“Over the years, the Philosophy for Children program has made its way into many schools as a means of encouraging thinking and promoting discussion. However, the program does not limit itself to reasoning only. It also seeks to encourage creativity and personal and interpersonal growth.”
This seems to be a very good program. It deserves to be promoted!
Some years ago, Matthew Lipman, a professor at Columbia University, created the Philosophy for Children program. The basic tenet was that children were born natural philosophers, and that many of their queries had philosophical import. On the basis of that tenet, he created a curriculum dedicated to utilizing and developing children’s philosophical skills. His first book, Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery, proved enormously successful with 5th graders in a New York City school. His project was quite ambitious, because philosophy encompasses such areas as: ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, logic, foundations of mathematical and scientific principles, politics, and the law.
In 1973, Professor Lipman established the Institute for the Advancement for the Philosophy of Children at Montclair State College in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Using money from grants, he developed philosophical readings and exercises from K-12. He also provided a comprehensive teacher’s manual with plans for discussions and future projects.
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