kids and philosophy

How should kids be taught about philosophy?

Kids and philosophy have really amazing connections as they perceive anything purely more than anybody else. Apparently, it seems that kids and philosophy have no connection but honestly, it’s not correct since kids have a different level of knowledge. Sometimes some of the kids will really amaze you with their truly intelligent thoughts.

Actually, it depends on the age and curiosities of the child.

I have seen that fairly young children (say, age 4 to 9) have interesting thoughts about the sort of topics that philosophy was traditionally concerned with such as ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. But you have to ask sincerely and work with their answers on an age-appropriate level.

You can accomplish that by doing quite a bit of teaching, but not by lecturing. That will either perplex the kids or turn them off. Instead, explain their ideas.

I’ve had brilliant conversations with kids under ten about:

  • Whether God exists and how you can tell
  • What good and bad behavior are and why you should be good.
  • Why anything exists
  • Why we can be surer of some things than others

You may use a method that is much more conventional with older children (children who are high school age or older), but it may still put them off. Unless the student is already engaged in the subject, I believe that lecturing is an ineffective method of teaching philosophy. Students who are interested in pursuing this line of inquiry are likely to attend colleges and universities that offer philosophy as an elective subject. A conversation, on the other hand, is considerably more enjoyable when done with other individuals. A seminar is an option to consider.

Unfortunately, our schools are not set up for that.

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