“PHILOSOPHICAL PUBLICATIONS 2011”
Abstracts in English or German
1. Philosophical Dialogue in the Classroom. PROCEEDINGS OF A SCIENTIFIC MEETING (Rethymno, 22. October 2010). Editor: John Tzavaras
Τhe democratization of the school should be woven into three levels: in that of the educational policy, school community and classroom. The use of dialogue, in different ways, in these three levels allows the strong and elaborate weave of the educational system of a democratic European country, as it is Greece.
Both on a political and on school level, there should be the necessary democratic structures and procedures to ensure the conditions for youth’s democratic education. The individual patterns of ‘significant others’ as well as the team patterns of school and family help to this direction, namely the creation of people with social and political skills, human values and life attitudes. The school activities which are also based on cooperation and dialogue are very likely to help develop, practically and experientially, a mature democratic socio-political personality with advanced 'reflective skills'.
How can the art of effective dialogue help the Greek school towards a further process of its democratization, even after the international and Greek changes of the last decades? The paper attempts to access the Greek educational reality by using as a guide the question above.
The programming trajectory of both the Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework and the primary education Curricula in our country seems to be coordinated with the objectives of the philosophical-pedagogical movement Philosophy for/with children. These programs stress the importance of questioning, doubt, critical thinking and free spirit, as well as emphasize that the environment of the primary school classroom cannot but be predominantly a research environment, guided by a spirit of cooperation and solidarity. However, what the authors of the programs are bypassing is the fundamental question of whether the anthropological context – in which the pedagogical relationship between the teacher and student is structured – is encouraging students to achieve those goals.
Today even a rough look at the world established by the so-called Western society is enough to convince us that the available meanings, which the educate -via the educator- called to embody in order to be humanized, that is become a social person who fits in a society so that it can be reproduced, are not those that the authors of these programs put forward, but rather those that reflect the multifaceted crisis of modern Western societies; a crisis which makes the very identification process unsafe as nowadays setting up a self-performance of society, as a centre of meaning and value imbedded in a future story and endowed with meaning, seems impossible.
If that claim is true, it is immediately clear that bypassing this condition cannot but cancel any attempt to exit from this situation, reinforcing the dominant postmodern belief that this world is the best we can live in.
The philosophical dimension of the intense development of dialogical procedures in education remain invisible and ambiguous even if this very dimension forms an inescapable horizon for the understanding itself of the dialogicity. The recession though of the philosophical element is counterbalanced by α number of rapidly disseminated philosophical practices on an international level, practices through which appears the possibility to make visible and potent the association between philosophy and education mainly via the emphasis on dialogιcal experience.
Nevertheless, the fact that the dialogue constitutes a good, natural place for the emergence and the defense of such a convergence, does not escape the difficulty with which philosophy is recognized in educational systems (especially the Greek one). It is necessary to clarify the consequences of this difficulty on the dynamics of the two fields, while collaborating or interpenetrating, and on the credibility and quality of presuppositions, finalities, methods and products related to this effort. The same issue must be also analyzed through the point of view of dialogue held as an interface but also as a capable vehicle for the satisfaction of multiple objectives during the pedagogical and educational procedure. It is crucial then to always specify the conception about philosophy serving as the basis for any convergence of this kind.
In my announcement, I examine and revise Philosophy in terms of its existence and functionality for the children. More exactly posed, I want to enforce the attitude which is in favour of the children’s ability to philosophize or to express themselves philosophically. I try to raise arguments which derive from the social and primarily the educational reality and fortify the existence of a well-tuned relation between these two factors. Children philosophize according to their own level of intellectual ability and through a mode which differs from the one used by the grownups, who have primarily to comprehend concepts. Children live in the same world with the grownups and therefore they have to perceive and comprehend this particular world in order to exist in terms of communication. This can be done and it is surely done. Nevertheless, that thing which should not be pursued – and naturally it is impossible to happen – it is the demand for the children to understand the intellectual world of the grownups. For many people, this consists in a stalemate and is translated as an inability on behalf of the children to philosophize. According to our fore mentioned thoughts, this is an attitude which we do not accept. On the contrary, we invest in the children’s ability to philosophize.
The aim of this presentation is to identify the different stimuli that have been used in doing philosophy with children and the possible ways of engaging with them.
The structure of this presentation is as follows: Firstly, it is briefly explained what philosophy with children is. Then the presentation focuses on why there is a need for stimuli in order to do philosophy with children, and what these stimuli could be. I will briefly refer to the different stimuli that have been used so far which belong to two different and wide categories: a) those that are intentionally designed for doing philosophy with children, such as Matthew Lipman’s and Ann Margaret Sharp’s novels and, b) those that are not designed with philosophy with children in mind, but could be used for that reason. These include children’s literature, works of art, musical pieces and various stimuli that come from children’s everyday experiences. The presentation ends with the use of Venn diagrams which explain the different possibilities of engaging with a stimulus among the teacher and the children that compose a community of philosophical inquiry.
The valid curriculum is an essential instrument, with which our society succeeds today in guiding children to the unexamined obedience to already decided rules. The future citizens are brought up with the opinion that there are some experts specialized in determining what and how their daily life will be. Their future abandonment of every political decision to the partisan oligarchy who ‘represents’ us is obtained with such upbringing.
A dialogue regularly held in the classroom can be a fundamental counterbalance to the ready curriculum. Presupposing that a curriculum determines a) the learning targets, b) the objects to be learned, c) the instructive methods, and d) the inspection of achieving the learning targets, the dialogue between students and teachers can undertake the determination of all these structure elements, in some limits respecting the age maturity of the children.
A thinking dialogue between students and teachers cannot be restricted to the conceptual elaboration of fairy-tales; it has to undertake the self-management of the daily school employment and, by extension, the critical confrontation with social events. In addition, it ought to heal the long lasting defects of the curriculum dynamically, such as the ordering of the objects to be learned as distinct lessons (and not as interdisciplinary unities, as the so-called Interdisciplinary Unified Framework of the Greek school program augurs).
It is forty years since the educational movement P4C was constituted. The movement aims at Philosophy to be penetrated, not in its traditional form, but as an applied didactic methodology, in all levels of the educational system, without the exception even of the field of the Early Childhood Education. The construction, in 1970, of the first P4C curriculum by the American philosopher Matthew Lipman was only the beginning. Drawing inspiration from the domain of Philosophy and taking into account principles of the developmental theories of Child Psychology, the P4C movement presents itself as an innovative proposal of school practice, in the foundations of which postmodernist conceptions about the possibilities and boundaries of children’s thinking are to be traced. In this paper an attempt is undertaken to study the historical process or the international diffusion of P4C, through the gradual formation of a distinct scientific community and its networks, which embrace and forward this particular movement’s principles and aims. In order to interpretate this phenomenon elements of the general theory of “Diffusion of innovations” by Everett M. Rogers will be used. The focus will be directed to four specific factors: 1) The innovative practice itself. 2) That networks or communication channels used to spread information about innovation. 3) The element of Time. 4) The nature of the society to whom the innovative practice is introduced.
2. John Tzavaras: “Nietzsche’s Notes for Zarathustra (July 1882 – February 1883)”
Nietzsches Notizen zum Zarathustra (Juli 1882 – Februar 1883)
Nietzsches Werk “Also sprach Zarathustra” wird hier durch die Notizen zugänglich, die der Denker während der Jahre 1882-1883 machte. Diese Notizen wurden von ihm als eine wichtige Grundlage zur Verfassung des genannten Werkes genutzt. Durch die ausgewählten Notizen werden u.a. erklärbar a) einige Textstellen des Werkes, die von sich selbst nicht ganz verständlich sind; b) die Inspirationen als erste denkerische Ausbrüche, die zum Ziel der Veröffentlichung bearbeitet wurden; c) die Gründe, warum Zarathustra die Form eines religiösen Werkes und nicht einer wissenschaftlichen Abhandlung nahm; d) die vielfältigsten Themen, die im Buch behandelt wurden, ohne eine thematische Einheit oder eine einheitliche Lehre auszumachen.