Filozofia dla dzieci Wywiady

Philosophy with children (P4C) past, present and future [wersja angielska, rozszerzona]

Krzywoń Gregory filozofia z dziećmi
Po lewej Maughn Rollins Gregory, po prawej Łukasz Krzywoń
Łukasz Krzywoń talks with Maughn Rollins Gregory, successor of Matthew Lipman at Montclair State University.

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Tell us in a nut­shell what you are cur­ren­tly doing?

I am a pro­fes­sor of the facul­ty of Edu­ca­tio­nal Foun­da­tions at Montc­la­ir Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty. I teach clas­ses in phi­lo­so­phy of edu­ca­tion, gen­der issu­es in edu­ca­tion, edu­ca­tion and demo­cra­cy, and the ethics and poli­tics of edu­ca­tio­nal asses­sment. I also con­duct rese­arch in the­se are­as and I am the Direc­tor of the IAPC (Insti­tu­te for the Advan­ce­ment of Phi­lo­so­phy for Chil­dren).

Is this the role you took after Mat­thew Lip­man?

Exac­tly, sin­ce he reti­red in 2001. I star­ted wor­king at the uni­ver­si­ty in 1997, but at the begin­ning I was not per­mit­ted to work direc­tly in phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren, becau­se I was hired for other tasks. It was a few years befo­re I was able to work clo­se­ly with Mat Lip­man and Ann Mar­ga­ret Sharp at the Insti­tu­te, and then in 2001 I beca­me direc­tor.

Why did you beco­me inte­re­sted in phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren?

Sin­ce I was young I had many questions abo­ut life—mostly abo­ut the Mor­mon reli­gion in which I was raised—and my mother, who is devo­ut but also a questio­ner and a seeker, enco­ura­ged my questions and enjoy­ed discus­sing ide­as with me. Some­ti­mes, when we found our­se­lves deep in a the­olo­gi­cal per­ple­xi­ty, she would pick up the tele­pho­ne and call a reli­gio­us autho­ri­ty to get some guidan­ce. She was also a scho­ol­te­acher, and I spent many sum­mer after­no­ons with her, pre­pa­ring her clas­sro­om for the new scho­ol year and tal­king abo­ut what and how she would be teaching. When I began to stu­dy phi­lo­so­phy in col­le­ge, I reco­gni­zed that I had been doing phi­lo­so­phy with my mother for many years. In tho­se years, I often sha­red with my mother what I was reading or discus­sing in my phi­lo­so­phy cour­ses and then discuss it fur­ther with her. Whi­le I was an under­gra­du­ate phi­lo­so­phy stu­dent my mother found an artic­le abo­ut phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren (P4C) in an edu­ca­tion maga­zi­ne and sha­red it with me. The descrip­tion made the pro­gram seem con­gru­ent with the best of the semi­nar-sty­le phi­lo­so­phy cour­ses I had taken and with the Socra­tic discus­sions my mother con­duc­ted in her own clas­sro­om. After my under­gra­du­ate degree I took a deto­ur from phi­lo­so­phy into law, which was excel­lent tra­ining for me, but I mis­sed phi­lo­so­phy. After law scho­ol I cler­ked for a coun­ty jud­ge for a few years, after which I deci­ded to take a bre­ak from law to get a masters degree in phi­lo­so­phy. I went to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawa­ii, whe­re I could stu­dy com­pa­ra­ti­ve Asian and western phi­lo­so­phy, and whe­re they had a strong phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren pro­gram direc­ted by Dr. Tho­mas E. Jack­son. I stu­died San­skrit, Bud­dhist and Hin­du phi­lo­so­phy, had won­der­ful semi­nars on medie­val phi­lo­so­phy, aesthe­tics, and Kant, and fell in love with phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren.

Sure­ly you remem­ber Lip­man and Sharp well. What was it like to be a mem­ber of the­ir team?

I met Mat Lip­man and Ann Sharp in Mexi­co City, whe­re I was stu­dy­ing for a PhD in Phi­lo­so­phy with a spe­cia­li­za­tion in phi­lo­so­phy for children—the first pro­gram of that kind—at the Jesu­it, Uni­ver­si­dad Ibe­ro­ame­ri­ca­na. Wal­ter Kohan, Ji-Aeh Lee, Chri­sti­ne Geh­rett, Gil­bert Tal­bot, and Edu­ar­do Rubio were in the docto­ral cohort with me, and Tere­sa de la Garza was the pro­gram direc­tor. Mat and Ann were two of the pro­fes­sors who flew in from aro­und the world to teach cour­ses and advi­se stu­dents. A job came up at Montc­la­ir Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty whi­le I was wri­ting my dis­ser­ta­tion, and kno­wing that was whe­re P4C began and that I wan­ted to be part of it, I applied.

It was an honor to work clo­se­ly with Mat and Ann whi­le they were both very acti­ve. David Ken­ne­dy and Mark Wein­ste­in are also in the depart­ment. The Uni­ver­si­ty had masters degree pro­grams in Cri­ti­cal Thin­king and Phi­lo­so­phy for Chil­dren, and whi­le I was the­re we cre­ated a docto­ral pro­gram in peda­go­gy with a spe­cia­li­za­tion in phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren. We ran the IAPC work­shops at Men­dham twi­ce a year for two weeks each time, and we had (and still have) a num­ber of inter­na­tio­nal visi­ting scho­lars stu­dy with us for weeks or mon­ths at a time. The IAPC publi­shed the jour­nal Thin­king (Ken­ne­dy even­tu­al­ly took over as chief edi­tor in pla­ce of Lip­man). We were all doing our own rese­arch, on phi­lo­so­phy of edu­ca­tion as well as phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren. And we wor­ked with a small num­ber of local scho­ols, brin­ging gra­du­ate stu­dents in to do phi­lo­so­phy with chil­dren and to work with teachers in lear­ning how to do that. In the years that I was at the IAPC, Mat didn’t tra­vel a lot but Ann was con­stan­tly on the move, all over the world. I was able to tra­vel with her a num­ber of times, spe­aking at aca­de­mic con­fe­ren­ces and con­duc­ting P4C work­shops.

What was the dyna­mics of work betwe­en Lip­man and Sharp? It often hap­pens that one side sup­ports the other in what it is stron­ger. How was it in the­ir case? Who did what in this duet?

This is an inte­re­sting question. I recen­tly publi­shed a book with Megan Laver­ty on Ann’s scho­lar­ship, for which we rese­ar­ched her per­so­nal and pro­fes­sio­nal life. Ann died befo­re she mana­ged to publish her own book based on all the artic­les and book chap­ters she had writ­ten. She was very gene­ro­us and sha­red her texts at con­fe­ren­ces so that they could be prin­ted in local jour­nals. So her work was spre­ad all over the world, in dif­fe­rent lan­gu­ages. Much of it is dif­fi­cult to find, becau­se her artic­les did not always appe­ar in main­stre­am phi­lo­so­phi­cal or edu­ca­tio­nal jour­nals. Our work con­si­sted in fin­ding many of the­se texts and trans­la­ting them. We also invi­ted con­tem­po­ra­ry scho­lars to wri­te cri­ti­cal eva­lu­ations of her work. Ano­ther reason we put this book toge­ther has to do with the dyna­mic betwe­en her and Mat. Mat publi­shed much more than Ann, who spent so much time dealing with the dis­se­mi­na­tion of the method, con­duc­ting work­shops, direc­ting the degree pro­grams at Montc­la­ir, and hel­ping vario­us people start the­ir own P4C pro­grams all over the world. In fact, sin­ce the book came out, many people have expres­sed sur­pri­se that Ann Sharp had writ­ten as much as she had (only a frac­tion of which was col­lec­ted in the book). Mat was the offi­cial direc­tor of the IAPC, but he and Ann discus­sed eve­ry aspect of the Institute’s work toge­ther and made most admi­ni­stra­ti­ve deci­sions toge­ther.

So she was invo­lved in “apo­sto­lic” work?

Exac­tly. Mat wro­te his phi­lo­so­phi­cal novels for chil­dren alo­ne, but the teacher manu­als for the­ir use were writ­ten along with others, main­ly Ann. Later, she also wro­te her own novels for chil­dren. Also, Mat usu­al­ly only tau­ght one or two cour­ses a year for Montc­la­ir, but Ann typi­cal­ly tau­ght two or three per seme­ster. That’s aro­und 100 stu­dents a year, to assess and over­see the­ir pro­gress.

You’ve been in the P4C envi­ron­ment for two deca­des. We meet in Euro­pe, whe­re things have star­ted to live the­ir lives. What has chan­ged over the years? This was the sub­ject of many conver­sa­tions during this year’s SOPHIA meeting. What is your reflec­tion?

It’s an inte­re­sting topic. Recen­tly I’ve been rese­ar­ching the histo­ry of the move­ment. It is inte­re­sting how the under­stan­ding of children’s phi­lo­so­phi­cal prac­ti­ce has chan­ged over the years. For exam­ple, Lip­man and Sharp’s first book expla­ining phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren did not con­ta­in any men­tion of the com­mu­ni­ty of inqu­iry, for which they later beca­me so famo­us. Ano­ther exam­ple is how Mat’s the­ory of thin­king evo­lved. His first edi­tion of Thin­king in Edu­ca­tion was only on cri­ti­cal and cre­ati­ve thin­king, which he descri­bed as “higher-order thin­king.” Later, he and Ann he deve­lo­ped the idea of caring thin­king. I think the way that the the­ory of P4C deve­lo­ped at the IAPC in con­junc­tion with the prac­ti­ce of doing phi­lo­so­phy in scho­ols, with giving so many work­shops for teachers and phi­lo­so­phers, and with exchan­ging ide­as with col­le­agu­es from so many parts of the world, is impor­tant. I belie­ve the strength, rich­ness and lon­ge­vi­ty of the IAPC appro­ach to P4C is a result of this mul­ti­fa­ce­ted deve­lop­ment. It was neither a case of deve­lo­ping the­ory first and then sim­ply apply­ing it, or of deve­lo­ping a prac­ti­ce and then the­ori­zing abo­ut it. Each of tho­se aspects infor­med the other. And the geo­gra­phi­cal, cul­tu­ral, phi­lo­so­phi­cal, disci­pli­na­ry, and age diver­si­ty of people invo­lved in the work pro­vi­ded a neces­sa­ry depth. In one of the last talks Ann gave befo­re her death, she empha­si­zed the need for P4C to rema­in cur­rent by con­ti­nu­al­ly lear­ning from and con­tri­bu­ting to new deve­lop­ments in phi­lo­so­phy, edu­ca­tion, and social move­ments. Not that this deve­lop­ment has been smo­oth, by any means! I’ve seen and taken part in quite a few heated disa­gre­ements abo­ut the mate­rials, methods, and gro­un­ding the­ories of just the IAPC appro­ach to P4C! To say nothing of what is now a glo­bal phe­no­me­non of bran­ding of dif­fe­rent appro­aches.

And what has chan­ged sin­ce Lip­man and Sharp are gone?

At the IAPC we have been pay­ing more atten­tion to the so-cal­led “Arc of Inquiry”—the tra­jec­to­ry from a pro­blem or question, thro­ugh vario­us ave­nu­es of gene­ra­ting and testing possi­ble respon­ses, toward nar­ro­wing down on what is most reaso­na­ble or meaning­ful or satis­fy­ing. This under­stan­ding of inqu­iry as some­thing that begins in pro­ble­ma­tic expe­rien­ce and aims for impro­ved expe­rien­ce ori­gi­na­tes in prag­ma­tism, of cour­se, but the IAPC appro­ach to phi­lo­so­phi­cal dia­lo­gue doesn’t depend on any­one being a prag­ma­tist! But this is the way we now con­duct our work­shops. This is not a big chan­ge, but it is a kind of an evo­lu­tion of the Lipman/Sharp method.

And in prac­ti­ce, the func­tio­ning of uni­ver­si­ties in the US has also chan­ged, which are more and more simi­lar to the cor­po­ra­te and busi­ness model. The govern­ment is less and less sup­por­ting higher edu­ca­tion, inc­lu­ding our uni­ver­si­ty, so pro­grams and facul­ties like ours have to find the money to sup­port our­se­lves. In the past, the IAPC had four full-time employ­ees and three per­ma­nent lec­tu­rers, who were able to rele­ase part of the­ir wor­king hours to the Insti­tu­te. That’s very much in the past. We used to have a who­le buil­ding, which was later redu­ced to a suite of offi­ces, and then to part of a sto­ra­ge room. In addi­tion, the­re are chan­ges in the edu­ca­tion sys­tem at eve­ry level that work aga­inst doing phi­lo­so­phy in scho­ols the way we con­ce­ive it: a high-acco­un­ta­bi­li­ty model, stan­dar­di­zed testing, pay pro­blems, and the asses­sment of teachers and scho­ols based on stu­dent test sco­res.

It sounds like things are going down a bit. It’s a bit wor­ry­ing. We in Euro­pe are also stri­ving for more phi­lo­so­phy in edu­ca­tion. Many good ini­tia­ti­ves appe­ar here and the­re. What, then, do you see for us in the near futu­re? What can we do?

In fact, phi­lo­so­phy in the Uni­ted Sta­tes has never had it easy. It has never been wide­ly reco­gni­zed as part of our cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ge. The­re have been many impor­tant US phi­lo­so­phers, but phi­lo­so­phy has never been a requ­ired cour­se of stu­dy in secon­da­ry edu­ca­tion in any sta­te. So from the very begin­ning it was a dif­fi­cult task. The IAPC pro­gram deve­lo­ped much faster in other parts of the world than local­ly, in the US. In the near futu­re, it is pro­mi­sing that vario­us appro­aches to doing phi­lo­so­phy with chil­dren in scho­ols have been deve­lo­ped, in the Uni­ted Sta­tes and aro­und the world. People no lon­ger think that the IAPC appro­ach is the only good approach—in fact, many are quite cri­ti­cal of it. Per­haps Ann and Mat tho­ught abo­ut the­ir work in this way. Today tho­se of us wor­king at the IAPC belie­ve our appro­ach is good and well-rese­ar­ched, but we never tho­ught it was the only way to do phi­lo­so­phy with chil­dren. A new P4C pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas A&M, and a new masters pro­gram in P4C at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washing­ton are good signs that the move­ment is gro­wing aga­in in the US. And the orga­ni­za­tion PLATO: Phi­lo­so­phy Lear­ning and Teaching Orga­ni­za­tion in the Uni­ted Sta­tes acts as a network, focu­sing on dif­fe­rent appro­aches and orga­ni­zing con­fe­ren­ces. The­ir acti­vi­ties are cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a spi­rit of coope­ra­tion and sha­ring, whe­re people learn from each other. This seems to be very pro­mi­sing.

During conver­sa­tions with other par­ti­ci­pants of SOPHIA, I heard an inte­re­sting remark that, for exam­ple in the UK, the most inte­re­sting and cre­ati­ve ide­as most often come from out­si­de the main SAPERE orga­ni­za­tion, which con­ti­nu­es Lip­ma­n’s work. Some­thing like this often hap­pens to esta­bli­shed tra­di­tions, when routi­ne begins to enter into the life of cer­ta­in ide­as.

I agree. But I would like to add some­thing here. Per­so­nal­ly, I think that the­re is a con­nec­tion betwe­en creativity—the need to rethink cer­ta­in things—and a return to one’s roots. When I attend con­fe­ren­ces such as this (SOPHIA) or even big­ger ones (ICPIC), people pre­sent the­ir inno­va­ti­ve ide­as, and I see that many of them have alre­ady been deve­lo­ped by others over the past 40 years. Tha­t’s ok, of cour­se, but this move­ment will be stron­ger, the more we are wil­ling and able to col­la­bo­ra­te across appro­aches and loca­tions. Stu­dy­ing what’s been done in the past is part of the work of eve­ry aca­de­mic and tech­ni­cal disci­pli­ne. We can’t be afra­id that doing a pro­per review of publi­shed rese­arch lite­ra­tu­re on a topic of inte­rest to us will some­how limit our cre­ati­vi­ty or our abi­li­ty to make an ori­gi­nal con­tri­bu­tion to the topic. The oppo­si­te is true, in fact. This is why I’m so exci­ted abo­ut the new oppor­tu­ni­ty to sha­re rese­arch publi­ca­tions in P4C in the PhilPapers.org data­ba­se. It’s also why I’m spen­ding so much of my own rese­arch time looking into the histo­ry of the move­ment. I think that har­dly any­one reads Lip­ma­n’s work today, let alo­ne Sharp’s, or even that of Gareth Mat­thews. It is not that they must do so, but I belie­ve it would be instructive—and cor­rec­ti­ve aga­inst some of the misap­pre­hen­sions of tho­se ear­lier scholar’s ide­as that I fre­qu­en­tly come across.

For this reason, I enjoy­ed the “Dia­lo­gu­ing Demo­cra­cy” Sym­po­sium held in con­junc­tion with the SOPHIA con­fe­ren­ce, whe­re I’ve had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk to you, Cathe­ri­ne McCall and Joe Oyler, who are respec­ta­ble elders in our com­mu­ni­ty. Meeting with your know­led­ge and expe­rien­ce. When we reach for the roots, we can see if the pro­blems we can deal with have not been reso­lved befo­re. Why com­mit mista­kes that have alre­ady been made and have been lear­ned from? When the­re are no elders among us and we do not go back to the past, to tra­di­tion, to learn, we lose a lot.

The­re is a tra­di­tion and the­re are new gene­ra­tions. The­re are many inte­re­sting les­sons in the past that may­be begin­ners are not awa­re of and that is why I would like to make them more acces­si­ble thro­ugh my work. As I’ve writ­ten abo­ut with Jen Gla­ser, a tra­di­tion only rema­ins vibrant, in good order, if it gets recon­struc­ted thro­ugh the new needs and inte­re­sts of the next gene­ra­tion. But that can only hap­pen if the next gene­ra­tion sees that the tra­di­tion can still give meaning to the­ir work and the­ir lives.

Ple­ase, tell us whe­re we can learn more abo­ut the IAP­C’s work. Abo­ut what you are doing now. You men­tio­ned ear­lier during the con­fe­ren­ce abo­ut your annu­al work­shops.

Eve­ry year during the first week of August, a sum­mer semi­nar takes pla­ce in Men­dham, New Jer­sey. A ver­sion of this semi­nar has been hap­pe­ning sin­ce the very begin­ning of the IAPC in the ear­ly 1970s, and it has run con­ti­nu­ously at Men­dham sin­ce 1985. During the semi­nar we intro­du­ce the par­ti­ci­pants to the IAPC appro­ach to phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren, using the Lip­man / Sharp mate­rials and methods. It is an inten­se, resi­den­tial cour­se with an inter­na­tio­nal cha­rac­ter. We live and phi­lo­so­phi­ze and eat and hike toge­ther for eight days, so in effect we cre­ate an inten­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty. It’s some­thing I look for­ward to eve­ry year. We also have two or three visi­ting scho­lars come to stu­dy with us at Montc­la­ir eve­ry year for a few weeks or mon­ths, or even for the enti­re aca­de­mic year. And of cour­se, each of us still con­ducts our own rese­arch.

You also men­tio­ned some­thing abo­ut an inter­net libra­ry …

Yes. This idea aro­se from a cer­ta­in need. Due to my posi­tion in IAPC, I rece­ive hun­dreds of ema­ils with questions like: Do you know some­one who publi­shed a work on P4C in a pri­ma­ry scho­ol rela­ted to mathe­ma­tics or lite­ra­tu­re? I have cre­ated the­ma­tic biblio­gra­phies over the years but when PhillPapers.org was foun­ded I tho­ught it would be the ide­al venue for sha­ring rese­arch in P4C. I wro­te to them and after abo­ut two years of nego­tia­tions they agre­ed on an addi­tio­nal cate­go­ry of Phi­lo­soh­py for Chil­dren with a num­ber of sub­ca­te­go­ries, each edi­ted by an expert in that sub-field. This data­ba­se now con­ta­ins publi­ca­tions on vario­us appro­aches to phi­lo­so­phi­zing with chil­dren, as well as the phi­lo­so­phy of chil­dho­od and edu­ca­tion.

Gre­at. What are the con­di­tions for adding works to this col­lec­tion? How is the con­tent of this work moni­to­red?

It must be a peer-revie­wed, aca­de­mic work such as a jour­nal artic­le, book chap­ter or book, rather than pie­ce of cur­ri­cu­lum. If you own the copy­ri­ght, you can uplo­ad the full text by your­self to the plat­form; other­wi­se, you can pro­vi­de a link to whe­re the work is publi­shed. You sho­uld pro­vi­de the abs­tract and key words, and you can nomi­na­te each work for up to three the­ma­tic cate­go­ries in the Phil­Pa­pers taxo­no­my.

June 2, 2019, Gal­way, Ire­land


Maughn Rollins GregoryMau­ghn Rol­lins Gre­go­ry is pro­fes­sor of edu­ca­tio­nal foun­da­tions at Montc­la­ir Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty (USA), whe­re he repla­ced Mat­thew Lip­man as direc­tor of IAPC (Insti­tu­te of Pro­gress of Phi­lo­so­phy for Chil­dren) in 2001. He publi­shes and teaches in the field of phi­lo­so­phy of edu­ca­tion, chil­dre­n’s phi­lo­so­phy, prag­ma­tism, gen­der and edu­ca­tion, Socra­tic peda­go­gy and con­tem­pla­ti­ve peda­go­gy. He is a co-edi­tor of the Routled­ge Inter­na­tio­nal Hand­bo­ok of Phi­lo­so­phy for Chil­dren (2018) and has edi­ted a num­ber of spe­cia­list jour­nal issu­es devo­ted to phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren. He is cur­ren­tly wor­king as the inau­gu­ral rese­arch coor­di­na­tor at ICPIC (The Inter­na­tio­nal Coun­cil of Phi­lo­so­phi­cal Inqu­iry with Chil­dren)

Łukasz KrzywońŁukasz Krzy­woń - MA in phi­lo­so­phy, gra­du­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Sile­sia. Author of a text­bo­ok, Phi­lo­so­phi­ze with chil­dren, in Poland. His master the­sis, Hid­den Shi­ne, appe­ared in print in 2005. He wri­tes for a Polish maga­zi­ne Filo­zo­fuj!, whe­re he pre­sents conver­sa­tions on topics rela­ted to phi­lo­so­phy with chil­dren. He has lived in Ire­land sin­ce 2004. For many years he has been wor­king the­re with chil­dren and young people, leading, among other things, phi­lo­so­phi­cal inqu­iries in scho­ols. A spe­cia­list in phi­lo­so­phy for chil­dren with The Phi­lo­so­phy Foun­da­tion in Lon­don, he is also an acti­ve mem­ber of the Euro­pe­an asso­cia­tion SOPHIA, pro­mo­ting phi­lo­so­phi­zing with chil­dren in Ire­land and in Poland. He is cur­ren­tly wor­king as an envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tion offi­cer with Gre­en-Scho­ols Ire­land. He also runs his Lit­tle Rain­bow Aca­de­my Ire­land whe­re he pro­mo­tes arts and phi­lo­so­phy as means for a hap­pier world.

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Dołącz do Załogi F! Pomóż nam tworzyć jedyne w Polsce czasopismo popularyzujące filozofię. Na temat obszarów współpracy można przeczytać tutaj.

55 podróży filozoficznych okładka

Wesprzyj „Filozofuj!” finansowo

Jeśli chcesz wesprzeć tę inicjatywę dowolną kwotą (1 zł, 2 zł lub inną), przejdź do zakładki „WSPARCIE” na naszej stronie, klikając poniższy link. Klik: Chcę wesprzeć „Filozofuj!”

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