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Investigation of teaching philosophy for children in elementary fifth and sixth grade.


During the centuries, many educators believe that knowledge and information acquisition has been the main purpose of education; but from the last decade of 1960 and early time of 1970, some scholars of education stated aim of education is to develop the thinking that can be achieved through teaching different lessons.

Thus, at the end of the 19th century the foundations of philosophy of movement for children has been formed in response to the encyclopaedia progressivist orientation in the field of learning and the role of small and marginalized children in school. The movement against views of encyclopedia, who emphasized on knowledge acquisition through memory, has emphasized on the philosophical nature of children in fundamental concepts of life.

Curriculum offered by lippman, has been set in different grades that includes content and different targets and educational guide which is specific to each grade. A course typically includes a textbook or a short story, which is presented to a group of children; then, in a research community are involved in school or outside of it.

Naji stated in quotation of lipman: astatlmyr rabies discover books is gestures in the name of aristotle. When it has been put it for testing in 1970, it seemed to have been very effective. With the help of sharp, a handbook that includes hundreds of philosophical training for teachers has been written that was very effective.

In his paper explained the sources of developing the astatlmyr discovery book. He introduces these sources onle in 1 to 15 lines of the first page: lines one and two <<anti actual>> books by david lewis and <<comprehensive presentation by samual d,guttenplen and martin tammy, lines five to eight <<initial experience of movement>> by max wartosky, lines nine to eleven states the mental activities that happened in these lines certain books cannot be taken as a reference since it has been examined from wittgentein to peter geach. For the lines 12 to 15 <<moralities>> by espinoza and << psychological foundations>> by william james can be mentioned.

In a harry astalmyre discoveries, harry found out an idea and began to test it, his idea is really a rough idea of logic, the subject-predicate sentences (subject-predicate) in the form of <<all as are bs>> can not be changed in a valid way or be inverted, while the sentences <<no as are bs>> have abilities to play such a role. This is one of the rules of aristotelian logic, but children do not mention the name of his or her term logic and donot use the name in their daily conversation.

Harry and his friends discover a few of the basic concept of aristotelian logic moved; and aske each other questions about the nature of thinking, mind, causality, reality, knowledge and belief, correct and erroneous and unjust and unfair. The story of philosophy terminology is not used (even the word "philosophy" does not appear in this book-it.

The story begins with a story about a thinker boy named harry astatlmyr that one day answer wrongly in the class. He was listening to the teacher who was explaining that all planets rotate sun. Harry did not focus on the lessons and was somewhat tired and sleepy; as a result did not understand the teachers' explanations about comets that orbit sun. At the end of lessons, the teacher asked harry: what is it that has a long tail and rotation around the sun which takes seventy-seven years?

The correct answer of this question is halley comet; but because the harry did not listen to the teacher's explanation, did not know the answers. He remember that all planets rotate sun; so he concluded that the correct answer of the question is certainly planet. Harry's classmates started laughing on his wrong answer that comets which rotate sun but are not planet.

The sound of the class saved harry. While returning home he thought why his answer was wrong! He ponder himself " all planets rotate sun; but everything rotate sun is not necessarily planet". Suddenly this idea capture his mind that one sentence can not be inverted. Harry was glad due to his discovery and afterwards, became the practical use of his discovery.

Formal and non-formal learning program on the logic of practical have been emphasized. This story provides a model of dialogue in which children engage in dialogue with each other and with the teacher. The story is set in a children's classroom, where they will begin to understand the foundations of logical reasoning the main characters of the story, they discover the rules of argument and attempt to apply them in their daily life events.

The story is an educational model, non-authoritarian and anti combined that considers value of probing and knowledge and reasoning. And encourage development alternative ways of thinking and reasoning and show that children can teach from each other. In this story it has been attempted to show general lines of life and children involve in a small community.

Lippman without using the word of << philosophy >> in the novel, show that harry is in deep philosophical thought. It means << pondering about thinking>>. It can be said that harry's discoveries is the pleasure that takes from philosophical thinking. But it is not only this; harry understand that although pondering about thinking is interesting and important; apparently is not regarded at schools. Eventually finally, although the article that he wrote about thinking was started with the first person singular pronoun, immediately is changed into plural pronoun << we>> and concerns with their interactions in the lesson class.

Philosophical exploration, educational guide of harry astatlmyr discovery identify philosophical ideas which are risen from every chapter of story that emerged from each chapter of story. For applying it in the class, a range of exercises and activities for each idea has been provided. Those children who participated regularly in philosophical probing believe in this fact that this affair is good for children; since exploration provides easily the opportunity to listen to children's point of view and make some topics and questions for teachers which are taken into account by children.

Philosophy for children:

Similarities between children and philosophers make lippman admits that: <<as there is a major like philosophy, a philosophy can be found for children.>> but each of these, there are various versions, for example, different versions-the philosophy of science, philosophy, psychology, philosophy, art and so on. Further, any philosophy is a general criticism and analysis of every major that will be studied, but the philosophy of children can be identified with education not with the philosophy of education. What is called << philosophy for children>> is an attempt for developing philosophy, with the purpose to be able to use them like a kind of education. This philosophy is an education in which the philosophy has been used for making the child's mind to try for responding to meet the need and longing>>

In lippman's opinion the philosophy of children should be regarded as a pattern; in which strategies and thinking skills are provided for composure. Philosophy provides the situation for thinking independently by presenting several instrument which enable individual to question himself or other. Who is able to think "independently" for his own, would ask the deepest feelings, values and identity. For coming true of this purpose, the philosophy for children should be designed in a way that is compatible with the interests and needs of the child and be presented in different stories that connect the sense, logic, aesthetics and ethics of daily experience to each other.

Principles of philosophy for children program:

Four main principles in the program of philosophy for children that lippman believes included:

The first principle: rationality as an organizer:

This principle has been taken into account by education experts, and they use them in different ways; lippman believes that his understanding from rationality has research aspect and is different from what has been said. Regarding this he said: << my considered rationality is different from rationalty of aristotle, kant, dewey. I mean rationality is a ruling regulations and criteria on critical thinking and use them in researching.>>. In his opinion rationality is considered as a principle of organizer. From this perspective, school is like a court which is under control of set off criteria to justify their existance.

As it can be understood from lippman, he believes that rules and criteria are governing on critical thinking and can be used like organizing element in flow of critical thinking as well as educational program of critical thinking.

The second principle: reflective thinking:

Lippman talk about two different patterns in education, titled "standard pattern" and "reflective thinking pattern"; that are different from each other from philosophical foundations and educational principles. In his opinion the standard pattern is the common and traditional pattern. Traditional understanding of people from education in which all ways ended in antiquity is that education is a way of making new generations to accept those knowledge namely facts, events and values which are considered correct by past generations. In the past it has been supposed that students by pondering into materials which were taught and their analysis do not need. But the enlightenment era causes to have need to needing reformation.

In standard pattern of education, because the process of transferring data from one generation to another has been considered, while in reflective thinking pattern the education is regarded as the process of thinking in which people by having awareness of main elements of thinking evaluate the process of thinking. It is possible that people naturally think without explicit knowing of thinking process and involving element. In this case, meditation is not guided by a clear thinker, but can be a free flow. But when one is conscious of the elements of thought and recognize the solutions of thought developing in advance, in this case the process of thinking can be evaluated and be in charge of guiding the process of thinking. Therefore, i think it is done with the knowledge and on this basis it can be called self-consciously thinking about thinking, or thinking.

The third principle: education as inquiry:

Another principle of educational that has been used by lippman is taking the education as inquiry into account. Accordingly, " education has a research nature and objectives that adapted its methods and objectives" [1]

In lippman's opinion, the teachers in the process of education may use problem solving method in a way that a child becomes into a useless habit. For changing this situation, the students should face ambiguous situations continuously. This requires having a research program in which everyone and everything is invited to study.

Research skills will result in raising the level of creative activities and help the learners to design and test hypothesis. The correct methods of designing hypothesis and testing hypothesis by children will result in making creative thinking.

Lippman has divided the cognitive skills into four groups: research skills, reasoning skills, organizational information skills and translation skill. In his view, education is not merely a process of acquisition of these skills but also to strengthen and improve their skills as well.

So philosophy teach the research skills in order to use them in comprehending the universe and their own experience. Both inside and outside the school, so that people become more thoughtful, more reasonable and more responsible.

For being researcher, an active explorer should be; real inquirer, is always ready to face and compare and analyze, make an assumptions, experience and observe, measure and examine. Student researcher is responsible for some part of their educational responsibilities, they learn to start the research trend and follow them and this will result in learning to think for themselves.

In more explanation of materials, he states: "the common education in past years has been failed and it was the reason of failing; because the objectives of this kind of education is limited and ignore the reach methods. Moreover, in common educational pattern, subjects has been provided separately and the opportunity of researching has been taken from them.

Thus, instead of the students were thinking like scientists and get new results by using their methods, mainly have used their products in raw and get a new result that have been gotten in the past by them. Thus critical thinking in education as part of the process of education, we the nature of thinking must be regarded. And people instead of cumulating the results of others' thought or imposed critical on different issues, they themselves should think critically and follow this way as a research flow. In lippman's opinion, standard educational model is not respondent of complex situations in life; so for effective using, assumptions should be revised and attention be paid as a form of research model.

The fourth principle: class as a community of inquiry:

The idea of exploring or community inquiry had been first presented by pragmatism philosopher charles sanders peirce, in an article titled fixed belief.

Although in philosophy for children this term has been extended to all kinds of research, scientific or nonscientific ones.

Community inquiry is one of the key concept in philosophy planning for children, that teachers and learners in using and modifying it to achieve their targets, give an aspect and new dimension to it.

This term has been applied extensively in thinking pattern deliberating lippman and its purpose is that lessons be in the form labroteries and all beliefs of children have been tested and analyzed.

His meaning by community inquiry of exploring is formation of groups that while teaching achieve belief, defend it, or challenge the opposite groups, find out their faults and look forward to sudden and unexpected events and at the end change the ambigious situations and achieve new affairs. The important point in using this instrument " community inquiry" the sensitivity to uncertain situations. Paying attention to community inquiry result in developing ingenuity and creativity in growing moral potential of learners namely increasing the tolerance for ambiguity, tolerance in facing others and growing excitements and extending interesting and enjoyable behaviors.

Research objectives:

The overall objective:

Criticism and analysis of philosophy fifth and sixth grade curriculum for children (story of hary astatlymyer discovery and its training guide under the title of the philosophical probes)


Criticism and investigation the curriculum objectives of philosophy the fifth and sixth grade for children. Criticism and investigation the curriculum content of philosophy the fifth and sixth grade curriculum for children.

Criticism and investigation teaching methods in fifth and sixth grade curriculum of philosophy for children. Criticism and investigation evaluation methods in the fifth and sixth grade curriculum of philosophy for children.


The methodology used in this study is descriptive- analytical that given the nature of the subject, inferential qualitative content analysis is performed by using the tool the library study. The objective of researcher is that by gathering its information and analysis and analyze and criticize, desired research findings have been achieved. Therefore, in direction of this aim by using the content analysis, analyze and criticism method of main sources (the discovery story of the hary astatlmyr) will be paid. In method of the qualitative content analysis, the researcher is seeking that cases in specific content (in this case is the story of harry and its training guide) follow and analysis; somehow be able answer to questions or his research. For example,in this study one of the goals is investigating the content of the curriculum, from the researcher with that size of the content that is looking that able to achieve to this goal; hence the objectives in the qualitative content analysis method, is not the quantitative numbers.


In this part of the story of hary with philosophy education program for children the objectives of view coordination will be compared. At first proposed objectives for the curriculum of philosophy for children, will be presented by lipman and then its cases will be presented and discussed in the story of hary.

Improving the intellection ability:

Example: investigating the curriculum of philosophy fifth and sixth grade for children (discovery story of hary astatlmyr) also showed that from the beginning of the story, growth and development of intellection skill has been considered.

For endorsing on this claim can be mentioned describe as follows:
Table 1: Extracted cases from the training guide and
story book for compliance with the goal of improving
the intellection ability.

Page             Subject                Type      Row

1      When harry thought with him   Story book    1
         how answer mr. Bradley       of harry
            question wrongly.
10      When lisa, jill and fran     Story book    2
         wood are talking about       of harry
16          When harry in his        Story book    3
        composition, thinking the     of hary
        most enjoyable work knows
3        The posed questions at       Training     4
         this part is about the      guide book
        students' thinking about
        the events of the story.
9       Design debating about the     Training     5
            what is thinking?        guide book
9       Design debating about the    Training      6
          thinking to thinking       guide book

Fostering creativity:

Examples: throughout the discovery story of harry astatlmyr, with helping his creativity to creation and pays ideas arising of his mind and friends. At the beginning of harry's story in answering to the teacher question that referred to comet that just like the planets around the sun but obviously, is not a planet ;was afoul wrong. So he thought with himself "there are things that go around the sun and are not the planet!" and then it seems to his mind that one sentence can not be reversed. All of the planets go around the sun, but everything that goes around the sun is not planet. In fact, if the last part one sentence, we take place in the first, would not be just that sentence.

For example: "all the oak are tree that if returned, will: all trees are oak. But this is wrong."

This discovery, which comes from his power of thought and creativity, it was fascinated and excited the harry.

The growth of personal and interpersonal:

Examples: in harry training guide book too, repeatedly by the child's mind challenging about the presented subjects in each chapter

By asking questions and a result with following the discussion in particular these subjects about attention to growth of personal and interpersonal relations.
Table 2: The extracted cases from the training guide
for compliance with aim the growth of interpersonal
and personal relations.

Page               Question                Row

5       What was the first harry's idea     1
         about the returned sentences?
5      What was the rule that harry and     2
       lisa discover about the returned
5       How did harry discover his the      3
        first ideas about the returned
5       You can remember the stage that     4
         harry for this discovery was
           leadership and guidance?

Fostering the moral understand:

Example: in the sixteenth chapter of training guide book, by providing an exercise from students wants to proportional with reasons and preference their ethical and worthy about the following situations ,are comments.
Table 3: Extracted cases from the training guide for
compliance with the goal of fostering the moral understand.

Page         Question         Row

419    Sally: fighters were    1
         a good soldiers,
        sue: no they were

419    George: brides is a     2
        good pianist. Ed:
        this is nonsense.

419        Arthur: mr.         3
       Thompson's class is
       surely a good class.
         Jane: you commit
         error, it is the
         worst at school.

Ability to find concept experience:

Examples: in philosophy program for children, the research community provides this opportunity that students with discussing about acquired experiences and express their opinions about them, to various alternative receive of reality and finds the comprehensive view.
Table 4: Extracted cases from the story book and training
guide for compliance with the goal of ability the finding
of concept experience.

Page         Subject                Type           Row

21     When mark and maria   Story book of harry    1
         were discussing
         about the their
       history lesson and

27     When children were    Story book of harry    2
        talking about the
         mind and mental

43     When children were    Story book of harry    3
        talking about the
        does not respect
       bill to the country

42     The posed questions   Training guide book    4
         at this section
        whether gibbs is
         guilty or not.

Discussion and conclusion:

Teaching the philosophy to children, including the topics that study and investigation in it the wide range of academic disciplines cover the concepts of philosophy, kid, education and training are paid; including philosophy, psychology, training sciences, especially the tendency of philosophy education and training.

Wide attention that nowadays for entering the principles and techniques related to this approach in countries, and in particular in our country has been created and the other side, often unconsidered actions without specialists consultation were taken and unfortunately even in the form of educational content in the education and training system entered too, will be provided the field that interested students pay in to doing related investigations and projects.

With investigates that have been done regarding thesis in connection with pfc; it can be concluded that the majority of students and writers express the definitions of the concept, origin and dimensions of this program had sufficed, although doing such these researches is commendable, when it is valuable that regarding proposed topic so far such researches have not been done. Otherwise, writing articles, theses, and books that all to the unit matter without innovation creation (even in some cases, copies of the others writings) is refers, is unpleasant.

Therefore, is suggested to the students and researchers:

--before choosing his research topic, consult with experts in this field until be familiar with the topics that so far have not been investigated and researched and prevent spending time, energy and cost in a way that by others had traveled many times.

--it is suggested with doing field and quantitative investigations and evaluation of results using from this program, if there are undesirable results to the modify it. For example, with investigate and review of existing stories, to suit curriculum offer with itself local and cultural conditions, pays. Especially in our society with iranian-islamic culture, students can be able to help a rich legacy that remained in the educational relics in quran and other religious books, and also the remain works from poetry and literature such as shahnameh of ferdowsi, collections of kelileh and demneh and samke ayar and ... have remains ..., prepares the ground until for promote the principles and rules of this the concept, can from proportional stories with native culture bring into writing.

--given that the majority of available resources in the field pfc are latin, french language, ... therefore, specialist and dominant students to other languages and also familiar to specialized terminology of education and training can international texts translate, have a significant role in its progress.

Also educational suggestions from the other results derived from paper will be followed.

--holding seminars, meetings and conferences in universities can provide the field until incorrect and dislocation perceptions that has arisen in this field is to be resolved.

--it is suggested by holding briefing meetings with parents, teachers training and experienced coaches to run the program and create a feeling the need to this approach in educational system provided the field for expansion and development.


[1] Lipman, M., 1993. Philosophy for Children and Critical Thinking, Thinking Children and Education, Kendall/ hunt Publishing Company U.S.A.

[2] Lipman, M., Sharp Annmargaret, 2003. Do and Don't in P4C Montclair college.

[3] Mayring, Philipp, 2000. Qualitative content Analysis Forum Qualitative social Research. Online Journal, 1(2).

[4] Raabe, B., 2002. Peter" Professional Philosophy Outsid the Academy: Philosophical Counseling", Pathway, No. 25.

[5] Rader, S., 2007. Qnalitative Methods of Data Analysis: swiss--Federal Institute of Technology. Zurich.

[6] Sharp, A., Ronald F. Reed, 1992. Studies in Philosophy for Children, Philadelphia, Temple university press.

[7] Spord, Tim, 2001. Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education. Rottladge.

[8] Tricky, S. and G. Topping, 2004. Philosophy for children: A systematic Review, Research paper in Education, 19(3).

[9] Thwaites, H., 2005. Can Philosophy for children improve teaching and learning within attainment target 2 of the religious education? Journal of Education 3-13, 33(3): 1-5.

Saeid Hatami Tajik and Ghorban Nahani Pour

Payame Noor University, I.R. Iran.


Article history:

Received 12 October 2014

Received in revised form 26 December 2014

Accepted 1 January 2015

Available online 18 February 2015

Corresponding Author: Ghorban Nahani Pour, Payame Noor University, I.R. Iran. E-mail:

Contact: 00989179199533
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Author:Tajik, Saeid Hatami; Pour, Ghorban Nahani
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 15, 2015
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