Philosophy for Children

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I. The concept of the Community of Inquiry Central to the heart of P4C lies the notion of a community of inquiry. Originally a term from Pierce to reference interaction among scientists, the concept of "COI" dominates the discussion of educational revisionism as presented by commentators on the P4C movement. The key description marking a COI is: a group (a social setting) of individuals who use dialogue (interaction among participants) to search out the problematic borders of a puzzling concept (inquiry as philosophical.) Implicit in the ideal workings of this group are two key concepts: a demonstration of thinking that is caring (each member is supported and allowed to be an integral member of the community), creative (new ideas are sought out and encouraged) and critical (good reasons are expected for one's ideas and positions). fallibilism (a willingness to be corrected and an acknowledgment of possible error or perspectivalness). Thus, the COI offers us a dual message of promoting critical thinking and encouraging an obligation to one's fellow inquirer. As such the concept of COI attempts to address contemporary challenges to education to produce better thinkers and more caring members of society who can tolerate differences at the same time they can submit conflicts to reasonable scrutiny. In a COI all participants must respect one another as thoughtful persons who seek communally to better understand the issue at hand. In describing the COI as central to philosophical inquiry with children I have tried to achieve a certain degree of metaphysical neutrality by focusing upon the methodological structure of the discussion. However, once we probes beneath the surface definition we discover a cache of important meta... ... middle of paper ... ...e Communities," Analytic Teaching, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 3-16. Schleifer, Michael. "Philosophy and Community in Education: A Critique of Richard Rorty," Analytic Teaching, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 27-34. Sharp, Ann Margaret. "The Community of Inquiry: Education for Democracy," Thinking, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 31-37. _________. "What is a 'Community of Inquiry?", Journal of Moral Education, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 37-45. _________. "Feminism and Philosophy for children: The Ethical Dimension," Thinking, vol. 11, no. 3/4, pp. 24-28. Slade, Christina. "Conversing Across Communities: Relativism and Difference," Analytic Teaching, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 3-12. Thomas, John C. "Community of Inquiry and Differences of the Heart," Thinking, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 42-48. Traverso, Gabriela. "Community and Hermeneutic Rationality," Analytic Teaching, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 21-26.

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