Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-ix

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

Philosophy has become a respectable feature of elementary school education. This has been a fairly sudden development, since there was no such thing as philosophy in the schools prior to the 1970's. And since philosophy has for many centuries been taught exclusively on the college or graduate school level, what now induces elementary school administrators to add philosophy...

I. Encouraging Children to Be Thoughtful

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1. The Need for Educational Redesign

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pp. 3-11

A visitor from a planet whose inhabitants were all incorrigibly rational would no doubt find in our educational system much cause for wonder. It is not that we are unaware of the inefficiency of that system. Rather, the cause for wonder would be the method with which we seek to come to grips with that inefficiency. Over and over again, we have recourse to remediation rather than to...

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2. Thinking and the School Curriculum

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pp. 12-30

All of us-not just children-have known what it is for things to lack meaning. It is a deeply disturbing experience, much more so than simply being puzzled. When we are puzzled, we suspect there is an answer somewhere that will yield understanding. But meaninglessness can be terrifying. Children who sit at their desks and are inundated with factual information that seems jumbled,...

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3. Philosophy: The Lost Dimension in Education

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pp. 31-40

As adults, we have learned to accept the perplexities that emerge from our daily experience, and to take them pretty much for granted. Many of us no longer wonder why things are the way they are. We have come to accept parts of life as puzzling and enigmatic because that is the way they have always been. Many adults have ceased to wonder because they feel that there is no time...

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4. Some Educational Presuppositions of Philosophy for Children

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pp. 41-48

Concern for the educational possibilities of philosophy as an elementary school subject suggests that attention should be given to what this curious innovation must presuppose. Exploring such presuppositions might in turn throw new light on the always murky connections between education and philosophy. In the past, discussions about philosophy for young people have assumed...

II. Aims and Methods of Philosophy for Children

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5. The Philosophy for Children Curriculum

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pp. 51-81

Let us assume that the discipline known as philosophy, until now a collegelevel subject, is to be constructed so that it can be integrated into the elementary and secondary levels of education. Obviously there would be needed, to bring this about, a concerted effort to prepare teachers to teach philosophy on these levels, and a new curriculum. The preparation of teachers will be discussed...

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6. Teaching Methodology: Value Considerations and Standards of Practice

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pp. 82-101

Encouraging children to think philosophically is not an easy task for teachers to master. In many ways, it is more of an art than a technique, an art comparable to leading an orchestra or directing a play. And since, like any art, it takes practice, teachers should not be discouraged the first or second time they use the curriculum in the classroom. As one goes through one of the philosophy for children curricula, one learns...

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7. Guiding a Philosophical Discussion

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pp. 102-128

Philosophy is a discipline that considers alternative ways of acting, creating, and speaking. To discover these alternatives, philosophers persistently appraise and examine their own assumptions and presuppositions, question what other people normally take for granted, and speculate imaginatively concerning ever more comprehensive frames of reference. These activities in...

III. Applying Thinking Skills to School Experience

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8. Encouraging Children to Be Logical

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pp. 131-152

Logic has three meanings in philosophy for children. It means formal logic, with rules governing sentence structure and connections between sentences, and it also stands for giving reasons, which includes seeking and evaluating reasons for something said or done. Finally, logic means acting rationally, and concerns standards for reasonable behavior. Each of these topics is approached...

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9. Can Moral Education Be Divorced from Philosophical Inquiry?

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pp. 153-187

Presumptions are common in every domain of human activity. In the law, it is presumed that persons are innocent until they can be proven guilty. In scientific inquiry, it is presumed that events are caused, even when evidence of such causes is lacking, or when explanations can be offered only on a statistical basis. Likewise with ethical inquiry. The variable factor that distinguishes older...

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10. Philosophical Themes in Ethical Inquiry for Children

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pp. 188-204

Junior high school is neither the earliest point at which children can be introduced to ethical inquiry nor is it the latest. But it is a point at which such inquiry can be pursued in a considerably more systematic way than it could have been in earlier childhood. Partly this is because children in junior high school have a greater command of logical reasoning and partly it is because...

Appendix A. The Reform of Teacher Education

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pp. 207-215

Appendix B. Experimental Research in Philosophy for Children

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pp. 217-224

Bibliography

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pp. 225-231