Philosophy for Young Children
A Practical Guide
By Berys Gaut, Morag Gaut
Routledge – 2012 – 128 pages
With this book, any teacher can start teaching philosophy to children today!
Co-written by a professor of philosophy and a practising primary school teacher, Philosophy for Young Children is a concise, practical guide for teachers. It contains detailed session plans for 36 philosophical enquiries - enough for a year’s work - that have all been successfully tried, tested and enjoyed with young children from the age of three upwards.
The enquiries explore a range of stimulating philosophical questions about fairness, the environment, friendship, inclusion, sharing, right and wrong, manners, beauty, pictures, the emotions, dreaming and reality. All the stories, drawings and photographs that you’ll need to carry out the enquiries are provided and can be used with your children directly from the book.
Each step-by step enquiry includes:
If you are an Early Years or primary school teacher, this complete resource will enable you to introduce philosophy to your children quickly and with confidence.
Introduction 1. Political Philosophy: Fairness and Rules * The Teddy Bears’ Picnic – Fairness: Equality versus Need * Gavin Builds a Sandpit – Fairness and Refusing to Help * The Animal Snack – Sharing Fairly and Prudence * School Rules – Obeying the Rules 2. Environmental Philosophy: Green Land, Waste and Recycling * Greenhill Village – Use of Green Land * Emerald the Elephant – Wasting Water * Benny the Bin – Recycling 3. Social Philosophy: Friends and Relationships * Teddy’s Friends – Characteristics of a Good Friend * William and Arthur – Friendship and Sharing * Emma and Sally – Cooperation * Maisie the Sheep – Being Different from Others * Big Teddy’s New School – Inclusion 4. Ethics: Virtues and Vices * Sam’s Kind Day – Kindness * Kirsty – Telling the Truth * The Magic Words – Saying Thank You * Teddy Scrooge – Giving Presents * The Selfish Hippo – Selfishness * Charlotte the Lazy Caterpillar – Laziness * Pancake the Greedy Rabbit – Greed 5. Aesthetics: Beauty, Pictures and Stories * Beautiful Things – Beauty * Cats – Photographs and Drawings * A Walk on the Beach – Fantasy and Realistic Stories * The Cave Monster – Enjoying Scary Stories 6. Philosophy of Mind: Emotions, Beliefs and Persons * Patch and his Friends – Anger * Rabbit and Mouse – Fear * Happy Suzy – Happiness * Sad Teddy – Sadness * Andy’s Accident – Pain * Giants – Pretending and Believing * Isaac the Robot – Persons * 7. Epistemology: Dreams and Illusions * Milly’s Bad Dream – Things in Dreams Do Not Really Happen * Dreaming of School – Are You Dreaming Now? * A Stick in the Water – Visual Illusions * 8. Metaphysics: What is Real? * Angus the Cat – Do the Animals in a Story Really Exist? * Numbers – Are Numbers Real? * Theseus’s Ship – When are Things the Same? Further Reading
Berys Gaut is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, UK.
Morag Gaut is a teacher at Anstruther Primary School, Fife, UK.