Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 27, 2008

Philosophy for Children

Gilbert Burgh
Pages 5-13

Professional Development and Training
A Case of Initiative, Inventiveness and Re-Adaptability

The task of teaching students how to think well rests formally with schools and the classroom teachers who work within them. The education system has a responsibility to fulfil the need for relevance in the school curriculum. A corollary is that the teaching profession, through collective efforts, needs to transform the ways in which curriculum and teaching are conceived. This is not to say that teachers cannot or should not work with existing curriculum, but rather that we need to reconceptualise the ways in which we approach curriculum, teaching and learning. Professional development for teachers to teach philosophically needs to move away from an in-service model that relies on ‘skilling-up’ to one of an ‘apprenticeship’ in self-correction which allows teachers to help themselves. Teachers, as professionals, need to keep abreast of new ideas and insights; to extend their professional development to joining professional associations, attending and presenting at conferences, undertaking further study, and engaging in ‘collaborative negotiation’ with universities, consultants, teachereducators, professional bodies, and in-service providers in the development of deliberative and reflective capabilities, pedagogical practices, and classroom materials as ways of assessing their own philosophical progress.