Cool Logic

Heleen Booy (ILLC)

Philosophy in Primary Schools: Designing Teaching Materials

June 20th at 17:30, in Science Park 904, Room B0.203

This will be a talk about my masters project, which arose from an interest in the development of thinking skills: particularly the development of critical and creative thinking skills. It is remarkable that these skills remain insufficiently highlighted in primary education, even though it has been demonstrated in earlier studies that they can be developed at primary school age. One way to foster such skills is to offer a special subject in primary schools: philosophy for children. This subject aims, specifically, to give children the opportunity to form their own answers to questions, and to reflect on different views with each other.

Primary school teachers might be enthusiastic about including philosophy in the curriculum, so as to better foster critical and creative thinking skills, but currently, they do not have many tools or materials to implement this. It would help to have an introductory teachers' manual, which can be used by primary school teachers without a philosophical background. The study for my thesis has addressed that need. The aim of the study was twofold. Firstly, I acquired insights into how to implement adequate philosophy classes for different age groups, based on experiences gained in a primary school. Secondly, based on these insights, I designed two teachers' manuals that are accessible to primary school teachers without a philosophical background.