[IAEP] How can we help kids get into the habits of looking for all possible causes and counter examples to problems?

Alan Papert alpappy at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 2 22:13:34 EDT 2011

An effective
way to achieve this attitude of mind is through a program called
'philosophy for children' (p4c). In the words of Professor Thomas
Jackson, director of the philosophy in schools project in Hawaii, p4c is
“gentle Socratic” inquiry; not what has become known as the Socratic method,
nor the study of the great philosophers of the past, but the creation of an intellectually safe community where philosophical inquiry can flourish.
By avoiding questions which have concrete answers, all ideas deserve equal
discussion time and, by having their ideas discussed the children gain self
esteem. Part of the discussion is the requirement to enlarge on
the idea put forward and to accept different views on the subject being
discussed. This program is most effectively introduced at any age greater than
five or six.
The logical extension of p4c is learning by discovery.

Alan Papert
alan at smallsolutionsbigideas.org
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