feeling-the-pea-beneath-the-mattresses-philosophising-with-children-as-imaginative-critical-practice - ESRC Seminar at Birkbeck College University of


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ESRC Seminar at Birkbeck College, University of London – 21 st October, 2011 Generating alternative discourses of childhood as a resource for educational policymaking 'Feeling the Pea beneath the mattresses: philosophising with children as imaginative, critical practice' (paper in progress) Joanna Haynes Acknowledgement: I have been involved in close collaboration with my colleague and friend Karin Murris (now at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) since 1994. This paper reflects our collaboration in research and writing in the field of philosophy with children. Abstract This paper draws on experiences of philosophizing with children and related scholarship and professional development activity with educators, over a period of nearly twenty years. I provide some background on the development of philosophy for children (P4C) over the last forty years. I introduce ideas to associate with alternative discourses of child as ‘headlines’, emergent within P4C literature, and explore the possibility of P4C as an imaginative critical pedagogy, for children and adults alike. My individual and collaborative work with Karin Murris focuses on concerns arising from our own critical and reflexive practice such as: opening the philosophical space in classrooms through children’s literature, particularly picturebooks (Haynes and Murris, 2009); questioning censorship, calling for greater freedom of thought for children and respect for their authority to speak of what they know (Haynes and Murris, 2009; 2012); reflecting on what it might mean to listen to child in a philosophical way, in the context of compulsory schooling (Haynes, 2007; 2008; Haynes and Murris, 2012). Together we have initiated a conversation proposing an epistemological shift in teacher education and continuing professional development for educators (Haynes and Murris, 2011a, 2011b). Introduction: the trouble with P4C Theories and practices of philosophy for and with children (P4C) have grown in significance since the 1970s, particularly in Latin America, Europe and the UK. The Philosophy for Children programme, originated in the USA (Lipman et al 1980), has given birth to many offspring, and to various interpretations of childhood and child. This work has produced a substantial body of empirical research on its educational impact, a range of distinctive pedagogies and the emergent academic field of philosophy of childhood. P4C has caused a stir among educationalists and academic philosophers alike. The practical and scholarly work associated with P4C in the last forty years has much to contribute to the generation of alternative multi-disciplinary discourses of childhood/child, not least through the ‘trouble’ it has stirred up (Haynes and Murris, 2009; 2011). Dr Joanna Haynes, School of Education, Faculty of Health, Education and Society, Plymouth University. [email protected] Page 1
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ESRC Seminar at Birkbeck College, University of London – 21 st October, 2011 Generating alternative discourses of childhood as a resource for educational policymaking
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