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Philosophy for children's linguistic, logical and cognitive competence
Collective Contribution by Philip Fortune
I believe that introducing dicipline of philisophy early in a child's curriculum will go a long way in improving the quality and values of our young citizens.
Children's reasoning and moral judgment need to be strengthened. A major aim of education is to make children more reasonable. Let us therefore make reasoning and judgment available to children under the auspices of philosophy?
An added advantage of introducing philosophy into the grade school has been the realization that this would be an ideal way of having children study values, for in philosophy, conceptual analysis plays a major role.
Children, students would learn how to reason more effectively, and how to make better judgments by applying their reasoning to life situations. Many problematic issues are encountered and examined. The students deliberate among themselves, and this process is then internalized, and they become more reflective and begin to think for themselves.
These classroom deliberations evoke thinking that is skillful and deliberate, thinking that employs relevant criteria, is self-correcting, and is sensitive to context. It is not just any kind of thinking: it is critical thinking. The classroom dialogue is something students find irresistible: they can't help joining in, contributing their own reflections to the discussion. In this way, cognitive skillfulness is acquired naturally and in context, rather than in isolated drills.
Philosophy for Children sharpens children's linguistic, logical and cognitive competence. If any subject should be added to the school curriculum, it should be philosophy.
See Collective Statement : TT Humanist : Forum : Commentary : Education