Practical Philosophy with Children

14th January 2019

Frank Reilly, SRN Director tells us about one of his highlights from 2018.

In 2018, SRN created a partnership with Strathclyde University and Barnardos to explore Philosophy with Children. Our refocus on supporting early intervention with other partners has led us to look at how we support learning which equips young people for the challenges of adolescence and beyond. To be in a class of twenty-nine 10 year olds exploring questions such as ‘ does a pre-language infant think in language’, to watch them evaluate others arguments and create a new, synthesised understanding was really powerful.

To ‘win’- something we do seem to emphasise at an early stage- was less important than being morally grounded. The process created a space where everyone in the class was valued, where everyone could have a voice and where being ‘right’ and being part of the class community were not mutually exclusive. We have high hopes that this educational approach, which has direct impacts on wellbeing and engagement in the academic system, will be the next step for resilience for young people.

This SRN commissioned feature from Dr Claire Cassidy from the University of Strathclyde’s School of Education gives an introduction to ‘Practical Philosophy with children, young people and adults: what is it and why should we do it?

Frank