Children are, by their very nature, questioning and inquisitive people. As they grow older and encounter new experiences they begin to be challenged by opinions with which they are unfamiliar or with which they do not necessarily agree or understand.
Philosophy, from the Greek meaning a love of wisdom, gives children the opportunity to acquire the language and skills to begin to understand the more abstract aspects of the world in which they live.
The lessons are discussion-based and designed to give the children the confidence to express their own opinions, while at the same time they are encouraged to reflect on the views of others and, possibly, assimilate them into their own beliefs.
Younger children, for example, may examine such statements as: ’school is good for children’ or ‘why are some children naughty?’
As they mature and gain more independence, senior children will examine some of the more abstract notions propounded by people from the past, including the ancient Greek philosophers right through to modern day writers and people in the public eye.
Such discussions may begin with statements such as: ‘it is impossible to be happy all the time’; ‘all men are equal but some are more equal than others’ and ‘did God create the Big Bang?’
Through their philosophising, children learn the subtlety and nuances of a discussion and appreciate that sometimes there are no easy answers, but that, more often than not, one question leads onto many more.