Cover of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice
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1. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice: Volume > 3
Michael D. Burroughs Editor’s Introduction
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2. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice: Volume > 3
Cristina Cammarano On Philosophizing as Education
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In my article I offer an argument in favor of philosophy as a practical activity that is intrinsically educative. In responding to the crisis of our discipline, I make a case for a beneficial relationship between philosophy and the community, especially from the point of view of the discipline itself. I propose that the practicality of philosophy needs to be experienced in concrete activities involving others, therefore recasting the relation of theory to practice in the modality of translation as a never-completed task to take on. I suggest that philosophizing could be characterized by a position of vulnerability, which complicates notions of inside/outside, belonging, home, and dialogue. I offer examples drawn from my experience of integrating philosophical discussion with children (inspired by P4C pedagogy) in my college courses to suggest that philosophizing with others in varied contexts should be an integral part of education. By emphasizing the benefits accruing to undergraduate students and to the discipline itself from the practice, I do not intend to downplay or marginalize the voices and experiences of the children and teachers who are such an essential part of the practice. Rather than being a zero-sum game, the engagement of philosophy with the world expands and lifts the experience of everybody involved.
3. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice: Volume > 3
Erik Kenyon Philosophy for All in Augustine’s Dialogues
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The philosophy for children (P4C) and public philosophy movements seek to extend philosophy to traditionally marginalized groups. Yet public perceptions of philosophy as an elite activity provide an obstacle to this work. Such perceptions rest, in part, on further assumptions about what philosophy is and how it is conducted. To address these concerns, I look to the early philosophical dialogues of Augustine of Hippo (Contra Academicos, De beata vita, De ordine, Soliloquia), which present an experimental philosophical community composed of teenagers, illiterate adults, and Augustine’s own mother. I begin with the question, “who can do philosophy?” and walk through the dialogues’ discussion of race, gender, educational background, age, and class. I then turn to teaching techniques on display in the dialogues’ discussions, which flesh out what philosophical study looks like for nonelite students. I close by using my own experience of teaching nonelite students to reflect on how Augustine’s experimental philosophical community can help reframe thinking about P4C and public philosophy today.
4. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice: Volume > 3
David J. Anderson, Patricia N. Holte, Joseph Maffly-Kipp, Daniel Conway, Claire Elise Katz The Development of Intellectual Humility as an Impact of a Week-Long Philosophy Summer Camp for Teens and Tweens: Preliminary Results
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This paper examines the impact of a week-long philosophy summer camp on middle and high school-age youth with specific attention paid to the development of intellectual humility in the campers. In June 2016 a university in Texas hosted its first philosophy summer camp for youth who had just completed sixth through twelfth grades. Basing our camp on the pedagogical model of the Philosophy for Children program, our aim was specifically to develop a community of inquiry among the campers, providing them with a safe intellectual space to be introduced to philosophy and philosophical discussion. In 2017 we launched a formal longitudinal study to determine what impact a week-long philosophy summer camp would have on teens and tweens. Examining quantitative and qualitative data collected from 2016–2020, we found that the camp has had a significant impact on the teenagers who have attended. In particular, we found that intellectual humility increased over the duration of their camp experience and that this increase correlates with an increased affinity for philosophy and philosophical discussion.
5. Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice: Volume > 3
Asia Ferrin, Perry Zurn Facilitating Curiosity and Mindfulness in the Classroom: A Sociopolitical Approach
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As an outgrowth of experiential and critical pedagogies, and in response to growing rates of student anxiety and depression, educators in recent years have made increasing efforts to facilitate curiosity and mindfulness in the classroom. In Section I, we describe the rationale and function of these initiatives, focusing on the Right Question Institute and mindfulness curricula. Although we admire much about these programs, here we explore ways to complicate and deepen them through a more socially grounded and ethically informed theoretical framework. In Section II, we provide that framework by sketching a sociopolitical account of curiosity and of mindfulness. We propose a curiosity mindful of social location and a mindfulness curious about political structures and historical contexts. In Section III, we then offer concrete suggestions for modifying the curricula of the Right Question Institute and various mindfulness programs. We show how a more nuanced understanding of curiosity and mindfulness strengthens these program offerings. Ultimately, facilitating mindful curiosity and curious mindfulness, we argue, helps educators a) provide more robust learning environments, b) address growing mental health challenges, and c) support global citizenship in the classroom and beyond.