Volume 13, Issue 2, 1997
Wisdom and Intelligence in Philosophy for Children
Philosophy for Children aims to encourage children to think about the quality of their thinking. By modelling and exercising children in formal and informal reasoning, it aims to develop excellence in judgment. This being so, Philosophy for Children can be expected to contribute to more intelligent behavior.
Much evidence has been adduced for enhanced performance on standardized tests in mathematics and language arts on the part of children engaged in Philosophy for children programs. Yet the intelligent person is not one who merely does well on a test or in the classroom, but is one who can also use his/her mind to fullest advantage in all the various transactions of everyday life. This extra dimension of intelligence is incorporated into Robert Sternberg's reconceptualization of the traditional notion of intelligence as mental self management.
In this paper, Sternberg's concept of the triarchic mind is used to scrutinize the Philosophy for Children program for the extent to which it exercises children in the three kinds of mental processes he considers essential for intelligent functioning.