‘Education to independence demands that young people should be accustomed early to consult their own sense of propriety and their own reason. To regard study as mere receptivity and memory work is to have a most incomplete view of what instruction means.’

G.W.F Hegel (1770-1831)


Check out Peter Worleys’s  Philosophy Foundation – which trains teachers how to conduct Enquiry with students.

From the intro video:

“It develops their speaking and listening, it develops their ability to sustain a train of thought, not just as individuals but together. They get the opportunity to express their ideas without being condemned or judged in any way, and that builds their confidence. There’s a special kind of thinking that philosophy engenders, and I would say that it is what some people would call second order thinking. You’re not just thinking, you’re thinking about your thinking. So you’re thinking about why you think what you think, and are you justified in thinking what you think, but more importantly you’re rethinking. In my experience, children that have been doing philosophy from a young age, when they get to year 5 or 6, are really quite formidable in their reasoning skills, and in their ability (one of the things I’ve noticed) to construct arguments.” (Peter Worley)

From their “About us – method” page:

Michael Hand, reader in philosophy at the Institute of Education, and editor of ‘Philosophy in Schools’ has said that there have been 2 models of doing philosophy in schools and neither was adequate. The first is, what he calls, the ‘Great Books Model’: the study of classical texts, and the other is the ‘Circle Time Model’, where the children generate their own questions and the teacher becomes a co-enquirer. He has called our method the ‘Third Way’: “It draws on the strengths of the other two models. Children do not study philosophical texts, but they encounter key ideas, arguments and puzzles from the canon of Western philosophy: the Ship of Theseus and the Ring of Gyges, Locke’s ‘voluntary prisoner’ and Mill’s ‘satisfied pig’, the Rawlsian ‘veil of ignorance’ and the Turing Test of artificial intelligence. Children are not left to pursue their own questions without direction, but there is a strong emphasis on exploratory discussion and dialogue…[the PhiE Model is] a significant contribution to educational theory.”

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Other Youtube clips of kids doing philosophy: