By Thomas E. Wartenberg

Written in a transparent and available sort, this e-book explains why it is very important permit children entry to philosophy in the course of primary-school educations.For additional info, stopover at

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Extra resources for Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy through Children's Literature

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One thing that all of these games have in common is a set of rules that explain which moves are allowed in the game and which are prohibited. Most everyone knows that “three strikes and you’re out” is a rule of baseball. ” When this situation occurs, the batter can no longer continue batting, so either a new player must come up to bat or the teams need to change places—the two alternative moves that are prescribed by the rules once a batter has had three strikes called on him, depending on the prior state of the game.

Since the students are ignorant, the teacher must control the process of knowledge acquisition at every step. Who else is there to ensure that the children are progressing from a state of ignorance to one of knowledge? Even the emphasis on testing follows from this view. The way to tell whether a student has acquired the knowledge he must is to require him to (re)produce it. And what, after all, is a test but a situation designed to compel students to spill out for the teacher those things she has decided they need to know?

Given the prevalence of this model of learning and teaching, it’s not surprising that there is so much skepticism about the possibility of teaching philosophy in elementary schools. But philosophy can be taught to elementary-school children, as I can amply testify to from my own experience and from watching the classroom practices of the teachers I have worked with. And one of the reasons for this is that, as we have seen, children are natural-born philosophers. That is, as they attempt to make sense of the often perplexing and sometimes confusing world in which they find themselves, children just naturally ask questions that are decidedly philosophical, as Jake did when he wondered how the first human came into being.

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