Implications For Fostering Critical Thinking Skills Education Essay

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In this independent study, I will examine the different theories and approaches in investigating how critical thinking skills can be developed, expanded, in early years settings, such as a reception class. This independent study will also explore the way in which children in primary school aged 6 and above develop critical thinking skills. And whether or not children who get older are less encouraged to use critical thinking skills in the curriculum. I will review the pedagogical framework of the philosophy for children (P4C), for providing a range of learning theories that emphasize the use of critical thinking skills in the classroom, and promoting individual development. This independent study will examine the positives for using the P4C framework in the class room, in a reception class, and a year four class, and how this philosophical dialogue enhances a number of different developmental aspects in a child. It will address how the ciritcal thinking approach in schools or P4C can be used in all aspects of education including maths, science, and English.

Mathew Lipman an American philosphier is the pinoneer in the study of philoisphy for children, and critical thinking in early years. Lipman was once a university philosophy professor however he was shocked with the level of critical thinking by his students, who seemed to take the lectures word, rather explore and question such theories. Lipman relaized that the this correlated with his students early years in schools, and that children wernt being able to express their critical skills.

Another important pioneer in what in the United States is termed the Critical Thinking movement, and which we talk about in the UK as the thinking skills, is the American philosopher, Matthew Lipman. Originally a university philosophy professor, Lipman was unhappy at what he saw as poor thinking in his students. He became convinced that something was wrong with the way they had been taught in school when they were younger. They seemed to have been encouraged to learn facts and to accept authoritative opinions, but not to think for themselves. He therefore left his post and founded the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (I.A.P.C.) at Montclair State College, New Jersey. For the last forty years decades, he and his colleagues have been developing material for use in schools, aimed at helping young people (from 6 year-olds to late adolescents) to think.

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Philosophy For Children (P4C) is an educational movement concerned with cognitive, moral, and aesthetic development in the context of shared inquiry into philosophical topics (Lipman, 1988). The conceptualization and implementation of this practice have been greatly influenced by the works of several scholars within the social learning tradition, including Vygotsky, Mead, Dewey, and Bruner (e.g., Lipman, 1988, 1996). Not surprisingly, dialogic interactions play a central role in P4C pedagogy.

In a typical P4C session, children read or act out an episode from one of the novels from the P4C curricula (e.g., Lipman, 1985). The curriculum materials are purposefully written to contain “philosophical hooksâ€Â designed to inspire inquiry among students. Children collaboratively establish an agenda for the discussion and spend the rest of the session participating in a meaningful classroom dialogue. Through thoughtful design and implementation of their curriculum materials, P4C practitioners seek to create a social organization of a classroom where everyone has opportunities to participate. The contestable nature of philosophical questions, where nobody, not even the teacher, knows the “right answersâ€Â, allows for establishing a truly egalitarian classroom community. In such a community, authority is shared and fluid, rather than role-given to the teacher. P4C teachers see themselves as co-inquirers. Just like the characters in the novels and student participants, P4C teachers engage eagerly in exploring philosophical concepts, improving their own judgment