Most kids find The Philosophy Club unusual, because it’s rare for them to find other opportunities – either in school or home – to think and talk about deep questions in an open and collaborative atmosphere. Although some families and teachers go out of their way to cultivate these opportunities, it’s generally uncommon for children to be invited to explore new perspectives, to challenge each other’s opinions in a reasoned way, or to spend time actively constructing their worldviews.
I established The Philosophy Club because I wanted to create a supportive environment and a rich array of learning materials that would enable kids to do all of these things, while developing their thinking and interpersonal skills along the way.
I was delighted when Amy Leask – a Canadian educator, curriculum developer, Philosophy for Children advocate and entrepreneur – interviewed me for a guest post which appears on her blogs. In the post The Philosophy Club: Where young minds explore deep questions, I talk about why I began running philosophy workshops for children, what it’s like working with kids of different ages, and what I see as the long-term academic and personal benefits of early encounters with philosophy. I also talk about the kind of questions that kids ask from left field, like “If we found life on another planet, we’d have to ask: ‘Are they the aliens, or are we?'”
Special thanks to Amy Leask for the chance to share my thoughts at Enable Education and at Kids Think About It, where she and her guests blog about about teaching, learning, critical thinking and big ideas.
The Philosophy Club runs co-curricular and extra-curricular workshops for children in Australia.