Children are natural philosophers. Like grown-up philosophers, they constantly question and strive to make sense of concepts and conventions that the rest of us have long since taken for granted. But there is little place for such flexible, open-ended questioning and reflection in their formal education. However, there is increasing evidence that regular participation in philosophical enquiry has a range of benefits for young children – improvements in mathematical and literacy skills, IQ scores, behaviour and emotional well-being.
This project has two interrelated aims: to arrive at a better understanding of why engaging in philosophical inquiry has this particular package of benefits, and to design and implement programmes of classroom activities that maximise those benefits.
In autumn 2019 (Date TBC) Eidyn will host an interdisciplinary workshop bringing together practitioners of philosophy with children, philosophers and educational theorists to discuss the emerging evidence base for the efficacy of philosophical inquiry for cognitive and emotional well-being, and current trends in best practice. The project will also support a series of classroom activities in a local primary school that will be informed by the results of the workshop.
Dr. Alix Cohen
Dr. Dave Ward