Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy through by Thomas E. Wartenberg

By Thomas E. Wartenberg

Written in a transparent and available sort, this booklet explains why you will need to enable little ones entry to philosophy in the course of primary-school educations.For additional information, stopover at

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If a child is asked to explain why she thinks that, for example, bravery means acting despite one’s fears, and the child responds that she read it in a book or saw it on the Web or her big sister told her so, that’s not an appropriate move in the philosophy game; these are not good reasons unless they can be backed up by something more. A good reason might involve explaining what is involved in being brave, how it’s an appropriate response in dangerous situations, and what role fear plays. Students may not be able to give complete explanations for their ideas right off the bat, for this is a move that takes some practice.

My philosophical introductions should give you enough knowledge to feel comfortable without boring you with a great deal of detail. ) Getting used to facilitating discussions about topics for which you don’t have the answer—indeed, for which there may be no agreed upon answer—is hard. But it is also what makes it so much fun to work with children in this way: You may learn as much from them as they will from you. In chapter 7, I give more detailed advice about how to lead a philosophical discussion.

2. 2. How We Do Philosophy! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. We answer the questions the teacher asks as clearly as we can. We listen carefully and quietly to what someone is saying. We think about what we heard. We decide if we agree or disagree. We think about why we agree or disagree. When the teacher calls on us, we say whether we agree or not and why. We respect what everyone says. We all have valuable contributions to make. We have fun thinking together! 42 CHAPTER 5 For reasons that should be clear by now, we begin every session with a read-aloud.

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