Philosophy is not just for academics or professionals; it is an activity that everyone can engage in, regardless of age. Teaching philosophy to children has become increasingly popular, and for good reason.
Doing philosophy with children can achieve three vital things: it gets them pondering the significant philosophical ideas that are fundamental to the way we live our lives, it gets them thinking critically and logically, and it allows them to explore those big ideas collaboratively with their peers.
In this blog, we explore the significance of teaching philosophy to kids and its relevance to encouraging critical thinking in kids.
What will children learn from philosophy?
Firstly, doing philosophy with kids enables them to contemplate big philosophical ideas that are central to our lives. Philosophical ideas such as justice, freedom, truth, and existence are familiar to children, and they wonder about them.
For instance, if you believe something, and my friend believes something different, is one of us right and the other wrong? How much should you teach children to help others? These big philosophical questions demand deep reflection and contemplation, and they allow children to understand different perspectives on life. Engaging with these questions encourages children to think beyond the mundane, and to ask themselves important questions about the world around them.
Secondly, doing philosophy with kids promotes critical and logical thinking. Philosophical thinking is about exploring big ideas in a disciplined and rigorous way, using reason and logic to better understand them. It involves searching for examples and counterexamples, seeking alternatives, recognizing mistakes, and developing a sound argument. Children need to learn to think critically and logically to navigate through today's world of social media, conspiracy theories, and the need for personal accountability. They need to learn how to articulate not just what they think, but why they think it. They should be able to think creatively and critically, wonder, imagine, puzzle, reflect and question, and talk excitedly about things like justice and freedom.
Thirdly, doing philosophy with kids enables collaboration. Doing philosophy in a classroom setting is a communal activity that fosters listening, respect for others' ideas, exploration of disagreements, and willingness to change one's mind. Children learn to listen carefully and patiently to others' ideas, explore disagreements respectfully, and move towards becoming more reasonable and reflective people. Engaging in philosophical discourse promotes collaboration, and children learn to work with their peers to explore significant philosophical ideas.
In addition, philosophy encourages children to reflect on their experiences and emotions, gaining a better understanding of themselves and their beliefs. They also learn to be more open-minded and compassionate towards others by exploring different world views and ways of thinking.
Moreover, philosophy helps children develop a sense of ethics and values by reflecting on what is right and wrong, and considering the implications of their actions. They can also become more confident and improve their communication skills by engaging in philosophical discussions and debates.
Tips for parents and educators:
Camhy, D. G., & Iberer, G. (1988). Philosophy for children: A research project for further mental and personality development of primary and secondary school pupils. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children, 7(4), 18-25.
Daniel, M. F., & Auriac, E. (2011). Philosophy, critical thinking and philosophy for children. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(5), 415-435.
Karadağ, F., & Demirtaş, V. Y. (2018). The Effectiveness of The Philosophy with Children Curriculum on Critical Thinking Skills of Pre-School Children. Education & Science/Egitim ve Bilim, 43(195).
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.