Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 27, 2008

Philosophy for Children

Clinton Golding
Pages 29-37

The Philosophy Teacher as Guide
Balancing Following the Inquiry where it Leads with Introducing Philosophical Knowledge

Central to Philosophy for Children is the commitment that children follow their inquiry where it leads. Teacher interventions that introduce questions and problems from the philosophical tradition are problematic for this commitment. They seem to be necessary to scaffold a rigorous inquiry, but they also threaten to direct the inquiry down the teacher’s chosen path rather than the students’. This paper suggests a way to balance following student inquiry where it leads with introducing knowledge from the philosophical tradition. It will be argued that conceiving of the P4C teacher as a philosophical expedition guide will be useful to find this balance.