In a world of constant change, we need to consider the future of education and the role of philosophy in shaping it. We need to ask ourselves, what are the ideas worth spreading, and how can we express them in a way that is accessible and effective?
In this blog, we explore these questions, as well as what the role of philosophy in early childhood education is and how to teach philosophy to children.
What are good ideas?
If you had to consider which of the following ideas is the most worth spreading between Marxism, e=mc2, or Winnie-the-Pooh, which would you choose? While many may be surprised by this question, it serves as a reminder that good ideas can come from unexpected places. Which author do you think most regretted their idea?
When we ask ourselves such questions, it becomes clear that good ideas need good minds to spread them effectively. One way to generate and spread good ideas is by educating the next generation of idea-givers on the topic of philosophy.
The role of philosophy: What is PC4?
Philosophy has always played a role in setting a standard for education, encouraging students to choose their words carefully and think critically. Recently, the idea of "Philosophy for Children" (P4C) has come about, which aims to help children become more thoughtful, reflective, considerate, and reasonable individuals. PC4 was initially proposed by American philosopher Andrew Lipman in the 1970s and has recently made a comeback and educational settings. P4C involves writing stories that stimulate children to raise big questions, such as whether we should reduce our meat consumption or whether humans are just machines. The approach has been successful in 60 countries and emphasizes the importance of wisdom over rote learning.
For example, one study aimed to investigate the impact of PC4 on improving critical thinking skills in students. The study involved 61 students, with 27 in the experimental group and 34 in the control group. The Test for Reasoning Skills was used to measure critical thinking. Results showed that the experimental group had a higher mean score on the post-test, indicating that P4C had a positive effect on critical thinking skills. P4C was found to encourage students to reflect on the consequences of their assumptions and actions during discussions. The study also suggests that P4C provides teachers with a new teaching strategy that can enhance their career advancement and enthusiasm in the classroom.
In addition, a meta-analysis examining the overall effects of PC4 in educational settings found that PC4 encouraged the development of different skills in children. For instance, children it helped children develop higher-order thinking skills and encouraged a democratic and fair approach during discussions. These results suggest that philosophical interventions for children benefit their mental development.
Philosophy for the future
Scholars argue that the future of education must consider the role of philosophy and the importance of good minds and good expression. We must encourage students to become more reflective, thoughtful, and reasonable individuals, and we must do so in a way that emphasizes wisdom over rote learning. By embracing new ideas and new approaches to education, we can help to shape a better future for all.
In a world that is constantly changing, the importance of education cannot be overstated. The ideas that we teach today will shape the future of our society, and we must choose them carefully. By emphasizing the role of philosophy and the importance of good minds and good expression, we can help to spread good ideas that will have a positive impact on the world. We must encourage students to become more reflective and thoughtful individuals, and we must do so in a way that is accessible and effective. With the right approach, we can prepare our children for a world that is full of challenges, but also full of opportunities.
Tips for parents and educators:
Ab Wahab, M. K., Zulkifli, H., & Abdul Razak, K. (2022). Impact of Philosophy for Children and Its Challenges: A Systematic Review. Children, 9(11), 1671.
Daniel, M. F., & Auriac, E. (2011). Philosophy, critical thinking and philosophy for children. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(5), 415-435.
Zulkifli, H., & Hashim, R. (2020). Philosophy for children (P4C) in improving critical thinking in a secondary moral education class. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 19(2), 29-45.