Volume 27, 2008
Philosophy for Children
Ann Margaret Sharp
Philosophizing about Our Emotions in the Classroom
The classroom community of inquiry aims at helping children make better judgments. If we can show that emotions are judgments or appraisals, it follows that they are educable. Such education of the emotions optimally should take place within the environment of communal inquiry with its focus on respect for persons, dialogue, concept formation, critical, creative and caring thinking. Children need help learning to identify their emotions, detecting assumptions upon which they lie and justifying these emotions to themselves and to others. Such work involves helping children to be sensitive to the salient aspects of individual situations, developing a consciousness of criteria and the ideals from which these criteria ensue, and fostering a disposition to be willing to self correct when we discover through inquiry that our emotions are based on unwarranted beliefs.