Big questions is what most people think that philosphy is all about. Big and hard questions that only adults can have something important to contribute to.
Philosophy for children is not about teaching children about philosophy but to engage with children about philosophical questions. Children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. Questions such as “Is it ever ok to steal?” or “Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Philosophical questions are open-ended and search for possible answers are carried out. Not everyone may agree but children are often fine with wondering about things. They also often have no problem with changing their minds. They can admit that they do not know anything about a topic and ask someone to explain it to them. This is sometimes more tricky for adutls. We are often self-consious and afraid of admitting that we do not know something.
Philosophy for children is about inspiring children to think dive and communicate. Exploring topics and engaging in fascinating discussions.
Adulthood is often seen as the ultimate goal of childhood. When children have grown up and become adults we can take them seriously. Yet, children often have a unique perspective on different issues and rather than seeing their suggestions as cute or funny, it gives important to give them the opportunity to see that their ideas have value and that others have different ideas that have value too.
There are no right answers and everyone can be heard without fear of getting on an answer wrong. Philosophy is a beautiful invitation to “I wonder. . .”
Go here to read more blogpost about Philosophy and children.
A link to a podcast with Jana Mohr Lone, director and founder of University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children and founding president of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO). Warmly recommended podcast.
Children are capable of engaging in philosophical questions so we should take them seriously.
This will enhance not only their lives but our lives as well.