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Teaching Children ( & the net?) Philosophy

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I am torn whether to post this here or in the Philosophy forums.

But perhaps here.

This is a radio programme.

It needs to be listened to rather than reading the transcript

It is about an Australian primary school introducing a K-6 Philosophy Course


It occurred to me while listening to it that the Internet could use such a course.

We would then get a much better standard of debate



6 December 2008

Teaching children to be philosophers


Listen Now - 06122008 |Download Audio - 06122008


How young is too young to think philosophically? Philosophers like Philip Cam from the University of New South Wales say there's no developmental reason why primary school age children can't be taught to think and to reason, and that developing these skills has a significant effect on their lives both in and out of the classroom.


So this week we spend time with a Grade 6 class at Stanmore Public School in Sydney as it grapples with what constitutes a meaningful life.


Show Transcript | Hide Transcript


Alan Saunders: Hello, I'm Alan Saunders, thanks for joining me for The Philosopher's Zone.


In the Year 6 classroom at Stanmore Public School in Sydney, the teacher, Dan Smith, is always right. Well, nearly always. Because once a week when the students move all the chairs into a big circle and gather for an hour of philosophy, their teacher is the first to admit that he does not have all the answers.


Two years ago, the school introduced philosophy to grades 5 and 6, and even though it's still a niche subject in Australian schools, its popularity is growing. From next year, learning to teach philosophy will be compulsory for all teaching students at the Queensland University of Technology


download or podcast here:-

Philosophers Zone - 6 December 2008 - Teaching children to be philosophers

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Yes, great post, I've found that children are capable of much more than most adults allow. They tend to live up or down to the expectations of the people they respect. Children should be exposed to as much knowledge, especially the tools of knowledge, that can be presented to them. Really great idea,

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I champion the use and concerted education of classical logic, paraconsistent/Brazilian logic, western philosophy, eastern philosophy, mathematics(arithmetic, algebra, analytical geometry, trigonometry, set theory, Tensor/Vector/Scalar), programming(Object-oriented, procedural, meta), and scientific method in classes for children as young as six.


Forget what you know about learning these things from college. The point is to have fun using them, to enjoy there exploration, to share them with friends & family. Teach kids to play games, and show them what types of logic are being leveraged for a given game. No need for messy nonsensical ridged notations. Introduce the concepts, but only emphasize the types of expressions the scholars--school children are scholars--will be capable of utilizing.


Magic: The Gathering is a complex card game which leverages many types of logic and mathematics to derive it's gameplay. It is relatively easy to learn for those who are capable of reading, but exceedingly difficult to master. Go is an excellent example of a game which is intellectually rich, easy to learn, but difficult to master. Video games provide a whole realm of intellectually rich and academically powerful tools for young and old scholars alike. I highly encourage those who are interested to read "What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy" by James Paul Gee for an introduction. Also, check out Mike Wesch's Youtube Channel.

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I was privileged to be in a cohort that tried out Edward de Bono's CORT thinking course at school in 1976. It was specially designed by the Lateral Thinking Guy himself for schools and when I become a teacher in 2010 I am going to make sure that there are extra classes teaching this stuff; led by me.


Check the modules out on his (strangely amateur) website.


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  • 6 months later...
This thread needs to be bumped up. It's a wonderful idea. Teaching kids how to think and how people think is essential in teaching them the educational process.


I hope it stays up for a while.


Thank you for introducing it.



OK, thanks everyone.

:singer: :singer:

This site often has some excellent radio interviews and broadcasts on the subject


IS PHILOSOPHY IRRELEVANT TO SCIENCE? (Philosophers Zone: 27/06/2009)

Philosophers Zone - 27 June 2009 - Is philosophy irrelevant to science?

Unfortunately they are taken down after four weeks.

I don't know how to attach podcasts to hypography threads, and have run out of allowance anyway

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  • 8 months later...

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