We at Filosofiska have the opportunity to learn more about this norm-critical thinking approach, and we will share what we have learned about using a philosophical approach.
We met yesterday briefly. The questions were great and I can see the benefits of being questioned on such a deep and meaningful level... but I also saw the problem in this kind of approach too.
The focus is of course we share what we know about philosophy for/with children - so of course everything that we do at preschool is not shared... we magnify the philosophy, which means there is a focus on the spoken language when we talk to others about philosophy.
|sitting watching the water run into the drains... other children saw, and came to sit and watch too, sharing ideas without verbal communication|
We were quite rightly questioned on this focus on the verbality of the dialogue, and that not all children learn this way, and that learning requires the children to experience, to have a hands on approach...
Which of course we do... everyone who has been following my blog will know that we have a very hands on approach to learning, there are experiences for the children to try out with their bodies, their emotions etc and opportunities to talk about it, play it... the dialogue part of the philosophy is a small part of what we do... the philosophical approach is there all the time as a guide for how we as teachers work, with the children, with the third teacher (the setting environment), with our colleagues and with the parents... it permeates everything we do. We need to question the what, the why and the how, so that it is always meaningful.
|sometimes there has been no play possible, because the children have not been able to communicate anything except "mine". Through play we have been able to support the "community of learners" approach.|
|ready for dialogue|
When I look at many websites and literature about philosophy with/for children there is ALWAYS the focus on the verbal communciations as well as on the written communication; children keep logbooks and write down their ideas etc...
|reading stories together, acting them out, children learning to communicate directions/story and children learning to listen and act them out, books open to interpretation... each "director" brought their own twist to the story.|
In a preschool the focus is on learning, on play, on a whole-child-development - individually and together. The philosophy we have been doing has not been just sitting down in a circle with a focus on the what is being said... YES, we do this, as children will benefit from this skill, but it is one skill of many. We have focussed very much on listening - when we are in dialogue, but also in our play, with the very popular bubble game, with pretending to be mirrors and copying what the person opposite does, with playing board games, with making constructions, listening to stories, playing tag etc games outside, by observing nature... everything we do supports the children in their listening, in the social interactions, in the learning... and as teachers we support the children to think critically... to look closely and wonder.... this does not need a spoken language to do. Sharing ideas can be done through art, play etc... but that kind of sharing is also much more subject to interpretation... the spoken language helps us get more detailed about our ideas... where we can confirm whether another person has interpreted your idea correctly or not... or whether their interpretation allows you to deepen your own understanding, change perspective, or make you more sure of your own thinking...
|art as an exploration of ideas... perspective... why do I see things differently from you... how come the fruitbowl looks different depending on where you are sitting even though it is the same fruitbowl?|
|limits... what are my limits, what are your limits, can I stay within the limits, what happens if I don't... ideas explored as part of an art session. (this was a part of the fairy porject last year)|
|playing with shadows... why are they so big, is there a dinosaur on the other side of the wall, can I climb on the dinosaur|
|the children PLAYING philosophy dialogue|
Collaboration is important... not just the kind that everyone nods and agrees, but the kind that questions to get a better understanding of what is going on... to open up the possibility to a deeper understanding even for those who are explaining... learning is marvelous.