Big Ideas For Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature

Big Ideas for Little Kids
by Thomas E. Wartenberg

Big Ideas for Little Kids includes everything a teacher, a parent, or a college student needs to teach philosophy to elementary school children from picture books. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book explains why it is important to allow young children access to philosophy during primary-school education. Wartenberg also gives advice on how to construct a “learner-centered” classroom, in which children discuss philosophical issues with one another as they respond to open-ended questions by saying whether they agree or disagree with what others have said.

Big Ideas for Little Kids
by Thomas E. Wartenberg

Big Ideas for Little Kids includes everything a teacher, a parent, or a college student needs to teach philosophy to elementary school children from picture books. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book explains why it is important to allow young children access to philosophy during primary-school education. Wartenberg also gives advice on how to construct a ‘learner-centered’ classroom, in which children discuss philosophical issues with one another as they respond to open-ended questions by saying whether they agree or disagree with what others have said.

Big Ideas for Little Kids
by Thomas E. Wartenberg

Big Ideas for Little Kids includes everything a teacher, a parent, or a college student needs to teach philosophy to elementary school children from picture books. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book explains why it is important to allow young children access to philosophy during primary-school education. Wartenberg also gives advice on how to construct a “learner-centered” classroom, in which children discuss philosophical issues with one another as they respond to open-ended questions by saying whether they agree or disagree with what others have said.

A Sneetch is a Sneetch and Other Philosophical Discoveries
by Thomas E. Wartenberg

Taking Picture Books Seriously: What can we learn aboutphilosophy through children’s books?

This warm and charming volume casts a spell on adult readers asit unveils the surprisingly profound philosophical wisdom containedin children’s picture books, from Dr Seuss’s Sneetches toWilliam Steig’s Shrek!. With a light touch and good humor,Wartenberg discusses the philosophical ideas in these classicstories, and provides parents with a practical starting point fordiscussing philosophical issues with their children. Accessible andmulti-layered, it answers questions like, Is it okay for adults todeceive kids? What’s the difference between saying the Mona Lisa isa great painting and vanilla is your favorite flavor? Each chapterincludes illustrations commissioned especially for this book.


Philosophy for Young Children
by Berys Gaut, Both Lecturers Department of Moral Philosophy Berys Gaut, Morag Gaut

With this book, any teacher can start teaching philosophy to children today!

Co-written by a professor of philosophy and a practising primary school teacher, Philosophy for Young Children is a concise, practical guide for teachers. It contains detailed session plans for 36 philosophical enquiries – enough for a year’s work – that have all been successfully tried, tested and enjoyed with young children from the age of three upwards.

The enquiries explore a range of stimulating philosophical questions about fairness, the environment, friendship, inclusion, sharing, right and wrong, manners, beauty, pictures, the emotions, dreaming and reality. All the stories, drawings and photographs that you’ll need to carry out the enquiries are provided and can be used with your children directly from the book.

Each step-by step enquiry includes:

  • The philosophical topic and the aim of the enquiry
  • The stimuli you’ll need
  • Questions to ask the children
  • Possible answers to help move the discussion forward
  • Ideas to help you summarise and extend the enquiry.

If you are an Early Years or primary school teacher, this complete resource will enable you to introduce philosophy to your children quickly and with confidence.


Fight Club
by Thomas E. Wartenberg

Released in 1999, Fight Club is David Fincher’s popular adaption of Chuck Palahniuk’s cult novel, and one of the most philosophically rich films of recent years. This is the first book to explore the varied philosophical aspects of the film. Beginning with an introduction by the editor that places the film and essays in context, each chapter explores a central theme of Fight Club from a philosophical perspective. Topics discussed include:

  • Fight Club, Plato’s cave and Descartes’ cogito
  • moral disintegration
  • identity, gender and masculinity
  • visuals and narration.

Including annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Fight Club is essential reading for anyone interested in the film, as well as those studying philosophy and film studies.


Little Big Minds
by Marietta McCarty

A guide for parents and educators to sharing the enduring ideas of the biggest minds throughout the centuries—from Plato to Jane Addams—with the “littlest” minds.

Children are no strangers to cruelty and courage, to love and to loss, and in this unique book teacher and educational consultant Marietta McCarty reveals that they are, in fact, natural philosophers. Drawing on a program she has honed in schools around the country over the last fifteen years, Little Big Minds guides parents and educators in introducing philosophy to K-8 children in order to develop their critical thinking, deepen their appreciation for others, and brace them for the philosophical quandaries that lurk in all of our lives, young or old.

Arranged according to themes-including prejudice, compassion, and death-and featuring the work of philosophers from Plato and Socrates to the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King Jr., this step-by-step guide to teaching kids how to think philosophically is full of excellent discussion questions, teaching tips, and group exercises.


Philosophy and the Young Child
by Gareth B. Matthews

Philosophy and the Young Child presents striking evidence that young children naturally engage in a brand of thought that is genuinely philosophical. In a series of exquisite examples that could only have been gathered by a professional philosopher with an extraordinary respect for young minds, Gareth Matthews demonstrates that children have a capacity for puzzlement and mental play that leads them to tackle many of the classic problems of knowledge, value, and existence that have traditionally formed the core of philosophical thought. Matthews’s anecdotes reveal children reasoning about these problems in a way that must be taken seriously by anyone who wants to understand how children think.

Philosophy and the Young Child provides a powerful antidote to the widespread tendency to underestimate children’s mental ability and patronize their natural curiosity. As Matthews shows, even child psychologists as insightful as Piaget have failed to grasp the subtlety of children’s philosophical frame of mind. Only in children’s literature does Matthews find any sensitivity to children’s natural philosophizing. Old favorites like Winnie the Pooh, the Oz books, and The Bear That Wasn’t are full of philosophical puzzlers that amuse and engage children. More important, these stories manage to strip away the mental defensiveness and conventionality that so often prevent adults from appreciating the way children begin to think about the world.

Gareth Matthews believes that adults have much to gain if they can learn to “do philosophy” with children, and his book is a rich source of useful suggestions for parents, teachers, students, and anyone else who might like to try.


The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children
by Maughn Rollins Gregory, Joanna Haynes, Karin Murris

This rich and diverse collection offers a range of perspectives and practices of Philosophy for Children (P4C). P4C has become a significant educational and philosophical movement with growing impact on schools and educational policy. Its community of inquiry pedagogy has been taken up in community, adult, higher, further and informal educational settings around the world.

The internationally sourced chapters offer research findings as well as insights into debates provoked by bringing children’s voices into moral and political arenas and to philosophy and the broader educational issues this raises, for example:

  • historical perspectives on the field
  • democratic participation and epistemic, pedagogical and political relationships
  • philosophy as a subject and philosophy as a practice
  • philosophical teaching across the curriculum
  • embodied enquiry, emotions and space
  • knowledge, truth and philosophical progress
  • resources and texts for philosophical inquiry
  • ethos and values of P4C practice and research.

The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children will spark new discussions and identify emerging questions and themes in this diverse and controversial field. It is an accessible, engaging and provocative read for all students, researchers, academics and educators who have an interest in Philosophy for Children, its educational philosophy and its pedagogy.


Transforming Thinking
by Catherine C. McCall

Essential reading for anyone who seeks to prepare active citizens for the twenty-first century, this long-awaited book considers Philosophical Inquiry, an empowering teaching method that can lead to significant improvements in confidence and articulacy, and produce positive effects in other school activities and in interactions in the wider world.

Readers are guided through the creation of a Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) in the kindergarten, the classrooms of primary and secondary schools, the community centre and beyond, with practical ideas to make CoPI work. With examples ranging from five year old children to underachieving teenagers, and even senior citizens, the book shows how participation in a CoPI develops:

  • the skills of reasoning, critical and creative thinking
  • concept formation and judgment
  • the virtues of intellectual honesty and bravery.

Including chapters on the theory and development of Philosophical Inquiry, the creation of a community, and using CoPI with groups of different ages, this book forms essential reading for teachers, professionals and community workers.


Author: admin