philosophy meta-forum
From Leiter:

New Books in July

Authors and/or publishers kindly sent me these new books this month: America in Italy:  The United States in the Political Thought and Imagination of the  Risorgimento, 1763-1865 by Axel Korner (Princeton University Press, 2017). Pragmatism and Justice edited by Susan Dieleman, David Rondel &...

Comments

Comments in green on the left are from Leiter, comments on the right are from the philosophymetaforum.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?

John Gardner

81 day(s) ago

Hi Preston. It started this past year with my own daughter's class. But it has caught on with the year 3 teachers and it looks like my contributions will continue next year independently of my daughter, subject to some administrative niceties. Another parent has volunteered to run an after-school philosophy club in the same school next year. It is admittedly a very progressive and ambitious school with a catchment including many university families (as well as many from less educationally advantaged backgrounds). However, it is not the only primary school in the city with such offerings. In a different part of the city, in a less iconoclastic school, my stepdaughter's class had something similar, again offered by a parent, a few years ago. I have heard of further examples. It is unlikely that local-authority-funded schools like these could offer such classes without parent volunteers, although one of the newly-qualified teachers at my daughter's school is including a little philosophy in his year 2 and year 5 teaching (mostly philosophical themes connected with project work). He tells me that the subject got some attention in his teacher training programme. The difference is that he is not mainly trained as a philosopher. He is mainly trained as a teacher. For the future, a mixed economy of professional primary-school teachers dabbling in philosophy and professional philosophers dabbling in primary-school teaching seems a realistic model for primary schools in this city. I don't know if it can be generalised to other locales. Although I've read quite a few writings about philosophy for children and philosophy in schools, I have devised my own topics and classes from scratch, adjusting from week to week according to the way that the kids responded. We discussed: the chicken-and-egg problem; the nature of a person (using Dr Who as our test case); infinity and numbers; the universe and the multiverse; the defining features of art; and various others. The topic that worked best was about how instrumental music, or even isolated chords and scales, can convey mood and emotion. We compared it with facial expression, which gave rise to fascinating discussions of conventionality and universality. I provided the class teacher and assistants with some suitable reading matter as we went along, so they were able to join in and make occasional connections back to the philosophy lessons in other parts of the curriculum. As mentioned before, I also found some philosophical books for the class bookshelves, which were fairly popular as weekend borrowings. Other parents (of many backgrounds) got quite into the whole idea, with several reporting extended philosophical discussions at the dinner table. One child even insisted on having philosophy read to her at bedtime. Probably a good way to get an 8-year-old to sleep!

Preston Stovall

78 day(s) ago

Thanks John, this is great. Our sense was that there was a pretty significant interest in this in Pittsburgh, too, though from what I've seen of the work that's been done on philosophy for children it looks like the U.K. is farther along on this front than the U.S. (to say nothing of philosophy's incorporation into the school systems of France and Germany). When we run the course this year, I'd like to try to integrate the material with other parts of the school curriculum as well. Our hope is to build up the demand side of the market so as to take a bit of pressure off the supply side.

John Gardner

83 day(s) ago

I teach a weekly philosophy lesson to a year 3 (age 7-8) class in a local primary school (all abilities). My pupils are extremely engaged and their progress over the weeks is plain to see. I find, and the school finds, that it is a particularly positive experience for the kids who otherwise don't have a very academic self-image. They may struggle with the official syllabus in maths or literacy, but in the philosophy lesson they learn to express their ideas about infinity, identity, evolution, art, etc. without any pressure to meet benchmarks. They argue with the others on equal terms. They come away thinking of themselves as smarter, and that improves their confidence across the board. I haven't taught them Kant yet ... but I did get a book for their class library called Professor Kant's Incredible Day by Jean Paul Mongin and that has got pretty beaten up in just a few weeks. I *think* it was beaten up by reading, not throwing. Anyway, it's a very rewarding task to teach them and I strongly recommend it to readers of this blog with pedagogical interests.

Preston Stovall

81 day(s) ago

Thanks John--I look forward to getting a copy of that book. Can you say a little about how you learned about or created your primary school teaching gig? And what kind of support and resources have you found for it?


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