Friday, 28 August 2009

Wire News - Philosophy for Children

Today, in the States, a book that seems particularly promising is being released, it's titled: "Big Ideas for Little Kids, Teaching Philosophy Through Children's Literature", by Thomas E. Wartenberg, Pub. Rowman & Littlefield Education, 164 pages.

Thomas E. Wartenberg is a Philosophy teacher at Mount Holyoke University where, for the last decade or so, he has been leading classes for elementary teachers, to help them learn new methods to teach children Philosophy.

The book is the result of this long-lasting experience and is divided into four parts:

1 - "Teaching Philosophy in Elementary Schools", where the basics for teaching are described, considering the very special audience to which Philosophy lessons will be delivered;

2 - "Preparing to Teaching", where practical suggestions on how to structure lessons and how to conduct the philosophical discussion with kids are given;

3 - "The Stories", where some characters or picture books are taken as an example to afford specific subjects such as Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Social and Political Philosophy, Epistemology, Language Philosophy, and so on;

4 - "Implications", where we find suggestions about activities to do after philosphical discussion has taken place and conclusions.
Amid the Picture Books the author uses as a practical examples, we do find some that are definitely old, such as:

"The Important Book" by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrations by Leonard Weisgard, Pub. Harper Collins, 1949


"The Wonderful Wizard od Oz" by L. Frank Baum, originarily published by the George M. Hill Company in 1900


"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, of 1964 published all over the world

together with brand new ones, such as:

"Knuffle Bunny, a Cautionary Tale" by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books for Children, 2004


"Emily's Art" by Peter Catalanotto, Richard Jackson Books, 2001

If you wish to listen to an interesting interview with the author, please go to the following link:

If you want to buy the book:^DB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=1607093340

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