Book review: In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education, by Maughn Rollins Gregory and Megan Jane Laverty (eds) [Book Review]

Journal of Philosophy in Schools 7 (1):132-138 (2020)
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In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp: Childhood, Philosophy and Education is the first in a series edited by Maughn Gregory and Megan Laverty, Philosophy for Children Founders, and is a major contribution to the literature on philosophy in schools. It draws attention to an author and practitioner who was largely responsible for the development of scholarship on the community of inquiry, who co-founded the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC), and who undeniably made a significant contribution to philosophy for/with children as a global movement. For anyone familiar with Philosophy for Children, they would, no doubt, also be familiar with its founder Matthew Lipman. However, not always acknowledged is that Ann Margaret Sharp, a philosopher of education, was also one of its pioneers who collaborated with Lipman to develop a theory and practice of the community of inquiry as a collaborative pedagogy and method for Philosophy with Children, as well as a pre-college curriculum. Also, not widely known is that the term ‘community of inquiry’ first appeared in an article co-authored by Lipman and Sharp (1978). Lipman credited Sharp with reconstructing the Peircean/Buchlerian notion of community of inquiry into a model of educational practice. Together they extensively developed the community of inquiry as an approach to teaching, said to transform the structure of the classroom in fundamental ways. Gregory and Laverty set the record straight regarding Sharp’s involvement in the development and success of Philosophy for Children as a school program and worldwide movement. Both editors are highly qualified for a project like this. Between them they have written numerous articles, book chapters and books and have co-edited books on philosophy of education, particularly philosophy for/with children. They are also well-respected practitioners who have collaborated with Sharp.



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Gilbert Burgh
University of Queensland

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