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[Xmca-l] Re: Doing Philosophy with kids

Mike, Alfredo, Phillip, and Larry,
As Mike noted, Rubio's quip "We need more welders and less philosophers" has generated much conversation about what is and isn't valued by our society. The erupting discussion reminds me of an annual survey of literacy leaders conducted by Jack Cassidy, a former ILA president, to gauge "what's hot and what's not" in reading education each year. He adds an additional strand to this survey titled "What should be hot." I argue that teaching philosophy and learning to philosophize "should be hot" but is not. (Maybe "children-as-welders" clubs will start popping up around the country now!)

It was so nice to hear from Phillip who conducted P4C sessions in an elementary school when Philosophy for Children was first introduced into the US education landscape in the '70s.  Phillip, thank you for your comments; your insider's understanding of my world was so welcome. 
For the article, I focused on an aspect of the community's transformation that the ground rules, as tools, enabled...tools as a critical component but only one ingredient of the mixture.  As is always true in education, it's the teacher, it's the teacher, it's the teacher. Knowledge, resources, expertise,...yes. But it's the teacher's passion for fostering critical, creative, and caring thinking that determines the extent of the results. 

Kim Skinner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Literacy Studies
Louisiana State University
School of Education
226 Peabody Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

From: xmca-l-bounces+kskinner=lsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces+kskinner=lsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:36 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Doing Philosophy with kids

I would like to also bring to the fore the understanding of *values* within philosophy.
C I Lewis in 1926 wrote:

The validity of cognition is inseparable test of which it consists in some valuable result of the action which it serves to guide. Knowledge - so the pragmatist conceives -  is for the sake of action; and action is directed toward realization of what is valuable. If there should be no valid judgments of value, then action would be pointless or merely capricious, and cognition would be altogether lacking in significance.

This is the question of (meaning). Lewis distinguished *terminating* and *non-terminating* judgments meant to differentiate the present meaning from the possible meaning OF linguistic expressions and thus re/assess critically the dichotomies of FACTUAL judgement and VALUE judgement.
Lewis thesis is that value judgments operate in the entire area of normativity, INCLUDING, the logical determinations of what is coherence and cogency, as well as definitions of truth.

In this spirit. I bring in Kym Maclaren's article which showed prisoners and university students could develop a shared *space* as a place of 1st order *voice* and this action was transformative.
The values are explicit.

-----Original Message-----
From: "White, Phillip" <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>
Sent: ‎2015-‎11-‎11 7:52 AM
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Doing Philosophy with kids

Alfredo, and Kim  -  like you, Alfredo, Kim's work was a pleasure to read.  in part it took me back to the mid-1970's when i used Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery, along with the teacher's guide that Lipman wrote, within the school day to work on problems of philosophy with my class of nine, ten and eleven years old students. (i was teaching in a non-graded elementary school where students were grouped in multi-ages.)

in elementary school every discipline taught is by its very nature multi-disciplinary.  it's just part and parcel of the fluidity of working with children where the daily can become unusual and the unusual become daily.  boundaries are always pressed and reconstituted -  it's for this that so many teachers find teaching so intellectually and emotionally exhausting.  so the questions about discourse being civil or academic or or or or ... can be more easily answered through the lens of Wittgenstein, with his understanding of language as a kind of game bound within contextual rules - and, for example, the anxiety over 'right answers' is an anxiety reflecting uncertainty regarding the rules.

Alfredo, you're so right when you wrote:
"Second, and related to the first, I was thinking that, for things to work out, the community of adult/learners studied must have had already some competences/resources for this to happen. So one could wonder which features of the 'looking for the right answer' culture, or of their everyday schooling, may have also made it possible the new culture to emerge."

much is going to depend upon the teacher.  i've witnessed teachers refuse to teach elementary science that it hands-on experiential based, precisely because the outcomes of the science experiments couldn't always be the "right answer".

Kim, you've already noted that your narrative was limited by the constraints of the article length.  i've no doubt that a great deal of singular student revelations and innovations occurred that you of necessity had to cut out.