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Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children

Volume 11, Issue 1, 1993

Karel van der Leeuw
Pages 31-38

Experiences with Kio & Gus

For a period of two years I used the Dutch translation of Kio & Gus in the classroom. I will shortly report on a number of sessions, notably those on sense-knowledge, on substance and on killing animals. I will also relate some of the views of children on what doing philosophy is. Following this report, I will elucidate how the philosophical discussion is a subtle interplay between concrete themes or subjects on the one hand, abstract philosophical questions and notions on the other hand. This interplay makes the course of a discussion unpredictable and every discussion about the same story or subject matter different from the foregoing ones. The variability of the philosophical discussion requires much flexibility and insight from the teacher, who should not force his or her point of view or interest on the discussion, but should at the same time guarantee progress in the discussion. I will lay stress on some of the particular difficulties which teachers meet when they do philosophy in the classroom for the first time and try to formulate some requirements for teacher training. At the same time I will try to indicate which kind of course material could be of maximum help to the teacher

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