Open, Look, Think
Wonder Ponder brings you innovative visual philosophy cards for children. There is a picture on one side of the card, and when you turn the card there is a number of philosophical questions. The questions are different from any other philosophical material that I have seen for children. A fresh and provocative approach to problems and issues . The first deck of cards is called Cruelty Bites (Mundo Cruel); the second, I, Person (Yo, Persona).
The card contain questions such as:
- Are you absolutely sure you are a person?
- How do you know you are not really a robot?
- Should aliens be allowed to keep children in cages?
- Is it more cruel to keep a boy in a cage o to keep an animal in a cage?;
- If you had more than one brain, would you be more than one person?
- What exactly is a person?
- Is it OK to kill ants? When? And how many?
- Would you like to live in a zoo? Why?
- Is it always cruel to make someone do something they don’t want to do
In the blog post Why we’d never do a box on ‘kindness’ or ‘accepting diversity’ you can read about why ‘I, Person’ and ‘Cruelty Bites’ were chosen instead of more traditional topics.
“The fact is that kindness is, philosophically, rather less interesting than cruelty, or rather, it is so only in so far as it is the flip side of cruelty or ‘evil’. Why? Mainly, because we don’t tend to have trouble explaining kindness. Cruelty, on the other hand, we find unsettling. Gratuitous cruelty leaves us, quite literally, without words. How can we accept these acts as part of human nature without feeling shaken? How can we even recognise ourselves in certain cruel or even ‘evil’ behaviours and still claim that we are generally decent people?. . . Imagine a box with 14 scenes on kindness. What would it be like? How would it engage? Interest? Provoke thought?”
This approach has received some criticism and the dark pictures sometimes contain violent scenes, which may upset some people. They can also be regarded as a provocation to inspire a discussion. An innovative approach to philosophy for children.
Children are also invited to make their own scenes, and the box contains blank card. i particularly like that the way we read pictures are explored. The games come with a map with suggestions for things to look at with a looking glass- this ensures that every detail and dialogue on the cards are examined.
This product brings innovation of the kind that ensures that Philosophy for Children doesn’t allow itself to lie in the slumber of the same didactic methodologies, but rather is a bold step forward for educating not only in narrative reading but also in the reading of images in a society that is increasingly entering virtual, audiovisual and imaginative and creative spheres.
You can buy the material here.