History of the Philosophy for Children Movement
With roots reaching deeply into American Pragmatism and the thought of such philosophers as John Dewey and William James, Philosophy for Children (P4C) is widely respected as a direct response to the international crisis in education.
P4C converts traditional classrooms into reflective communities of inquiry where students and teachers continue to develop their ability to think for themselves in responsible ways.
P4C began around 1969 when Matthew Lipman, a Colombia University philosophy professor, became disenchanted with the educational system. He observed that children did not think as well as they could or should in a democratic society. He was also concerned that schools actually encouraged children to have a negative view of their own intellectual abilities.
To address these issues Lipman created a curriculum that incorporated the skills of logic and reasoning found in the practice of philosophy to improve students’ thinking in the K – 12 setting.
In an effort to extend Lipman’s original curriculum and vision to a variety of geo-cultural contexts, a number of P4C Centers have been established worldwide.