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Philosophy for Children

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 And Still We Rise : The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City High School Students

Getting Our Kids Back on Track : Educating Children for the Future by Janine Bempechat

A highly readable and practical guide to achieving that delicate balance of academic excellence and high self-esteem, Getting Our Kids Back on Track is a realistic look at today's families and their frustrations in trying to "do it all." Full of stories from all kinds of families, examples abound of different parenting styles, teaching methods, and children's personalities. None of these is presented as being "right" or "wrong"--but the author doesn't hesitate to offer suggestions. From homework battles to overbooked sports activities, everyday occurrences are examined and questioned: is it necessary, for example, to spend four hours each day shuttling kids to sports practice, or is there a better way of spending that time? Topics are relevant from kindergarten through the teens, and tend to focus on clear communication and regular examination of priorities to help families stay on track. For quick reference, author Janine Bempechat includes an appendix of questions that relate to each chapter--questions to ask both yourself and your children's teachers. While Back on Track is an excellent starting place for longer dialogues, there are no quick answers to questions like "How much importance am I placing on my children's education relative to other activities in their lives?" and "What do you think are my children's strengths, and how do you think I can encourage their development in those areas?" Still, the stories are warm and humorous, and the book as a whole is encouraging. --Jill Lightner

"My children spend five hours in school every day. They work very hard while they are there, and believe me, it's stressful. The last thing they need is homework. They need to come home and relax. They have a life outside of school."-Mother of Fourth grade twins

Compared to children from other industrialized countries, our nation's children are scholastic underachievers. But in our quest to keep our children "well-rounded" we leave little time for homework and other activities considered by many to be an important part of their education. It's obvious, our notions about promoting a child's positive self-esteem seem to contradict what is needed to achieve academic excellence. Is it too late to get our kids back on track? Not according to Janine Bempechat, an acclaimed educational researcher from Harvard and the parent of two school-aged children. Bempechat offers parents and teachers a practical guide to encourage and support children's academic success and, by doing so, bolster their self-worth. Getting Our Kids Back on Track reveals that those parents who advocate for reduced homework loads, stress-free schoolwork, and an increase in extracurricular activities are actually doing children a great disservice. Using illustrative real-life examples from her years of research, Bempechat shows how to set priorities and help children develop traits of persistence, diligence, and the ability to delay gratification. This important book offers a new vision that can inspire parents to create a structured, predictable, and consistent home environment that will help children reach their full intellectual potential.

About the Author
Janine Bempechat is assistant professor of education in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The author of Against the Odds, Bempechat lectures and conducts workshops on the topic of motivation and achievement in children and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio.

Hi!Click here for more about this book 
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Original Contribution RecipientBy Per Jespersen.  

Per Jespersen has been working with the issue of Philosophy for Children for 15 years.  He believes that since "philosophy is the background of all sciences and all human thinking... philosophy is (or should be) an important part of childhood."  As Jespersen says, " children are prephilosophical. This is the reason why it is so crucial to discuss philosophical issues with children in order to help them develop spiritually as a preposition for developing mentally and socially. Philosophy should not be a scheduled subject, but be part of education - the red thread going through all education from kindergarten to university. Therefore: go philosophize with your children."

The VisioNaivity site includes original philosophical stories for children by Jespersen:

bulletA Nightly Talk
bulletA day in the Forest

Philosophy for Children Essays by Jespersen:

bulletA Coky Man


Educate the Children

Educate the Children is dedicated exclusively to primary education. Covering the whole of the National Curriculum and using the latest teaching and learning strategies, Educate the Children is designed to meet the needs of today's child.

Target audiences are Primary Teachers, Parents and Pupils (5-11 years old).

All resources are free and all materials adhere to the curriculum guidelines set down by the UK government (QCA Schemes of Work and National Curriculum 2000). However, most materials are suitable for any other countries educational system.

The site is split up into zones, the Teacher Zone, Parent Zone, Learning Zone and Info Zone. Currently the Teacher Zone is the biggest zone with over 1000 lesson plans and worksheets, the parent zone is currently in development but still contains a wide range of articles and activities for parents (well activities for their children!). The Learning and Info zones are still in development.


Kids and Nature Videos

The primary focus of Kids and Nature Videos is to produce entertaining and educational videos that are suitable for all ages. These videos feature beautifully composed scenes of the natural world and animals, accompanied by original musical scores and natural sound effects.  From Manitoulin Images.


Links to Learning

By Dr. Norman Labush

Dr. Labush teaches second grade and college math.  This site is dedicated to teachers, parents, and students.


New Moon Publishing

New Moon Publishing produces media for every girl who wants her voice heard and her dreams taken seriously and for every adult who cares about girls.


Philosophy For Children

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a program that involves school children in whole class discussion on philosophical issues. It aims to improve children's thinking through introducing them to, and enabling them to investigate, many of the 'big questions'. Using the program, teachers encourage children to think more deeply about the ideas behind their schoolwork in a classroom community of inquiry. Children will then focus reflectively on their own thinking and the skills they use, thus improving them, in the meantime exploring and enhancing their own ideas and those of others in response to philosophical and other puzzles. The joint exploration of ideas leads to more cohesive shared knowledge within the group.

Federation of Australasian Philosophy for Children Associations (FAPCA) is the umbrella organisation for Philosophy for Children in Australia and New Zealand. It draws together associations and or networks in the Australian states and New Zealand, in order to promote the use of Philosophy for Children. Among the activities FAPCA runs are annual conferences.


7 Modern Wonders of the World

This is a very informational site, designed by teens, which teaches and interacts with a user about the geographical, cultural, and historical aspects of all seven wonders. Some features of this site are: sending wonders postcards to friends and family, Games, Quizzes, a wonderful picture book, informative maps, and travel info. 


Tasmanian Association for Philosophy for Children

In association with FAPCA.

The Tasmanian Association of Philosophy for Children (TAPC) is an organisation whose aims are:

bulletto develop and promote philosophy for children;
bulletto inspire and encourage individuals to practise and acquire independent skills in reasoning, and in thinking reflectively, critically, and creatively;
bulletto provide individuals with intellectual motivation and self-esteem;
bulletto form individuals of sound judgment who are effective thinkers, speakers and listeners.


Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children

Thinking is a highly respected academic periodical, published quarterly by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Since 1979, Thinking has been prime reading material for those professionals in education wanting to know more about the latest developments around the world in the theory of Philosophy for Children and its experimental foundations.


Philosophy for Children on the World Wide Web - W3P4C

This page is the home for Philosophy for Children on the WWW. 


Oulu Center for Philosophical Inquiry in Education (OCPIE)

This site is also in Finnish. 

Site Includes:

bulletPhilosophy for Children
bulletCenter´s location
bulletWorking with the material
bulletTeacher Education
bulletInteresting Links  


Philosophy for Children, Northwest

The Philosophy for Children program is an internationally recognized and internationally utilized program for developing the entire range of reasoning skills in young people from grade level K through 12. Its central aim is to help young people become more thoughtful and more reasonable persons. There are currently seven components to the program: three early elementary grades ( Getting Out Thoughts Together--- reasoning about experience Wondering at the World -- reasoning in nature and Looking for Meaning -- reasoning about language); two for middle school and junior high (Philosophical Inquiry -- basic reasoning skills and Ethical Inquiry -- reasoning in ethics); and two for secondary school (Writing How and Why -- reasoning in language arts, and Social Inquiry -- reasoning is social studies). Other components of the program are being developed. 

Site Includes:

bulletWhat is Philosophy for Children
bulletIts approach to developing reasoning skills
bulletNature of the program
bulletAwareness sessions
bulletAdditional training opportunities



Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education.  SAPERE is an educational charity - no. 1037019 - based in the United Kingdom. It was set up in 1992 following interest aroused by the BBC television documentary Socrates for six year olds. This hour-long film focused on the work of Professor Matthew Lipman and his associates in New Jersey who, over the past 25 years, have developed a curriculum for 5 to 16 year olds known as Philosophy for Children. SAPERE seeks to build on Lipman's work and promote his and other approaches to developing better reasoning, more reflective consideration of values and the development of communities of enquiry at all levels of education and in a wide variety of contexts. 

Site Includes:

bulletPhilosophy with children
bulletAbout Sapere
bulletInternet links


Taxi 1010

Richard Ames Hart

Protect your inner child: Daily Web Site helps you select an appropriate response to bullying on the playground, in the workplace, or in school.


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