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ERIC Number: EJ1116397
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0300-4279
Swimming against the Tide: Philosophy for Children as Counter-Cultural Practice
O'Riordan, Nicola Jane
Education 3-13, v44 n6 p648-660 2016
Philosophy for children (P4C), rooted in the Socratic Method and constructivist and pragmatic assumptions, is a dialogic and democratic pedagogy which teaches pupils to philosophise; to develop multi-dimensional modes of thinking through discussion of questions which connect with all human experience. Despite a wide range of research, both national and international, citing P4C's efficacy in promoting children's cognitive and affective skills the researcher observed that within her own Local Authority P4C failed in most cases to become established in the schools that had trained in this approach. As a consequence the researcher set out to explore teacher's perceptions of the factors determining the implementation of P4C in the classroom using a qualitative research methodology. Teachers do not teach in a vacuum; they are situated in a social, political and economic context which is broader than the classroom or the school. In order to better understand "the considerations which bear upon curricular action," this paper will begin with a discussion of the wider policy context in which P4C is operating before moving on to explore the educational assumptions and practice of P4C and the extent to which these values and practices cohere with those espoused through the wider policy context. The researcher will then discuss the findings from qualitative interviews conducted with a small group of geographically dispersed primary school teachers in England. This paper argues that the ideology of economic rationalism, promulgated through educational policy and manifest in a culture of performativity and short-termism in the classroom, exposes conflicts of values for primary teachers with regard to the implementation of P4C which appear to suggest that P4C in the current educational climate represents counter-cultural practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A