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ERIC Number: EJ837071
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Philosophical Adventures in the Lands of Oz and Ev
Matthews, Gareth B.
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v43 n2 p37-50 Sum 2009
In this article, the author talks about the philosophical adventures of the characters in L. Frank Baum's Lands of Oz and Ev stories and discusses how such stories can stimulate reflections on philosophically interesting questions. Frank Baum is considered as the first American writer of philosophical fantasy for children for writing "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and a number of other Oz books. The striking feature of Baum's writing--something almost universally ignored in the scholarly literature on Baum--is his preoccupation with philosophical issues. Prominent themes in his Oz stories include (1) the difference between living things and nonliving things; (2) criteria of personal identity, especially identity through time; and (3) the nature and extent of consciousness. The Oz stories have remained in print ever since they were written, at the turn of the twentieth century. Here, the author shares the discussions of such stories that he has had in elementary schools which serve as evidence for the value and importance of goads to philosophical reflection in children's stories. He presents the discussion transcripts which document the motivation philosophical adventure stories can provide for the development of what are called "critical thinking skills." He asserts that the development of these skills is an important educational objective. (Contains 21 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A