The Socratic method, when used correctly, is an ingenious and dependable way of fostering collaborative dialogic argument in the classroom. Yet the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) presents Socratic discussions as something more like a chinwag, with stock sentence-starters awkwardly jammed in. It’s not only a travesty of the spirit of Socratic dialogue, but a missed opportunity for supporting the development of genuine critical thinking in schools.
Philosophy education and the climate crisis Like many in our community, I find myself moving between shock, anxiety, grief and frustration as news reports indicate that our planet is heating […]
Does dialogue work to harmonise conflicting views, or does it simply entrench differences? According to extensive research in the psychology of polarised opinion, the answer is discouraging: when people of any ideological stripe encounter opposing views and evidence, their beliefs grow even more divergent. Hearing from the other side seems to make people double down on their original positions.
You might have noticed: having a dig at philosophy seems to have become a sport among high profile scientists. Stephen Hawking famously declared: “philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept […]
I’m proposing three strategies that educators can use to promote genuine dialogic argument. These strategies are ones that I’ve found useful in averting pseudo-arguments –– those superficial, directionless and disjointed conversations among individuals who inter-splice their monologues while remaining essentially deaf to one another. A friend of mine likens the pseudo-argument pattern of talk to the parallel play of two-year-olds, engrossed side-by-side in their respective imaginary worlds. Let’s see what we can do to make the switch from parallel play to cooperative play in the philosophy classroom.
I’ve been progressively building the argument that we educators need to help our students move beyond relativism, and towards an evaluativist level of understanding. But how can we achieve this? […]
(Or, how to be inimitable) We’re a motley crew, we Philosophy in Schools people. Our goals are so varied, it can be hard to say exactly what it is that […]
“I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn’t speak on behalf of anyone else as to what’s […]
Tweens and teens, however strong and resilient they may be as individuals, are collectively a vulnerable bunch. We hear a lot about how they’re susceptible to social exclusion, peer pressure, mental […]
“At a time when political rhetoric is riven with irrationality, when knowledge is…seen…as an encumbrance that can be pushed aside if it stands in the way of wishful thinking, and […]