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Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects

Nancy Vansieleghem (Editor), David Kennedy (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-5040-1
248 pages
January 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Philosophy for Children in Transition: Problems and Prospects (1444350404) cover image


Philosophy for Children in Transition presents a diverse collection of perspectives on the worldwide educational movement of philosophy for children. Educators and philosophers establish the relationship between philosophy and the child, and clarify the significance of that relationship for teaching and learning today.
  • The papers present a diverse range of perspectives, problems and tentative prospects concerning the theory and practice of Philosophy for Children today
  • The collection familiarises an actual educational practice that is steadily gaining importance in the field of academic philosophy
  • Opens up discussion on the notion of the relationship between philosophy and the child
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Table of Contents


Introduction: What is Philosophy for Children, What is Philosophy with Children—After Matthew Lipman? (NANCY VANSIELEGHEM and DAVID KENNEDY)

1. The Experience of Childhood and the Learning Society: Allowing the Child to be Philosophical and Philosophy to be Childish (THOMAS STORME and JORIS VLIEGHE)

2. Philosophy for Children and its Critics: A Mendham Dialogue (MAUGHN GREGORY)

3. The Play of Socratic Dialogue (RICHARD SMITH)

4. Childhood, Philosophy and Play: Friedrich Schiller and the Interface between Reason, Passion and Sensation (BARBARA WEBER)

5. Transindividuality and Philosophical Enquiry in Schools: A Spinozist Perspective (JULIANA MERÇON and AURELIA ARMSTRONG)

6. Community of Philosophical Inquiry as a Discursive Structure, and its Role in School Curriculum Design (NADIA KENNEDY and DAVID KENNEDY)

7. The Provocation of an Epistemological Shift in Teacher Education through Philosophy with Children (JOANNA HAYNES and KARIN MURRIS)

8. Philosophy, Exposure, and Children: How to Resist the Instrumentalisation of Philosophy in Education (GERT BIESTA)

9. Philosophy with Children as an Exercise in Parrhesia: An Account of a Philosophical Experiment with Children in Cambodia (NANCY VANSIELEGHEM)

10. Childhood, Education and Philosophy: Notes on Deterritorialisation (WALTER OMAR KOHAN)

11. ‘In Charge of the Truffula Seeds’: On Children's Literature, Rationality and Children's Voices in Philosophy (VIKTOR JOHANSSON)

12. Brilliance of a Fire: Innocence, Experience and the Theory of Childhood (ROBERT A. DAVIS)


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Author Information

Nancy Vansieleghem is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of the Foundations of Education at Ghent University. In her work, she explores alternative forms of educational practices and experiments in terms of actions that seek to address the forces of the market which exploit educational projects increasingly as consumer products. She is the author of Dialogue as Limit-Experience: A Portrait of Philosophy with Children as Educational Project (2010).

David Kennedy is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University, and Fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC). His publications include The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education (2006) and Philosophical Dialogue with Children: Essays on Theory and Practice (2006), as well as numerous journal articles on philosophy of childhood and on theory and practice of community of philosophical inquiry with children.

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“That said, the book will be of interest to those who are undertaking substantial research projects, for example as part of a doctoral thesis or taught Master’s dissertation, and who wish to explore a range of theoretical perspectives that may be linked to the practice of teaching Philosophy in schools.”  (International Journal of Lifelong Education, 1 April 2014)

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