Philosophy for Children
We started the session thinking about ‘What is philosophy?’. We were given a number of different words such as: bravery, choice, duty, teapot, friendship, selflessness and jelly beans, and we had to decide which words related to the idea of philosophy and why. We decided that the words we chose: bravery, choice, duty, friendship and selflessness were philosophy words because everyone knew about them, cared about them and thought about them in one way or another. We then listened to a fable ‘The Bear who spoke’ and were asked to think about which of the words related to the story and why. After some discussion and voting on which words related to the story we focused our discussion around the key words of ‘bravery’ and ‘duty’.
In small groups we were then tasked with constructing some questions based around duty or bravery, which we were interested in answering or knowing the answer to.
We were given some questions starters to guide us and some of the questions we came up with were:
• Why is bravery so important?
• Should you do your duty?
• Why do we have duties?
• What does bravery feel like?
• What makes you brave?
• Who showed the most bravery in the story?
After listening to everyone’s ideas we then had to make a choice about which question we wanted to explore further. It was interesting to see how some of ideas had changed by listening to the groups explanations about what they thought.
We chose the question ‘What does bravery feel like? What does it mean to be brave? Here are some of our thoughts
• If you show bravery towards your friends they will return it.
• We are living in the image of God, Jesus was brave so it feels good to be brave just like Jesus.
• Even if we are scared of some things there will be some areas we can show bravery, so everyone is able to experience being brave.
We used a discussion circle and followed on from each other’s ideas using the language of discussion such as I agree with x because or I disagree with x because. Making sure we listened to everyone’s suggestions.
We then thought about what made someone brave to see if we could begin to define bravery. We used a bravery line on the floor and listened to different scenarios deciding if the person was brave or not brave. Different people then explained their decision and again upon hearing other ideas some children changed their own ideas.
Finally we reflected on the lesson and the things we were trying to achieve. We all agreed that we had successfully used discussion language and followed on from other people well, and that most of us had experienced changing our ideas after listening to others.
Article 12 : You have the right to give your opinion and be listened to
Article 13: You have the right to find out things and share what you think with others