A Letter to Philosophy 492 Students

An Introduction to philosophy for children Hawai‘i Welcome to Philosophy 492!  In this class you will learn about the theory and practice of the philosophy for children Hawai‘i (p4cHI) approach to education. At the very outset, it is important to note that p4cHI is NOT a program, a quick fix, or a bag of tricks.  Rather, it is a pedagogical approach and, even more deeply, a way of being.  p4cHI is adaptable and evolves in varying ways in varying times and places.  It takes different forms from culture to culture, school to school, and even individual teacher to individual teacher. Continue reading

On Not Being in a Rush

Drawing from his many years of experience, p4cHI founder Dr. Thomas Jackson (Dr. J) shares some of his most memorable moments and significant realizations.  These stories provide us with a vibrant and oftentimes inspirational perspective on where p4cHI has come from, what it is, and, indeed, on what it could be. Continue reading

Putting Together the Pieces

Week after week we have gone piece by piece through the practice of facilitating p4cHI inquiries.  One week we focused on one particular aspect and the next week another.  Now, in our final video, it is time to put all of the pieces together and see p4cHI as it truly is; a single, flowing whole. Continue reading

We're Not in a Rush

With age, they say, comes wisdom.  I don't think this is always true.  Some of my greatest teachers have been children who possess a rare and special wisdom that is way beyond their years.  And, on the other hand, I've met a lot of grown-ups who still, it seems to me, foolishly worry too much about unimportant things. Continue reading

Opening it Up

As I read Gandhi's quote (in the image on the right) I, perhaps somewhat oddly, thought of the old phrase "garbage in, garbage out."  Mothers everywhere probably have something like that in mind when they urge their children to avoid junk food.  If you eat unhealthy food, your body won't be healthy.  You, to put it another way, reap what you sow. Continue reading

How to Improve Participation

Imagine that you're leading a p4cHI inquiry, you enthusiastically read out an inquiry question, and then....cricket, cricket....nothing....no one says a word.  You read the question again in a slightly pleading tone of voice as your Principal or Professor, who is sitting in the back of the room observing you, furiously scribbles notes.  One hand goes up and with a sigh of relief you pass that student the ball.  He gives a five second answer, looks around, and...cricket, cricket...not a hand goes up.  What, you wonder, do I do now? Continue reading

The Examined Life

One of the college courses that I've taught over the years is Introduction to Philosophy.  And one of the topics that we cover in this class is the Philosophy of Religion.  We consider the question of whether or not God exists, look at different conceptions of God, and think more deeply about the qualities that God might possess. Continue reading

Monster Questions

Drawing from his many years of experience, p4cHI founder Dr. Thomas Jackson (Dr. J) shares some of his most memorable moments and significant realizations.  These stories provide us with a vibrant and oftentimes inspirational perspective on where p4cHI has come from, what it is, and, indeed, on what it could be. Continue reading

How to Improve Listening (Reactive Strategies)

Now we conclude our mini-series on "how to improve listening."  This week we turn to "Reactive Strategies."   Reactive strategies are the things that you can do to correct the situation when a student is not listening to his/her peers.  It's what you do to stop poor listening in its tracks. Continue reading

12 Angry Men

An assumption that lies beneath the community of inquiry approach is that there is tremendous power in bringing together a diverse collection of thinkers.  Each on of us has a different background, different experiences, and, so too, different strengths when it comes to thinking.  Oftentimes a team of thinkers -- working together, sharing insights, and checking each others' biases -- can arrive at a greater depth of understanding. Continue reading