Volume 19, Issue 2/3, 2009
Philosophy for Children as a Response to Gender Problems
This paper will outline some of the ways in which traditional pedagogies facilitate ‘masculine’ ideals of thinking, while excluding and denigrating the ‘feminine’. It will be shown that unlike traditional pedagogies, P4C reconstructs the gendered dualisms (e.g. mind/body, reason/emotion, individual/community) that form the basis of traditional gender stereotypes. Consequently, P4C reconstructs traditional gender stereotypes and challenges the traditional gendering of school subjects, which contributes to the underperformance of girls in math and science and the devaluation of the ‘feminine’ arts and humanities. It will also be shown that P4C may be particularly valuable for overcoming the current concerns about the educational performance of boys, especially in relation to literacy and behavioral problems.