonance is a state of discomfort that comes from a discrepancy between a students’ prior knowledge and understanding and new information or interpretation. This state of discomfort can motivate students to try to reduce the dissonance by changing their behaviour, justifying the inconsistency or ignoring the conflict. Thinking skills pedagogies, like a COI, nudge students into and out of this dissonance or conflict and help them resolve or adjust through a change in their thinking and behaviours. Peirce (1887) first identified this state of discomfort as genuine doubt in one’s own and others’ beliefs, knowledge and interpretations that induces students into behaviours that support resolution if they are exposed to problem-solving experiences as in a COI (Burgh & Thornton, 2016). This process toward critical thinking involves a mediation phase or time for the brain to seek solutions, without which the learner will regress to a state of acquiescence. Critical thinking is both a process and an outcome. As an outcome it involves deep conceptual understanding as well as content-specific critical inquiry abilities, skills and dispositions (Gabbard & McBride, 2001). Inquiry-based skills that are at the heart of critical thinking, such as questioning, developing ideas, exploring alternatives, testing hypotheses and drawing conclusions, are developed through self-correction and what Facione et al. (1995) refer to as consistent internal motivation to resolve internal conflict, engage with problems and make decisions, by adjusting thinking and behaviours. Thinking skills pedagogies, like those employed in a COI, nurture those habits of mind and provide opportunities to use thinking to resolve problems. Dewey (1922) proposed that students acquire these habits of mind from interactions with our habitat, especially the socio-linguistic habitat. He argued that the mind identifies with acts and deeds through participation in socio-linguistic practices and institutions of a community to develop habits, hence habits of mind. As an example, in the second study (Fynes-Clinton, 2015) students were asked to think about their experiences in class and also their participation in community of philosophical inquiry lessons over a number of years, specifically in relation to changes that had taken place


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for them as a result of this participation. The responses below provide examples of students’ metacognitive understanding of the changes that had taken place for them as active participants in a reconstructive process. Thinking and learning attributes such as risk-taking, focus, exploration of new ideas, collaboration and consideration of the perspectives of others were identified by the students. S1: Ah, I think like it’s unlocked like, you know, the other things of life that no one usually concentrates, no one usually thinks about, for me like it’s made me think about stuff that I usually just don’t – like it makes me explore unknown regions. Here the student is acknowledging that as a result of experiencing philosophical inquiry lessons a shift has occurred to cause a reconstruction of his thinking to those things he wouldn’t have thought about before and to step out into exploration or inquiry of the unknown. S2: I reckon like, before I had this, people used to see me as a straight thinker – like a straight line – but since I’m, since I went into philosophy it made me, it’s made me bend that line to make um – and people have now been seeing me as a better thinker. This student has recognised that others have noted a change in his thinking to be more complex and higher order in nature. S3: Um, I thought that philosophy did sort of built myself today – sort of like that because I’m – I usually think philosophically – like I don’t think from my own perspective and I also – with philosophy I like to um think of reasoning – a lot more. Like when I was younger and I didn’t do philosophy I think I was much more sorta in my own negative, fixed mind set as you could say – but after I sorta started getting into philosophy I realised that there’s a lot of things that you can do and you can discuss, and life’s better when you discuss things and you talk about things rather than [just] having your own opinion and not having other people’s sort of feedback and not having a discussion about things. The kind of thinking demonstrated by this and the other students is illustrative of deep reflective thinking, which is an active engagement in learning that emerges from a balanced, dynamic interplay among four key elements: (1) immersion in the practice of COI and its emphasis on philosophy; (2) the development of a repertoire of intellectual inquiry skills and processes; and (3) explicit attention to metacognitive practice; leading to (4) reconstruction of thinking and transformation of self (see Figure 28.1). A key focus of this second study was on the reconstruction of thinking through engagement in a COI. It is noteworthy how students’ discourse often demonstrates moments of hesitation where doubt may be cultivated through a COI. In the process of engaging in a COI, and paying attention to both its procedural and substantive dimensions, students draw on all three fundamental but overlapping foundations of philosophy that characterise and unify the discipline: ontology, epistemology and value theory. Through the acquisition of habits of thinking, being and acting (reflecting and acting on values and beliefs), students are able to engage in the practical reconstructive process as active learners. The reconstruction of thinking is the result of the reconstruction of social and personal habits; a transformative process brought about through the relationship of habits and habitat


Kim Nichols, Gilbert Burgh and Liz Fynes-Clinton

Reconstruction of Thinking and Self

Metacognitive Practice

Repertoire of Intellectual Skills and Processes

CPI — Immersion in Philosophising

Figure 28.1  Reconstruction of thinking and self.

(the interaction between the self, community and the environment in which these interactions take place) in an ongoing process of reconstructing experience through communal inquiry. Dewey explains this as ‘habits formed that are more intelligent, more sensitively percipient, more informed with foresight, more aware of what they are about, more direct and sincere, more flexibly responsive than those now current’ (Dewey, 1922: 90). Communal inquiry begins with experiencing doubt or felt discomfort and moves towards creating a ‘unified whole’ (Dewey, 1938: 108). Students learn by starting with a genuine problem and then engaging in inquiry until this problem is resolved. To Dewey, this is the key to developing the inquiry behaviours demonstrated in our first study. Dewey’s ideas can be traced back to Peirce (1887), who referred to inquiry as the space between genuine doubt (a state of disequilibrium) and a fixed belief (a state of equilibrium). Subsequently, he proposed the notion of a community of inquirers as a regulative ideal to facilitate the tension between these two contradictory felt experiences. It was a reaction to the Cartesian view of knowledge from the certitude of introspection and led him to the conclusion that thinking must be subject to a rigorous inquiry to correct and revise theories. To this end, he made the distinction between genuine doubt and paper doubt, which lacks the ‘heavy and noble metal’ of genuine doubt. He coined the term in rejection of absolute scepticism as a construct grounded in the theoretical rather than in practice. Paper-doubt or the pretence of doubt is merely self-deception, typically illustrated by Descartes’ cogito. If doubt is to be genuine, ‘it must actually interfere with my firmly fixed belief-habit and accompanying habitual action, causing me to hesitate and put my beliefs to the test in the form of inquiry’ (Burgh & Thornton, 2015: 9). As such, genuine doubt acts as a gadfly, a persistent irritant that challenges our view of reality and established beliefs. In other words, Peirce perceived genuine doubt to occur when an action or actual experience brings about a feeling of disequilibrium resulting in one’s need to revise an existing belief; an irritating quality with an inherent capacity to motivate us to substitute doubt with the satisfaction of belief. The irritation of doubt is the only immediate motive for the struggle to attain belief. It is certainly best for us that our beliefs should be such as may truly guide our actions so


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as to satisfy our desires; and this reflection will make us reject any belief which does not seem to have been so formed as to insure this result. But it will only do so by creating a doubt in the place of that belief. With the doubt, therefore, the struggle begins, and with the cessation of doubt it ends. Hence, the sole object of inquiry is the settlement of opinion. (Peirce, 1887: 6) In other words, the presence of genuine doubt is a feeling of unease or irritation that arises from ‘the dissatisfaction of contradictory experiential episodes that throw into disarray habitual beliefs which result in habitual actions being disrupted’ (Burgh & Thornton, 2015: 9). It is this need that elicits an inquiry based on the epistemic position of fallibilism. Peirce also saw genuine doubt ‘as a prime mover for wonder which is the beginning of inquiry aimed at reconstruction of beliefs and habits’ (Burgh & Thornton, 2015: 3). For Peirce (1931) ‘the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge that you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksuredness’ (Pierce, 1931: Section 1.13). Moreover, in his First Rule of Logic, Peirce stated that ‘in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not be satisfied with what you already incline to think’ (Peirce, 1899/1998: 48). If inquiry begins in wonder then the first rule is to wonder; or as Peirce put it: ‘Do not block the way of inquiry’ (Peirce, 1899/1998: 48). A COI can cultivate dispositions of genuine doubt that lead to epistemological fallibilism: acknowledgment that knowledge claims are invariably vulnerable, and therefore, that we have no assurances that all knowledge derived from philosophical inquiry are definitely true, and indeed, could turn out to be false. This, in turn, facilitates the educative process of ongoing reconstruction of experience in response to deep metacognitive evaluation of the thinking and learning process. Deep reflective thinking emerges through the complex, sustained interrelationship of these elements (see Figure 28.1). We propose that deep reflective thinking is a necessary predisposition for the development of questioning and other genuine inquiry behaviours. Our studies conducted at the University of Queensland suggest that if students are to develop inquiry behaviours, pose substantive questions and construct a world view of science and other subject areas they need to be able to synthesise the tools and processes of critical, creative and caring thinking, and understand how the appropriation of these tools and processes facilitate a more comprehensive reconstruction of experience. In order to provide students with these opportunities teachers need to provide environments where students engage in genuine inquiry. Philosophical inquiry empowers students to engage in active, persistent and careful consideration of fixed beliefs and the grounds that support those beliefs. It does this by cultivating genuine doubt, which provides the impetus for inquiry. In this process, students work collaboratively to construct deep reflective behaviours through consideration of their thinking habits and the ontological claims they make about the world. They uncover the fallibility of their own beliefs through sustained attention to thinking, reasoning, questioning and other inquiry behaviours, and develop these genuine habits of philosophical and intellectual collaboration. The application of reconstructed thinking habits or behaviours within new problematic situations facilitates further re-evaluation of existing beliefs and reasoned self-correction within and beyond the COI context.


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References Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2014). The Australian Curriculum: Science. [Online]. Available at (Accessed 6 June 2014). Baumfield, V. (2006). Tools for pedagogical inquiry: the impact of teaching thinking skills on teachers. Oxford Review of Education 32(2): 185–196. Burgh, G. & Thornton, S. (2015). Inoculation against wonder: finding an antidote in Camus, pragmatism and the community of inquiry. Educational Philosophy and Theory 48(9), 884–898. Burgh, G. & Thornton, S. (2016). Lucid education: resisting resistance to inquiry. Oxford Review of Education 42(2), 165–177. Cam, P. (2006). Twenty thinking tools: collaborative inquiry for the classroom. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research. Dewey, J. (1922). Human nature and conduct. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Dewey, J. (1938). Education and experience. New York: Simon and Schuster. Facione, P.A., Sanchez, C.A., Facione, N.C. & Gainen, J. (1995). The disposition toward critical thinking. Journal of General Education 44(1): 1–25. Fynes-Clinton, L. (2015). Genuine doubt, fallibilism and collaborative philosophical inquiry. Presentation to The International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children, 25 June. Gabbard, C. & McBride, R. (1990). Critical thinking in the psychomotor domain. International Journal for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation 26(2): 24–27. Gall, M.D. (1970). The use of questions in teaching. Review of Educational Research 40(5): 707–721. Harmon-Jones, E. & Judson, M. (1999). An introduction to cognitive dissonance theory and an overview of current perspectives on the theory. In E. Harmon-Jones & M. Judson (Eds) Cognitive dissonance: Progress on a pivotal theory in social psychology. Science conference series (pp. 3–21). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Higgins, S., Hall, E., Baumfield, V. & Moseley, D. (2005). A meta-analysis of the impact of the implementation of thinking skills approaches on pupils. [Online]. Available at: aspx?tabid=339 (Accessed 7 April 2015). Lingard, B., Ladwig, J., Mills, M., Bahr, M., Chant, D., Warry, M., Ailwood, J., Capeness, R., Christie, P., Gore, J., Hayes, D. & Luke, A. (2001). Queensland school reform longitudinal study. Final report. Vols 1 & 2. Brisbane: Department of Education. Nichols, K., Burgh, G. & Kennedy, C. (2015). Comparing two inquiry professional development interventions in science on primary students’ questioning and other inquiry behaviours. Research in Science Education, 1–24. DOI: 10.1007/s11165-015-9487-5. Peirce, C.S. (1887). The fixation of belief. Popular Science Monthly 12: 1–15. Peirce, C.S. (1899/1998). First rule of logic. In The Peirce Edition Project (Ed.) The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings (Vol. 2, pp. 42–56). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Peirce, C.S. (1931). Principles of philosophy. In C. Hartshorne & P. Weiss (Eds) Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, 1931–1958. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Scholl, R., Nichols, K. & Burgh, G. (2014). Transforming pedagogy through philosophical inquiry. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning 9(3): 253–272. Splitter, L. & Sharp, A.M. (1995). Teaching for better thinking: the classroom community of inquiry. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.


29 PHILOSOPHY FOR TEACHERS Between ignorance, invention and improvisation Walter Omar Kohan, Marina Santi and Jason Thomas Wozniak

Educational and philosophical practices are both rooted in the common form of dialogue and inquiry. This claim, widely discussed in pedagogical literature, is a core assumption in the Philosophy for/with Children community (cf. Kennedy 1991; Kohan 2014; Lipman 1988, 2003; Santi & Oliverio 2012) and acts as the starting point for the analysis to follow, which tries to re-think teaching by situating dialogue and inquiry as its core. The main purpose of this chapter is to problematize the role of the teacher in a dialogical and philosophical inquiry through a philosophical and educational approach to the concepts of ignorance, invention and improvisation. Within modernity philosophy and education were split from each other; some academics insist that essentially they are unrelated. But this was not the case in antiquity, at the birth of philosophy, specifically in the case of Socrates. We have shown that for Socrates, philosophy and education were not only not clearly separated practices, but also not even easily distinguishable (Kohan 2015a). It is precisely in the paradigmatic and paradoxical example of Socrates that we see that a teacher cannot be a ‘true’ teacher without being a philosopher. If Socrates can claim, in Plato’s Apology, that he has been a teacher of no one, and yet people still learn from him (Apology 33a), it is because he understands teaching as philosophizing with others. While actual teachers transmit knowledge without philosophizing, teachers who philosophize, because they know that they know nothing, cannot transmit knowledge, but still teach others by inventing the conditions, and improvising opportunities, so that others learn with them while philosophizing. In other words, the practice of philosophy is (or should be) educational when it deconstructs unexamined ways of living and opens up life to examination. Pedagogical practice which creates conditions and experiments with strategies and paths, so that new forms of life can emerge through invention and improvisation, is philosophical. Attending to philosophy’s dimension of practice, it is also interesting to observe that in the Apology, philosophy does not appear as a noun but as a verb: it is a form of active practice, inquiry; a way of life, not a content or theory. In light of the above, the anecdote of the Oracle recounted in the Apology takes on a deeper meaning. Here Socrates states that his friend Chairephon once asked the oracle if there was any man wiser than Socrates. The oracle, as is well known, responds that there is no one wiser than Socrates (Apology 20e–21a), a claim that perplexes Socrates since he believes himself to not be wise at all. Determined to refute the oracle by finding at least one man wiser than himself, 253

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Socrates ultimately concedes that he cannot locate anyone who is wiser. It is precisely in this search that Socrates finds his wisdom: only he recognizes the extent of human ignorance. If Socrates is the wisest person in Athens it is not because of his knowledge, but rather because of his relationship to knowledge. Like all other Athenians, Socrates does not really know anything of great value, but unlike all other Athenians, Socrates does not believe that he knows. Socrates’ wisdom, therefore, has to do with the way he relates to knowledge and ignorance. If it were necessary to summarize this relationship to knowledge and ignorance in one word, it would be unlearning. That is, when Socrates’ educational philosophy ‘works’, those who talk with Socrates learn to recognize their lack of knowledge; they begin to ‘unlearn’ what they thought they knew. Socrates’ interlocutors learn, and Socrates teaches, in and through this process of unlearning. Socrates’ conviction that he knows nothing encourages him to search for meaning, and opens him to wonder and novelty. It is this practice of searching motivated by ignorance that all others learn from, or with, Socrates. As a philosophical educator, or an educational philosopher, Socrates does not transmit content or knowledge, but rather, he cultivates a relationship with knowledge and ignorance, and helps others do the same. This does not mean that Socrates does not know or transmit anything, but it does mean that the heart of his practice does not lie in the transmission of knowledge, but rather in constant inquiry and self-examination: ‘An unexamined life is not worth living for a human being’ (Apology 38a). The understanding of teaching as a practice of shared inquiry is a Socratic inheritance which can be found, and is well-grounded within, the Philosophy for/with Children movement. It is this inheritance which Matthew Lipman, for whom the figure of Socrates is a model of philosophical inquiry, takes up (Lipman 1988: 3–14). Lipman’s Socrates is someone for whom ‘the shared examination of the concepts essential to the conduct of life was of the greatest urgency’ (Lipman 1988: 14), and for whom ‘doing philosophy is not a matter of age, but of the ability to reflect scrupulously and courageously on what one finds important’ (Lipman 1988: 15). To support his own criticisms of the reduction of teaching to the transmission of knowledge, Lipman refers to ‘a general sense that the content of the knowledge bases of the individual disciplines is rapidly becoming obsolete as far as the rapidly developing disciplines are concerned and increasingly irrelevant as far as the students are concerned’ (Lipman 1988: 153). Lipman presents his Philosophy for Children curriculum, with its accompanying novels and teaching manuals, as an alternative education practice to the traditional teaching-as-transmission pedagogical models. However, the focus of Lipman’s teacher education strategy is divided between two levels: the preparation of what he calls ‘teacher trainers’ (those who form/train teachers), and the teachers themselves. The former, according to Lipman, should have ‘a strong philosophical background,’ which is manifest in the ‘necessary background in logic . . . [and] in epistemology, ethics and aesthetics that provides the common bond, or mortar, for holding the separate bricks of the educational edifice together’ (Lipman 1988: 154–155). The teacher, however, does not need a philosophical background because what she needs to know is ‘competence in guiding a philosophical discussion’ and not competence in ‘becoming a philosopher’ (Lipman 1988: 159). Therefore, even if it is true that Lipman re-situates teaching as a practice of the transmission of knowledge to a facilitation of philosophical inquiry, it is also true that to properly teach his philosophy for children curriculum a teacher needs to be given the epistemic knowledge a philosophy teacher should have: familiarity with the history of philosophy and a variety of philosophical styles. The teacher trainer should have this knowledge, and be able to transmit it to becoming teachers. What we are trying to suggest is that even though Lipman does not set the transmission of knowledge as an aim of philosophical practice, he still considers 254

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there to be a given knowledge, that is, what makes an inquiry philosophical, through which teaching can be assessed or evaluated. Moreover, if we consider the image of thinking underlying Lipman’s vision of philosophy and his notion of philosophical practice as higher order (critical, creative and caring) thinking in practice, then we realize that there is also something a teacher must be competent in in order to philosophize. That is, Lipman’s facilitator can develop philosophical inquiry with children only by means of a specific philosophical training/ formation and through a particular ad hoc curriculum.1 Although ‘no explanation of the art of teaching philosophy can be adequate for the teacher-in-training’, nevertheless every possible explanation ‘would be insufficient without a competent modelling by the philosopher coupled with a teacher’s experiencing what is to engage in philosophical dialogue’ (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan 1980: 125). Therefore, rather than transmitting knowledge of content, philosophy for children teachers transmit a type of thinking, by engaging in it. Thus, if for Socrates the knowledge of ignorance is a value, for Lipman, the knowledge (of the history of philosophy) is a lack that needs to be compensated by the presence of teacher trainers, who through that knowledge would train teachers in the practice of facilitating philosophical inquiry.

An ignorant teacher The idea of an ignorant teacher for whom ignorance is a condition needed in order to really teach has been taken up by J. Rancière in The Ignorant Schoolmaster (1991). One of the key moves made by Rancière in this book, which retells the story of a Post-revolutionary French teacher Joseph Jacotot, is to split the ‘natural’ connection between teaching and knowing. Rancière’s teacher does not transmit any knowledge, but rather transmits a relationship to knowledge and intelligence (to his own knowledge and to the knowledge of others, to his own intelligence and to the intelligence of others) based on an ‘axiom of equality’. Stated slightly differently, one is not an emancipatory teacher because of what one knows, but rather because of what one believes: which, in Rancière’s case, is the principle of equality of intelligence. The teacher who works from the ‘axiom of equality’ ignores not only what students learn, but also the inequality of knowledge and ignorance that is at the basis of every educational policy and institution. Even though at first glance this relationship to knowledge and ignorance might appear very Socratic, Rancière argues that the ‘ignorant schoolmaster’ takes a completely different path than Socrates. But why? In essence, Rancière believes that Socrates feigns ignorance: Socrates knows at least one thing, the only thing an ignorant teacher could not know in order to be an ignorant teacher. What Socrates knows is that he is the wisest person in Athens. And even though this knowledge that Socrates possesses is, as we have seen, knowledge of a relationship, it still puts him on a superior level in relation to all other Athenians. Socrates is the only one in Athens that has this knowledge, or relationship to knowledge. As such, when Socrates speaks with others he always transmits this relationship to knowledge, and in doing so, makes clear to his interlocutors that they do not know what Socrates already knows. Thought of this way, Socrates’ ignorance no longer really looks like ignorance. In this way, Socrates practises, according to Rancière, education as an art of distance (Rancière 1991: 5) and it is Socrates who administrates the distance between what he knows and what his interlocutors believe themselves to know. This, Rancière argues, is the principle of the explicatory practice of a stultifier schoolmaster (Rancière 1991: 7). According to this view, there is a distance in place between the teacher and the learner, and the schoolmaster’s main task is to shorten this artificial distance between himself and the ones below him. It is 255

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the structuring fiction of explication that needs the incapable and not the other way around (Rancière 1991: 6). By contrast, the emancipatory schoolmaster ignores the myth of inequality, and instead affirms the axiom of equality which claims that ‘every human being is equally intelligent’ (Rancière 1991: 27). Departing from this belief, the intelligence of the student is free to work by itself, and the teacher’s work is to establish a relationship between wills, between her will and those of her students’, in order to empower her students’ intelligence. This is precisely what characterizes emancipation: ‘the act of an intelligence obeying only itself even while the will obeys another will’ (Rancière 1991: 13). In this way, Rancière redefines the role and meaning of being a teacher. In his view, the teacher is not someone who transmits her knowledge (because she knows that emancipation does not have to do with the transmission of any knowledge) but rather she shares her ignorance and, in this sharing, teacher and students invent a relationship to ignorance that could not be created if either the teacher or student claims to know what the other does not know. This is why a philosophical teacher, or an educational philosopher, can only teach what she does not know. The emancipatory teacher is not worried about the content of what the student learns, but rather is more concerned with the starting point from which learning can happen: the sharing of the other’s exploration. Equally important is that the ignorant teacher is highly ignorant of what presupposes and makes the (pedagogical) institution possible, that is, the myth of inequality of intelligence. In this sense, her ignorance is not primarily a lack of knowledge but a kind of disobedience – insubordination, or, in Foucauldian terms, a ‘counter-conduct’, that is, ‘a struggle against the processes implemented for conducting others’ (Foucault 2009: 268). Therefore, the ignorant teacher’s teaching is mainly political: what she transmits as a principle for learning is ignorance, which functions as a counter-conduct to the stultifying order. Thus, the teacher ignorant of the political inequality that passes through educational institutions teaches a form of exercising the power of thinking that is opposed to the institutionalized forms of thinking. She teaches thinking as resistance, disobedience and contestation. In effect, the teacher compels the student to realize her capacity (Rancière 1991: 15) by disobeying or contesting the political order that presupposes inequalities of knowledge, capacities and intelligence. In this sense, the ignorant schoolmaster is also a teacher who improvises, one who accepts the risk of breaking rules and challenging standards, and takes the responsibility of choosing the unknown. Interestingly, both Lipman and Rancière identify the teaching of philosophy for children, or of the ignorant schoolmaster, as democratic moves, even though they understand democracy in very different ways. For the former, democracy is a ‘form of social life’ (Lipman 2003); for the latter it is an order where the incompetent governs (Rancière 2003: 201).

An inventive teacher In nineteenth-century Latin America the figure of Socrates was reborn in the person of the Venezuelan Simón Rodríguez. The teacher of Simón Bolivar, who called him the ‘Socrates of Caracas’ (Rodríguez 2001b: 117, 122), Rodríguez lived a travelling life dedicated to philosophically based popular education and popular schools, the first of which he created himself in Chuquisaca, the ancient capital of modern day Bolivia. This institution admitted, and treated as equals, traditionally excluded black and indigenous children, as well as the sons and daughters of prostitutes and other marginalized groups. In Rodríguez’s writings one comes across an oft repeated phrase: ‘We invent or we err.’ (Rodríguez 2001b: 185). For Rodríguez, invention is a criterion for truth. Epistemologically, 256

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educationally and politically, it sustains social life. Politically, the emergent new Latin American republics need to invent their own political form, and Rodríguez maintains that no notion of ‘republic’ will emerge if old notions of ‘republic’ are merely copied. Epistemologically, Rodríguez seems to claim that there is no truth outside of invention, which does not mean that all inventions are true, but rather that if we do not invent we cannot access the truth, and furthermore, the truth cannot be imitated, reproduced or copied. Educationally, Rodríguez affirms that a teacher should invent everything pertaining to her practice: the ‘why’, the ‘for what’, the ‘how’, and the ‘what’ of her teaching (Kohan 2015b). Above and beyond anything else, the teacher must invent herself as a teacher, or, stated slightly differently, the teacher must invent a position for himself as a teacher. Rodríguez demands that a teacher be an artisan and artist of her work: a self-inventor. This means that in order to teach, one does not follow a method waiting to be applied, and that to be a teacher means, first and foremost, to be an inventive thinker. Importantly, considering Rodríguez’s commitment to popular education, invention is also relational. Recalling the etymology of the word, we see that ‘invention’ comes from the Latin inventus, a perfect participle of the verb invenio, meaning to come upon, find, meet with, light upon. Following a Derridean reading of the word, we can also claim that it can mean making or letting come, particularly, and importantly for Derrida, a making or letting come of the other (Derrida 2000). J. Jacotot and S. Rodríguez had considerably different views of the relationship between teaching (as emancipation) and school. If we recall the last two chapters of Rancière’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster, then we see there that there is a strong opposition and no reconciliation between the school and emancipation given that the former affirms the inequality of intelligence that inhibits any form of emancipation. But for Rodríguez, his school is the place par excellence where emancipation takes place. The role of the teacher in the Rodriguean school is to invent the conditions which will allow, welcome, give hospitality to and respond to the others who come so that these others can become themselves while simultaneously working towards social transformation. If it was true that in Latin American colonial schools one did not have the possibility to become other than what an oligarchic society demanded of you, in the popular Republican schools of Rodríguez, being and becoming who you were was a condition of inhabiting a more just society for all. In other words, Simon Rodríguez invented schools in which invention itself, the coming of the other/otherness/alterity, could happen. In philosophizing outside any institution, Socrates is coherent with his relation to ignorance and knowledge. If official knowledge denies Socrates’ knowledge of ignorance, then he has no alternative but to deny school and to practise philosophy in the streets and markets. Rodríguez, on the contrary, maintains a strong educational and political role for the school by inventing an extraordinary one and transforming it into a laboratory of invention and decolonization, a counter-conduct against the colonizing practices in the monarchic school. Lipman’s position regarding school and its role in democracy seems to be compatible with both sides of the dilemma, to the extent that the communities of inquiry he seeks to foster in schools act against the power of official knowledge and in favor of the liberalization of the curriculum (Kennedy 1991: 20–23). According to Lipman, what makes the educational system so inefficient is its lack of intrinsic value, meaningfulness, rationality, methodological unity and consistency (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan 1980: 3), which can be found only by introducing in schools, a thinking synonymous with discovery, interest, experience and adventure. Lipman, as Socrates did, fights the monologue of dogmatism by nurturing dialogue within communities. And as Rodríguez did, Lipman transforms classrooms into laboratories of complex thinking in which creative, critical and caring dispositions are devoted to imagine possible, and probably 257

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preferable, worlds. In addition, Lipman’s fundamental interest in children’s appropriation of logical thinking could be considered under the light of ‘contrasting modes of thought such as imagining, dreaming, pretending’ (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan 1980: 152), that reside at the core of inventive reflection as it emerges in everyday life, while taking care of problems and questions around us, taking up everywhere the opportunities for improvising new possibilities of being in the world.

Teaching between ignorance and invention Philosophizing within a community of inquiry is the context in which the dilemma between ignorance and invention might be taken as a pragmatic opportunity to dialogue. In other words, through a constant commitment to questioning, a community of inquiry reveals aporias and seeks to resolve them, while still being aware of their impossibility of resolution. In fact, dialogue is an exploratory practice that implies the ignorance of truth and others’ ideas, and which motivates participants to continuously seek the invention of shared forms of thinking and living. The relationship between thinking and dialogue is reversed: ‘The common assumption is that reflection generates dialogue, when, in fact, it is dialogue that generates reflection’ (Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan 1980: 22). Keeping with the notion of ‘invention’ expressed above, dialogue, practised in a certain way, opens up space for the arrival of ‘ignored’ others: other thoughts, feelings, imagination and so on – and it gives hospitality to whomever and whatever comes. The dialogical movement between ignorance and invention is bi-directional and produces their reciprocal determination and the emergence of new thoughts. In other words, if you ignore something you have to invent it; if you invent something, you have to ignore it. This paradox has to do with the improvisational nature of philosophical dialogue, which Steve Lacy has named as the ‘jumping on the unknown’ (Hamilton 2007), and what Miles Davis means by the need to always play what you still do not know, free from the already known and free to know otherwise. Here, free means open: to exploration, to deviation, to risks, to the possibility of mistakes, and as Miles Davis affirms (Walser 1995), to the uncertainty implied by invention. Improvising involves attitudes which help clarify and add more suggestions to rethinking the teaching activity and teacher role as mediation between ignorance and invention. The improvisational nature of teaching is well recognized by Lipman, who considers philosophical activity in the classroom as the actor’s free play on a canvas (Lipman 1996).The freedom of philosophizing is guaranteed by the improvisational nature of dialogue, which transforms the monologue of traditional teaching into an ex improvise polyphony, one which emerges without planning, and which does not delimit the direction and meaning of action in advance (Santi 2010, 2015). Teaching as improvising can only be performed in dialogue and in the moment, and any attempt at understanding it individually and before it happens is unfruitful, and, even more so, damaging to its nature. The most we can do is improvise with others, and practise the art of improvising so that we can find oneself while trying to encounter someone else (Alterhaug 2015). Highlighting the social dimension of improvising contributes to efforts to escape from the solipsistic bias about genius and creativity as conditions of invention; it also allows us to better understand the paradoxical condition of teaching (Sawyer 2007, 2010). Ignorance (Socrates), the will to invent (Rodríguez) and the political principle of equality of every human intelligence (Rancière) are conditions for an improvisational teaching as here presented. This involves unlearning what we have previously learnt, and teaching in a different way from how we have been taught. An improviser teacher thus shares the core features of a philosopher: she does not know how to do what she does, and she must do precisely what she does not know. 258

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Thus, being a teacher-as-improvising-philosopher means composing in the moment one’s own way of thinking, being sensitive to, and affirming difference, and being a teacher in process. The teacher improvises not only ways of practicing philosophy with others, but also ways of being a teacher herself, forms of inhabiting educational institutions, and living a philosophical life through teaching. From this perspective, improvisation shares a paradoxical nature with philosophy and its relationship with knowledge: we cannot fully understand and explain improvisation, just as we cannot fully understand and explain what it means to philosophize.

Note 1 It is true that Lipman progressively become more open concerning the initial P4C curriculum.

References Alterhaug, B. (2015). Jazz, Improvisation, and Education. In: M. Santi & E. Zorzi (Ed.) Education as jazz: Interdisciplinary sketches on a new metaphor. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 29–48. Derrida, J. (2000). Hospitality. B. Stocker & F. Morlock (Trans.) Angelaki. 5(3): 3–18. Foucault, M. (2009). Security, territory, population. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hamilton, A. (2007). Aesthetics and music. London: Continuum. Kennedy, D. (1991). The Community of Inquiry and Educational Structure. Thinking 9(4): 20–23. Kohan, W. (2014). Philosophy and childhood. New York: Palgrave. Kohan, W. (2015a). Childhood, education and philosophy. New York: Routledge. Kohan, W. (2015b). The inventive schoolmaster. Boston: Sense. Lipman, M. (1988). Philosophy goes to school. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Lipman, M. (1996). Philosophical discussion plans and exercises. Analytic Teaching 16(2): 64–77. Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lipman, M., Sharp, A.M. & Oscanyan, F.S. (1980). Philosophy in the classroom. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Plato (1989). The dialogues of Plato. B. Jowett (Trans.) New York: Oxford University Press. Rancière, J. (1991). The ignorant schoolmaster. K. Ross (Trans.). Stanford: Stanford University Press. Rancière, J. (2003). Atualidade de O mestre ignorante. Interview with A. Benvenutto, L. Cornu & P. Vermeren. Educação & Sociedade 24(82): 185–202. Rodríguez, S. (2001a). Obra completa. Tomos I–II. Caracas: Presidencia de la República. Rodríguez, S. (2001b). Cartas. [Letters] Caracas: Ediciones del Rectorado de la UNISER. Santi, M. (Ed.) (2010). Improvisation: between technique and spontaneity. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing. Santi, M. & Oliverio, S. (Eds) (2012). Educating for complex thinking through philosophical inquiry: models, advances and proposals for the new millennium. Naples: Liguori, 1–622. Santi, M. & Zorzi, E. (2015). Education as jazz: interdisciplinary sketches on a new metaphor. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars. Sawyer, K. (2007). Group genius: the creative power of collaboration. New York: BasicBooks. Sawyer, K. (2010). Improvisational creativity as a model for effective learning. In: M. Santi (Ed.) Improvisation: between technique and spontaneity. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 135–152. Walser, R. (1995). Out of notes: signification, interpretation, and the problem of Miles Davis. In Krin Gabbard (Ed.) Jazz among the Discourses. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 165–188.



absolutism 114–15 academic journals xxiii, 167 Academy 94 Achinstein, B. 223 action 5, 8; deliberative pedagogy 23–5, 25–6; warrants for actions 113–14, 115, 116 active meaning making 35, 40 Adams, P. 165 adult epistemic privilege 54 adulthood 48 aesthetic education 145–6 aesthetic experience 135, 137–44, 146 aesthetic space for inquiry 135–6, 153–60 African American students 223, 224 Agamben, G. 49–50 aion 49 alchemy 194–5 anarchist model of authority 28–9, 32 Applebaum, B. 16 Arendt, H. 5, 6, 181 argumentation, logical 41 Aristotle 172; philosophical friendship 94–5 art, as experience 135, 137–44, 146 art of living 148–51 aspirational eros 135–6, 153, 155–9 assemblages 54, 59 Australia 204, 246–9; development of P4C materials 161, 163–70 Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) 165 Australian Institute of Philosophy for Children (AIPC) 165 autarchic theory 96–7 authority 2, 27–33; shared 29–32 Baccalaureate 204 Baehr, J. 104, 106

Bandura, A. 156 Baumfield, V. 119, 245, 246 Beardsley, M. 237 ‘Beast, The’ 7 becoming 155 becoming-child 49–50 behaviourist learning theory 37 beliefs 105; warrants for 113–14, 115, 116 Beloved (Morrison) 15, 16 Bereiter, C. 194 Bible 183–6 Biesta, G. 14, 175 Bildung 149 biology 192–4 Black, M. 237 Blackwell, D.M. 223 blessing 184–5 Bohmian dialogue 67, 68 brain 85–9 Brenifier, O. 130 bridging 43 British Council schools linking project 7 Buranda State School, Brisbane 168–9 Burbules, N. 16 Burgh, G. 245–6, 246–8 Burman, E. 39 Callicles 46–8 Calvert, K. 192 Cam, P. 75, 167, 168, 170 Camisa, R. 7 Canada 231–2 canon 183 canonical text 162, 183–6 caring thinking 128, 129, 130, 148 cats 192 Center for High School Philosophy xxv 260

 Index Central America 7 chemistry 194–5 Chetty, D. 222–3 child blindness 54 child migrants 7 childhood: developmental psychology 35, 37–45; education, philosophy and 35, 46–52; majoritarian and minoritarian views of 48–50 China 232 citizen’s education 2, 19–26 citizenship 4 civic relationships 22–3 civics education 20 closed questions 76, 78 cognitive dissonance 245–6, 248 collaboration 121; collaborative problem-solving 195–7 Collins, C. 202–3, 211, 214 common understanding 67 communication 96–8; non-verbal 148, 224 communities of action 25 community 96–8; reasonableness as thinking as a community 127–9 community ball 23 community of gestures 148 community of inquiry (CoI) 42, 219–20; aesthetic education 145–6; citizen’s education 2, 19–26; intellectual safety and academic challenge 231; racism and discomfort in 1, 11–18; teachers’ professional learning in a classroom CoI 102, 119–26 community of philosophical inquiry (CoPI or CPI) xxvi, 1, 3–10, 41, 47, 67; Chair 84–91, 92; democratic nature of 3–5; hermeneutic perspective on questioning in 63, 74–82; nature and role of authority 2, 27–33; as a palimpsest 64, 93–100; philosophical position 5–6; Socrates for Six Year Olds 63–4, 84–91 compulsory subject, philosophy as 204 conceptual analysis 71 conceptual understanding 206 Confucius 230 constructivism 206 constructivist developmental theory 37–8, 38–41 content, philosophical 213 Convention on the Rights of the Child 120 co-philosophizing 94–5 creative thinking 128, 150, 237, 238–9, 242–3 creativity 232–3; promoting 192–4 Critical & Creative Thinking 167 critical disposition 75 critical literacy 176–7 critical posthumanism 173–4 critical thinking 107, 128, 176–7, 248; in kindergarten and elementary school 217–18, 236–44; model of the developmental process

of 238–41, 242–3; nature of 237–8; programs 106; Siegel’s epistemology 113–15 culture: acknowledging or deconstructing 231–2; cultural renewal 161–2, 180–8 curation of aspirational eros 157–9 curriculum: early years 59–60; models for including philosophy 189, 201–5; national curricula 59, 201; P4C curriculum xxvi, 171–5; philosophical teaching across the whole curriculum 189–90, 205–7 curriculum and supporting materials 161, 163–70 Dahlberg, G. 39 Dalai Lama 23 Darwin, C. 193 Davis, M. 258 de Bolla, P. 138 de Haan, C. 167 dedicated P4C/philosophical inquiry sessions 203–4 deep learning 203 deep reflective thinking 249–51 Deleuze, G. 49–50 deliberation 4, 5, 23–5 deliberative pedagogy 2, 19–26 democratic education 19–20, 25, 27, 47; CPI 1, 3–10 Descartes, R. 85, 112, 114 developmental psychology 35, 37–45 developmentalism 172 developmentality 172 Dewey, J. 125, 145, 151, 206, 208, 248; art as experience 137–8, 140, 146; authority in education 29; community/communication 96–7, 131; democracy 4; dialogue 98; human individuality 180; inquiry 5, 38, 250; pragmatist epistemology 111, 112–13, 114, 115, 122; psychologizing the subject 124; reflective method 237 Di Angelo, R. 17 dialectics 95, 97, 98 dialogical critical thinking (DCT) 217–18, 236–44; model of developmental process of 238–41, 242–3 dialogue 48, 83–4, 258; Bohmian 67, 68; deliberative pedagogy 23–5; hermeneutic 67, 68, 69; inquiry dialogue 41, 153–4; Socratic 67, 68, 69 didactical questions 79 Diotima 77, 154 direction of inquiry 69–70 discomfort 1, 11–18 discovery learning 40 discursive symbols 192 distance 255–6 disturbance, valuable 122–3 D’Olimpio, L. 167 261

Index dominant view of childhood 48 Donaldson, M. 40 doubt 112, 250–1 drama 135, 145–52 dramatic play 55–9 dualism 85–6 early years classroom 36, 53–61; see also kindergarten Edminston, B. 56 education: authority in 28–9; childhood, philosophy and 35, 46–52; identity construction and cultural renewal 180–1; synergy with philosophy in teacher education 190, 211–14 education for democracy 4 Educational Endowment Foundation 201 Egan, K. 56, 194 egocentricity 239–40, 242 Elder, L. 116 elementary school 217–18, 236–44 Elmer (McKee) 222 embedded philosophy 163 embodied commitment 130 embodiment awareness 156 Emile (Rousseau) 28 emotional temperament 130 emotions 105; reasonableness and 102, 127–34 empathic engagement 147 empathic thinking 130 empathic unsettlement 143 English, L. 197 Ennis, R. 237 epistemic aims 66–9, 105–7 epistemic goods 105–7 epistemic heritage 111–13 epistemic philosophical progress 63, 65–73 epistemic responsibility 106–7 epistemic-scientific stance 95 epistemically virtuous agents 101, 103–10 epistemological perspectives 239–40, 241, 242–3 epistemology, pragmatist 101, 111–18 equality, axiom of 255, 256, 258 equilibration 41 eros 154–5; aspirational 135–6, 153, 155–9 essentialism xxv ethical civic relationships 22–3 ethnic studies course 21–5 ethnicity 217, 220, 221–4, 225 experience: art as 135, 137–44, 146; philosophical 77–9 expert readers 176–7 eye contact 231–2 facilitator 31, 42, 95; curating aspirational eros 157–9; facilitation of play 55–8; p4cHI self-study project 217, 227–35; teacher or student 230–1

fallibilism 5–6, 112, 114–15, 251 falsehoods, rejecting 67, 69 falsification 71 fantasy play 54–9 Federation of Australasian Philosophy in School Associations (FAPSA) 163, 167 Federation of Australian Philosophy for Children Associations (FAPCA) 166 Feldman, N. 149–50 Feuerstein, R. 43–4 Förster, M. 194–5 France 204 freedom 6, 8 Freire, P. 20, 26 friendship: groups 24–5; philosophical 94–5 fusion of horizons 78 Fynes-Clinton, L. 248–9 Gadamer, H.-G. 74, 76–9, 80 Gardner, S. 69, 75 General Teaching Council in Wales 120 genuine doubt 250–1 Germany 189, 191–9 gestures 135, 148–51 giving reasons 70–1 Glaser, J. 163, 166 good judgment 104–5, 130, 237; see also reasonableness Good Thinker’s Tool Kit (GTTK) 23–4 Gregory, M. 129 grounded theory (GT) 238 growth, aspirations for 154, 155–7 Guernica (Picasso) 135, 137, 140–4 habituation 150–1 Hamrick, W. 146 Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery (Lipman) xxvi, 38, 43, 147, 166 Hattie, J. 121 Hausberg, A. 193–4 Hawai’i 2, 19–26 Haynes, J. 11, 13, 122, 145 hermeneutic dialogue 67, 68, 69 hermeneutics 162, 182–7 higher-order questioning 247–8 higher-order thinking 41, 173 Hispanic students 223, 224 historical layers 64, 93–100 hooks, b. 16, 159 horizon 77–8 horizontal conversations 162, 182 Horton, M. 20, 26 Hull, K. 157 humanism 175 I am the King (Timmers) 58–9 ideas 63, 65–73


 Index identity construction 161–2, 180–8 ignorance 218, 253–4, 255–6, 258 illustrated materials 168; picture books 161, 165–6, 167, 168, 171–9, 222 imagination 150 imaginative play 54–9 improvisation 218, 256, 258–9 indigenous peoples 221–2 infancy 49–50 infantia 49–50 infusion model 205 inhuman, the 49, 50 inquiry 41, 122; aesthetic space for 135–6, 153–60; deliberative pedagogy 23–5; direction of 69–70; milestones 70–2; as social life 96–8; see also community of inquiry, community of philosophical inquiry inquiry-based science 246–8 inquiry dialogue 41, 153–4 inquiry values 101, 115–16 Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) xxi, xxvi, 95, 132–3, 187; curriculum materials 145, 164, 166, 169 institutional racism 24, 224 integration of philosophy into the curriculum 202 intellectual challenge 231 intellectual courage 106–7, 108 intellectual safety 21, 22–3, 231 intellectual standards 116 interactive online learning journal 217, 227–35 intercultural tension 231–2 internalization 173 International Academy of Education 122 international conferences xxiii International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) xxi International Youth Congress 7–8 intersubjectivity 156, 239, 243 intertextuality 185 intervention 231 invention 218, 256–8 Jackson, T. 228 Jacotot, J. 255, 257 Japan 233 Jewish education 162, 182–7 Journal of Philosophy in Schools 167 judgment: emotions and 130–1; good 104–5, 130, 237; mediating judgments 70 kairos 49 Kennedy, C. 246–8 Kennedy, D. 15, 39, 96, 148, 200 khronos 48–9 kindergarten 217–18, 236–44 King, M.L., Jr 13–14

Knight, S. 202–3, 211, 214 Kugel, J. 185 Kuhn, T.S. 115–16 Landsberg, P. 94 Langer, S. 192 Latin America 256–7 Laverty, M. 204 Law, S. 182 leadership 58–9 learning/study skills 205 Lech l’cha 186 Lift Off 166 Lindop, C. 166, 167 Lipman, M. 35, 93, 96, 115, 121, 153, 158, 165, 174, 180, 203, 205, 208; approach to education 37–8, 40; art 138, 139, 143; childhood and philosophy 46, 47–8; CoI 119, 124, 146, 219–20; CPI xxvii, 41; critical thinking 237; democratic education 25; democracy 256; emotions 131; Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery xxv, 38, 43, 147, 166; IAPC xxi, xxiii, 145, 164; invention 257–8; Lipman and Sharp’s synthesis 96, 98; mediating judgments 70; metacognition 44, 156; origins of the P4C movement xxiv-xxv, 200–1; P4C curriculum 164, 171–2, 173; philosophical dialogue 83; Pixie 129; progress of inquiry 70; questions 75; reasonableness 104, 127–8, 130, 157; religious education 182; standards 69; Suki 138, 146; teacher education 254–5; translation 132 listening 14, 15 literacy 175–7 logical argumentation 41 logical thinking 237, 238–9, 241, 242–3 loving attitude 147 Lyotard, J.-F. 49–50 MacColl, S. 167 MacIntyre, A. 180 Makaiau, A.S. 206 manuals 171–2 Martín Alcoff, L. 219 mathematics 189, 191–2, 195–7 Matthews, G. xxiv, xxv, xxvii, 38–9, 56, 172 McCall, C. 69 McCutcheon, L. 167 McGaw, B. 165 McIntyre, A. 13 McKee, D. 222 Mead, G.H. 96, 173 Meadows, S. 40 meaning 78–9; children as active meaning makers 35, 40; conceptual understanding 206; meaning-centred nature of Jewish education 182–6; meaningful conceptions 67, 68 263

Index mediated learning experience (MLE) 43–4 mediating judgments 70 mediation, socio-cultural 41–2 Meerwaldt, D. 196 Melrose, A. 176 Mendonça, D. 131 Menter, I. 121 Merleau-Ponty, M. 156 metacognition 44, 107–8, 156 metacognitive growth 156 metacognitive thinking 238–9, 242–3 meta-emotions 129–33 metaphor 142–3 methodological pragmatism 117 Mexico: International Youth Conference 7–8; schools linking project 7 midrash 182–3 milestones 70–2 Miller, C. 206 Millett, S. 150 mind–brain relationship 85–6 mirror effect 119, 120 modelling, mathematical 196 models of P4C in schools 189, 201–5 Mohr Lone, J. 75 Montclair Conference on Pre-college Philosophy xxvii Moore, R. 145 moral development 38–9 moral imagination 39, 56 moral order 28, 30 morality 147 Morrison, T. 15, 16 Moss, P. 39 motivation 154; aspirational eros 135–6, 153, 155–9 multiculturalism 11 multidimensional thinking 128 multiple perspectives 23 Munch Kids 166 Murris, K. 11, 13, 39, 85, 122, 123, 131, 166 narrative inquiry 209–10 narratives see stories natality 50 national curricula 59, 201 Native Americans 221–2 Nichols, K. 245–6, 246–8 Nietzsche, F. 49 Nikolajeva, M. 176 non-absolutism 114–15 non-relativism 113–14, 114–15 non-verbal communication 148, 224 novels (stories-as-text) 164–5, 167, 169, 171–2 novice readers 176–7 Nussbaum, M. 147

Ogawa, R.T. 223 online learning journal 217, 227–35 open-mindedness 106, 108 open questions 76, 78, 79 optional subject, philosophy as 204 Oyler, J. 158 Paley, V.G. 54 palimpsest 64, 93–100 paper doubt 250–1 participation 28 Paul, R. 116 Peirce, C.S. 12, 114, 115, 237, 248; community of scientific inquiry 38, 41, 97; genuine and paper doubt 250–1; pragmatist epistemology 112; sentiments of logic 129 performance 147–51 pervasive qualities 139–40 Peterson, A. 167 phenomenological growth 156 philosophical attitude 76, 77; cultivating 79–80 philosophical experience 77–9 philosophical friendship 94–5 philosophical play 36, 53–61 philosophical problem 66, 71 philosophical questions 75, 76–9 philosophical stories-as-text (novels) 164–5, 167, 169, 171–2 philosophical teaching 189–90, 205–7 philosophizing 63–4, 84–91, 177; in maths and science classes 189, 191–9; philosophizingtogether 94–5 Philosophizing with Children about Nature (PhiNa) program 197 philosophy: childhood, education and 35, 46–52; epistemic philosophical progress 63, 65–73; philosophical analysis of in philosophy with children 63–4, 83–92; synergy with education in teacher education 190, 211–14 philosophy by children 53–4 Philosophy for Children (P4C) xxi-xxxi; historical development of xxv-xxvii; misrepresentation of xxiv Philosophy for Children (P4C) curriculum xxvii, 171–5 Philosophy for Children Hawai’i approach (p4cHI) 2, 19–26, 228; International Journaling and Self-Study Project 217, 227–35 philosophy with children 63–4, 83–92 Philosophy with Kids series 167 Philosothon 163 phronesis (practical wisdom) 108, 148–9 Piaget, J. 35, 37–41 Picasso, P. 135, 137, 140–4 picture books 161, 165–6, 167, 168, 171–9, 222; selection 174–5 Pixie (Lipman) 129


 Index reliability 103–4 religious education: identity construction and cultural renewal 161–2, 180–8; UK 6–7 resistance, teachers’ 210–11 resource materials: development in Australia 161, 163–70; picture books 161, 165–6, 167, 168, 171–9, 222 respect 119; respectful and ethical civic relationships 22–3 responsibility 103–4 responsible thinking 238–9, 242–3 rhetorical questions 79 rhetorics of play 53 Ricoeur, P. 183 risk 232 Roberts, R.C. 106 Rodríguez, S. 51, 256–7 role play 55–7 Rortian conversation 67, 68 Rorty, R. 130 Rousseau, J.-J. 28

Plain Vanilla 23 Plato 28, 46–7, 77, 80, 164, 172, 253; Academy 94 PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) 204 play 36, 53–61 plurality 5, 6 Popp, J.A. 25 positionality 217, 219–26 positive dissonance 122–3 post-egocentricity 239–40, 242 post-relativism/pre-intersubjectivity 239–40, 242 power 56–7; distributed 23 pragmatism 67, 101, 146; inquiry as social life 96–8; methodological 117 pragmatist epistemology 101, 111–18 praxis 4–5, 8 pre-relativism 239–40, 242 presentative symbols 192–3, 194 primary schools 246–8 Pritchard, M. 128–9 problem-solving, collaborative 195–7 procedural authority 30–1 process, philosophical 213 professional development 121–2, 233, 234 professional learning 102, 119–26 progress, epistemic philosophical 63, 65–73 protectionism 181–2 pseudo-concepts 42 psychological growth 155–6 psychological questions 75 psychologizing the subject 124 pushing for depth 71 Question Quadrant 75 questioning 14; in a CPI 63, 74–82; higher-order 247–8 Quinn, V. 124 race and racism 2; and discomfort in the CoI 1, 11–18; institutional racism 24, 224; positionality 217, 220, 221–4, 225 Rainville, N. 221–2 Rancière, J. 255–6, 257 rational justification 114 readers 175–7 readiness to question 77–9 reasonableness : aspirational eros 156–7; and emotions 102, 127–34; epistemic virtues and 103–5 reasons, giving 70–1 reconstruction of thinking 249–50 red clover 192 regulative ideal, truth as 114–15 relational ontology 176 relationships, civic 22–3 relativism 113–14, 114–15, 239–40, 242

SAPERE 7, 201 Schmid, W. 148–9, 150 scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) 227–8 Scholl, R. 245–6 school linking project 7 Schwab, J. 155, 158 science: inquiry-based 246–8; philosophizing with children in science classes 189, 191–5, 197 Seashore Louis, K. 122 security 232 self-efficacy 155–6 self-evaluation 132–3 self-reflection 149, 150–1, 209–10 self-regulated we 131–3 self-study 209–10; p4cHI International Journaling and Self-Study Project 217, 227–35 Sendak, M. 53 sentiments of logic 129–30 shared authority 29–32 Sharp, A.M. xxi, 3, 6, 38, 93, 115, 124, 164–5, 167–8, 180, 200; caring thinking 129, 130; CPI 4–5, 139; IAPC xxi; Lipman and Sharp’s synthesis 96, 98; reasonableness 131, 132 Siegel, H. 113–15 silence 224 Singer, P. 165 skilled moderation 194 skills: learning/study 205; necessary to the progress of CPI 30; thinking see thinking skills; vocational 150 slant questions 78, 79 Sloterdijk, P. 94 social interactions 41–2


Index social life, inquiry as 96–8 social self 148 socio-cultural mediation 41–2 Socrates 46, 47, 76, 77, 80, 93, 96, 123; eros 154; ignorance 253–4, 255, 257; questioning 51; Socrates-Confucius tension in facilitators 230 Socrates for Six Year Olds 63–4, 84–91 Socratic dialogue