The notion of a community of inquiry has been treated by many of its proponents as being an exemplar of democracy in action. We argue that the assumptions underlying this view present some practical and theoretical difficulties, particularly in relation to distribution of power among the members of a community of inquiry. We identify two presuppositions in relation to distribution of power that require attention in developing an educational model that is committed to deliberative democracy: (1) (...) openness to inquiry and readiness to reason, and (2) mutual respect of students and teachers towards one another. Our contention is that these presuppositions, presented as preconditions necessary to the creation of a community of inquiry, are not without ideological commitments and dependent upon the ability of participants to share power. Using group dynamic theories and the ideas of Hannah Arendt, we argue that behaviours commonly interpreted as obstacles to dialogue or reflective inquiry could provide opportunities for growth. (shrink)
The attempt to define meaning arouses numerous questions, such as whether life can be meaningful without actions devoted to a central purpose or whether the latter guarantee a meaningful life. Communities of inquiry are relevant in this context because they create relationships within and between people and the environment. The more they address relations—social, cognitive, emotional, etc.—that tie-in with the children’s world even if not in a concrete fashion, the more they enable young people to search for and find (...) meaning. Examining the way in which philosophical communities of inquiry serve as a dialogical space that enables a search for meaning on the personal and collective plane, this article seeks to expand the discussion of how/whether finding meaning on a private or communal level can promote recognition of the existential uniqueness of each individual and the development of a sense of responsibility for him or her. Grounded in the writings of Matthew Lipman, it links his ideas about finding meaning in philosophical communities of inquiry with those of Jean-Paul Sartre, Viktor Frankl, and Emmanuel Levinas, in particular with regard to the association between meaning and responsibility. (shrink)
The following paper outlines the historical and philosophical development of, ‘community of inquiry’ in educational discourse. The origins of community of inquiry can be found in the philosophical work of C. S. Peirce. From Peirce the notion of community of inquiry is adopted and developed by educational theorists of different orientations. Community of inquiry denotes an approach to teaching that alters the structure of the classroom in fundamental ways. With particular consideration given (...) to the unique philosophical origins of this approach, this paper outlines and discusses how community of inquiry is situated in today's educational landscape. (shrink)
In close collaboration with the late Matthew Lipman, Ann Margaret Sharp pioneered the theory and practice of ‘the community of philosophical inquiry’ (CPI) as a way of practicing ‘Philosophy for Children’ and prepared thousands of philosophers and teachers throughout the world in this practice. In Community of Inquiry with Ann Margaret Sharp represents a long-awaited and much-needed anthology of Sharp’s insightful and influential scholarship, bringing her enduring legacy to new generations of academics, postgraduate students and researchers (...) in the fields of education, philosophy, philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children and philosophy of childhood. Sharp developed a unique perspective on the interdependence of education, philosophy, personhood and community that remains influential in many parts of the world. This perspective was shaped not only by Sharp’s work in philosophy and education, but also by her avid studies in literature, feminism, aesthetic theory and ecumenical spirituality. Containing valuable contributions from senior figures in the fields in which Sharp produced her most focused scholarship, the chapters in this book present a critical overview of how Sharp’s ideas relate to education, philosophy of education, and the Philosophy for Children movement as a whole. The historical and philosophical nature of this collection means that it will be a vital resource for philosophers and educators. It should also be of great interest to teacher educators and those involved in the study of pragmatism and feminism, as well as the history of education across the globe, particularly in the United States of America. (shrink)
Philosophical research tends to be done separately from empirical research, but this makes it difficult to tackle questions which require both. To make it easier to address these hybrid research questions, I argue that we should sometimes combine philosophical and empirical investigations. I start by describing a continuum of research methods from data collecting and analysing to philosophical arguing and conceptualising. Then, I outline one possible middle-ground position where research is equally philosophical and empirical: the Community of Inquiry (...) reconceived as a research method. In this method, a group of participants engage in philosophical discussion and dialogue to answer the research question . I argue that this collaborative philosophical inquiry, moderated by a philosopher, provides a new method for collecting and testing data. The results are philosophical positions and arguments blended with empirical findings. Next, I illustrate how I used this philosophical–empirical method in a recent study to evaluate the strength of educational metaphors. I conclude that the Community of Inquiry is a viable means of combining philosophical and empirical research, and a new and worthwhile method for research in education. (shrink)
Ethics and the Community of Inquiry gets to the heart of democratic education and how best to achieve it. The book radically reshapes our understanding of education by offering a framework from which to integrate curriculum, teaching and learning and to place deliberative democracy at the centre of education reform. It makes a significant contribution to current debates on educational theory and practice, in particular to pedagogical and professional practice, and ethics education.
This contribution raises two questions about Talisse’s strategy of grounding democratic norms in a perfectionist account of epistemic agency: first, whether a perfectionist account of epistemic agency is plausible in itself, and second, whether Talisse is right to posit such a close relationship between communities of inquiry and democratic community? Epistemic perfectionism is rejected in favour of a more pluralist view of epistemic agency which starts from an account of the agent’s particular responsibilities. Next it is argued that (...) communities of inquiry are neither democratic, nor is democratic government a condition of their flourishing. Against the grounding strategy, it is argued that those epistemic responsibilities pertinent to the practice of democratic politics can only be determined once we are in possession of a prior account of our civic responsibilities. (shrink)
Contiene: Email and ethics -- Causation and laws of nature -- Internalism and epistemology -- Einstein, relativity, and absolute simultaneity -- Epistemology modalized -- Truth and speech acts -- Fiction, narrative, and knowledge -- A pragmatist philosophy of democracy.
Abstract When we speak about the aim of doing philosophy on the elementary school level with children as transforming classrooms into ?communities of inquiry?, we make certain assumptions about nature and personhood and the relationship between the two. We also make certain assumptions about dialogue, truth and knowledge. Further, we make assumptions regarding the ability of children to form such communities that will engender care for one another as persons with rights, a tolerance for each other's views, feelings, imaginings, (...) creations as well as a care for one another's happiness equal to the concern one has for one's own happiness. Lastly, we make assumptions about children's ability to commit themselves to objectivity, impartiality, consistency and reasonableness. The latter has social, moral and political implications. This paper is an attempt to identify and clarify some of these assumptions. (shrink)
One of the most significant obstacles to inquiry and deliberation is citizenship education. There are few mechanisms for the development of citizens’ democratic character within most societies, and greater opportunities need to be made to ensure our democracies are epistemically justifiable. The character and quality of citizens’ interactions are a crucial aspect for any democracy; their engagement make a significant difference between a deliberative society and an electoral oligarchy. I contend that through demarchic procedures, citizens are subject to collective (...) learning process in virtue of being part of communal decision-making and in so doing can develop their capacities for deliberation with practice over time. Demarchic bodies can be utilised as communities of inquiry. By viewing democracy as both a learning process and a decision-making mechanism, the quality of deliberation and participation can improve over time as well. (shrink)
When we speak about the aim of doing philosophy on the elementary school level with children as transforming classrooms into 'communities of inquiry', we make certain assumptions about nature and personhood and the relationship between the two. We also make certain assumptions about dialogue, truth and knowledge. Further, we make assumptions regarding the ability of children to form such communities that will engender care for one another as persons with rights, a tolerance for each other's views, feelings, imaginings, creations (...) as well as a care for one another's happiness equal to the concern one has for one's own happiness. Lastly, we make assumptions about children's ability to commit themselves to objectivity, impartiality, consistency and reasonableness. The latter has social, moral and political implications. This paper is an attempt to identify and clarify some of these assumptions. (shrink)
The current moral education is focused on character building of Lickona. Several papers and books pointed out that his thesis has some drawbacks. As a teacher in charge of moral education in class, I have also found out them without effort. For these reasons, I simply pointed out disadvantages of Lickona’s thesis on this paper, then studied how to apply philosophical community of inquiry (PCOI) as the new model of moral education for Korean middle school classes (Now I (...) teach students moral subject at Wondong middle school in Gyeong-nam, Republic of Korea). This study is thought to be well-grounded as an alternative idea because it has been very successful when I have tried to apply PCOI model to Korean classroom for about 4 years. With this PCOI model, I won the first rank in Gyeong-nam secondary teaching contest in 2007. I have tried to apply PCOI model to Korean history, economy, the world history and geography class as well as moral class. And I have been studying how to apply to these subjects more effectively. (shrink)
Ann Margaret Sharp, American philosopher of education, believed that friends could, in fact, be quite critical of one another. Writing in her essay, “What is a Community of Inquiry,” she states,... but children know that the group has taken on a great significance for them: each one’s happiness means as much to each of them as their own. They truly care for each other as persons, and this care enables them to converse in ways they never have before. (...) They can engage in inquiry without fear of rebuff or humiliation. They can try out ideas that they never would have thought of expressing before just to see what happens.I am grateful to the friends of Sharp who spent time in pursuit of understanding her work and its... (shrink)
This article investigates the place of trust in learning relations in the classroom, not only between teacher and student, but also between student and student. To do this, it will first examine a pedagogy called community of inquiry, espoused by John Dewey and used in most Philosophy for Children courses in Australia. It will then consider what different forms of trust are involved in other power relations in the classroom, particularly the rational structuralism of R.S Peters, or the (...) experiential philosophy of Maria Montessori. It concludes that a community of inquiry shifts the ethical learning relation in significantly different ways because for educational growth, it values ethical trust more highly than a strategic trust in logical principle, duty, Truth, or cost/benefit analysis. (shrink)
In communities of inquiry, dialogue is central as both the means and the outcome of collective inquiry. Indeed, features of dialogue—including formulating and asking questions, developing hypotheses and explanations, and offering and requesting reasons—are often highlighted as playing a significant role in the quality of the dialogue that unfolds. We inquire further into the quality of dialogue by arguing that dialogue should enable the expansion of epistemic openness, rather than its contraction, and that this is especially important in (...) multicultural communities of inquiry to acknowledge the cultural, perspectival, and experiential differences that exist alongside of similarities as resources for dialogue. The purpose of this article is to highlight two discourse practices that exemplify the nature of discourse as social practice and can be used in communities of inquiry. Attending to these discourse practices may enable teachers and students to reflect upon dialogue as it unfolds. First, we situate ourselves in multicultural classrooms in British Columbia, Canada. Then we articulate three principles of communities of inquiry. Next we describe and exemplify two discourse practices: heteroglossic attunement and lexical awareness. When attended to by teachers and students, 1) heteroglossic attunement enables teachers and students to begin to identify, reflect upon, and discuss the voices and perspectives that are drawn upon as participants inquire together and 2) lexical awareness enables teachers and students to begin to identify their attributions of thinking and feeling to social actors and to recognize how naming social actors positions them in an evolving set of social relations. Rather than a neutral medium of communication, social speech and dialogue is inherently value laden. Attending closely to the discourse that constitutes dialogue in a community of inquiry is a significant pedagogical tool for both teachers and students to expand epistemic openness and make visible learning as it unfolds. (shrink)
The Community of Inquiry is a unique discourse model that brings adults and children together in collaborative discussions of philosophical and ethical topics. This paper examines the potential for COI to deepen children’s moral and intellectual understanding through recursive discourse that encourages them to transcend cultural limitations, confront their own moral predispositions, and increase inter-cultural understanding. As children become familiar with normative values couched in ethical dialogue, they are immersed in ideals of reciprocity and empathy. Such dialogues can (...) become effective vehicles for introducing children to discussions of human dignity and rights that also challenge traditional power relationships between adults and children. The uncritical assumption underlying such power differentials often contests the de facto rights and dignity of children. COI is a valuable tool for human rights education as it encourages children’s sensitivity to the rights and dignities of others and, simultaneously, honors children’s own rights and dignities as participating citizens in the global community. (shrink)
In this paper, we will explore how Albert Camus has much to offer philosophers of education. Although a number of educationalists have attempted to explicate the educational implications of Camus’ literary works, these analyses have not attempted to extrapolate pedagogical guidelines towards developing an educational framework for children’s philosophical practice in the way Matthew Lipman did from John Dewey’s philosophy of education, which informed his philosophy for children curriculum and pedagogy. We focus on the phenomenology of inquiry; that is, (...)inquiry that begins with genuinely felt doubt, pointing to a problematic to which the inquirer seeks a solution or resolution. We argue that the central purpose of education is to develop lucid individuals. To this end, we concentrate on Dewey and the pragmatist tradition, starting from Peirce, leading to Lipman’s development of Dewey’s educational guidelines into classroom practice. We show where Camus and the pragmatists are congruent in their thinking, insofar as they can inform the educative process of the community of inquiry. What we conclude is that the role of the teacher is to develop lucid individuals facilitated in a classroom that is transformed into a community of inquiry embedded in contemporary historical moments. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This article seeks to contribute to the challenge of presenting the silenced voices of excluded groups in society by means of a philosophic community of inquiry composed primarily of children and young adults. It proposes a theoretical model named ‘enabling identity’ that presents the stages whereby, under the guiding role played by the community of philosophic inquiry, the hegemonic meta-narrative of the mainstream society makes room for the identity of members of marginalised groups. The model is (...) based on the recognition of diverse narratives within a web of communal narratives that does not favour the meta-narrative. It reports on the experiences of moderators and students from weak and excluded sectors of society in two countries whose participation in communities of philosophical inquiry gave them not only a “voice” but also a presence and identity. (shrink)
Examines the connections between American philosophy and literature. This title includes discussion of subjects ranging from Stephen Crane's metaphysics to business ethics in William Dean Howells, pragmatic religion in Willa Cather and Harold Frederic, John Steinbeck's philosophy of work, and Norman Maclean's philosophy of community.
The ‘community of inquiry’ as formulated by CS Peirce is grounded in the notion of communities of disciplinary-based inquiry engaged in the construction of knowledge. The phrase ‘converting the classroom into a community of inquiry’ is commonly understood as a pedagogical activity with a philosophical focus to guide classroom discussion. But it has a broader application, to transform the classroom into a community of inquiry. The literature is not clear on what this means (...) for reconstructing education and how it translates into schooling practices. Integral to the method of the community of inquiry is the ability of the classroom teacher to actively engage in the theories and practices of discipline-based communities of inquiry so as to become informed by the norms of the disciplines, not only to aspire to competence within the disciplines, but to develop habits of self-correction for reconstructing those same norms when faced with novel problems and solutions, including those in the classroom. (shrink)
In this qualitative research study moral consciousness was examined in a chosen sample of two groups of children, aged 7-8 and 11-12 years, respectively. An emergent research design was used, which meant analysing the data continually so that significant meanings could emerge in the process. What was important in the study could not be predetermined, but evolved from the categories of meaning that I derived inductively from the data. The results show that children have a strong moral sense and this (...) is fostered in a "Philosophy with Children" type of community of inquiry. As participants in a community of inquiry, they grappled with issues of fairness, responsibility, choice and the value of human life. Gender differences were evident in how fairness and responsibility were perceived. Differences were also obvious in how older and younger children defined friendship and approached a topic. The research findings indicate that the interactive dialogue process helped the children to develop skills to deduce, infer, clarify, make connections, distinctions and generalisations. In listening to and respecting others they exhibited an ability to reciprocate which is central to moral judgement and action. This seemed to be deepened in the ongoing course of the dialogues. A defining feature of the inquiries was the collaborative search for truth. (shrink)
A central theme of Cheryl Misak’s important new history is that there are two markedly different strands of the pragmatist tradition. One pragmatism traces back to Peirce, she thinks, and it takes seriously the ideals of logical precision, truth, and objectivity. This tradition had its insights carried through later analytic philosophy by figures like C. I. Lewis, Quine, and Davidson, among others. The second pragmatism has its roots in James’s (allegedly) more subjectivistic outlook and after Dewey’s death was revived by (...) Goodman, Rorty, and other so-called “neo-pragmatists.”Misak recommends the Peircean strain because it is “committed to doing justice to the objective dimension of human inquiry” (Misak 2013: 3). .. (shrink)
The influence of pragmatism—and of Dewey in particular—upon Lipman’s conception of the classroom Community of Inquiry is pervasive. The notion of the Community of Inquiry is directly attributable to Peirce, while Dewey maintained that inquiry should form the backbone of education in a democratic society, conceived of as an inquiring community. I explore the ways in which pragmatic conceptions of truth and meaning are embedded in the Community of Inquiry, as well as (...) looking at its Deweyan moral and social commitments. I show that Peirce’s and Dewey’s notions of truth are in perfect alignment with the philosophical Community of Inquiry, as is Dewey’s tie between meaning and ideas that bring our inquiries to a satisfactory conclusion. The Deweyan notion that moral values are justified by their utility in solving problems in social life is also to be found in the Community of Inquiry, as arguably is his view that moral values are to be regarded as working values that face the tribunal of experience in much the same way as hypotheses in science. Again, the focus in the classroom on open inquiry into issues and problems, the active participation of the students in building upon one another’s ideas, the sense of shared responsibility, and the growth and development of the intellectual and social powers of the individual, all mirror Dewey’s pragmatic conception of democracy. Given this allegiance, it may be argued that the Community of Inquiry faces a pragmatic problem of its own. While it aims to be a philosophically open encounter with all kinds of issues and ideas, pragmatic conceptions are so constitutive of it that they may skew the pitch philosophically. I also address this issue. (shrink)
In this article, I intend to underscore the importance of critical thinking in rendering invaluable positive contributions and impact within professional organizations in the developing world. I argue that critical thinking treated as a normative principle and balanced with a pragmatic orientation provides a rational framework for resolving conflicts that oftentimes ensue from the incoherence between Western-based organizational theories and the actual circumstances of a developing country. In order to optimize the benefits of critical thinking, I also argue that it (...) should not be expected only among leaders and managers, but also and more importantly, among organizational members and associates. It is for this reason that I introduce Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry as a model for cultivating critical thinking within professional environments. (shrink)
In early 1997, participants on the p4c-list, an email discussion list, reacted to an anecdote about Wittgenstein’s lectures at Cambridge by engaging in a three month long exchange on the nature of a Community of Inquiry. This article is a lightly edited transcript of that discussion and, as such, not only addresses many aspects of the substantive issue, but also provides an exemplar of at least one type of Community of Inquiry.
This article explores the notion of pedagogical authority as exercised in the Community of Inquiry, the method for facilitating Philosophy for Children (P4C). It argues that the teachers’ pedagogical authority in a Community of Inquiry is not predicated on their intellectual superiority or status. Rather it finds its legitimacy in their role as instigators of students’ thinking skills, which are assumed to be already possessed by the learners. This thesis is discussed in relation to Rancière’s concept (...) of the dissociation of the will and the intellect, which is treated here as conceptual complement to the existing interpretation of pedagogical authority as understood and practiced by scholars in the field of P4C. (shrink)
The community of inquiry methodology was developed by Professor Matthew Lipman to enable the teaching of philosophy in schools. Lipman felt that inquiry-based learning was essential in schools because:Education should empower children to be thoughtful about the lives they lead, and doing philosophy is important to that goalThe community of inquiry is a powerful pedagogical tool to foster student engagement, critical thinking, and collaborative and affective skills development As such it can be useful in the (...) bioethics dassroom. This article describes the community of inquiry methodology and how it can be a useful arrow in quiver to a teacher of bioethics. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the notion of ‘reasonableness’ that is, for many, at the heart of the Philosophy for Children approach particularly and education for democratic citizenship more broadly, is constituted within the epistemology of ‘white ignorance’ and operates in such a way that it is unlikely to transgress the boundaries of white ignorance so as to view it from without. Drawing on scholarship in critical legal studies and social epistemology, I highlight how notions of reasonableness often include (...) consensus, ‘racialised common sense’ and the ‘typical’ view. In addition the promotion of particular dispositions on the grounds of ‘reasonableness’ both promotes stability and limits how one may think otherwise. Thus, P4C practices that fail to historicise, examine and challenge prevailing notions of reasonableness establish an epistemically ‘gated’ community of inquiry. (shrink)
Thinking skills pedagogies like those employed in a community of inquiry (COI) provide a powerful teaching method that fosters reconstruction of thinking in both teachers and students. This collaborative, dialogic approach enables teachers and students to think deeply about the thinking process within a supportive, structured learning environment, by fostering the transformative potential of lived experience. This paper explores the potential for cognitive dissonance (genuine doubt) during students’ experiences of inquiry to be transformed into impetus for the (...) acquisition and improvement of social and intellectual inquiry capabilities and thinking behaviours across the curriculum. (shrink)
This paper offers a revised political conception of human rights informed by legal pluralism and epistemic considerations. In the first part, I present the political conception of human rights. I then argue for four desiderata that such a conception should meet to be functionally applicable. In the rest of the first section and in the second section, I explain how abstract human rights norms and the practice of specification prevent the political conception from meeting these four desiderata. In the last (...) part of the paper, I argue that full-fledged tolerance in the international order – that is tolerance-as-non-intervention and tolerance-as-respect – should be attached to (1) compliance with jus cogens norms and to; (2a) a political community recognizably organized as a community of inquiry that is; (2b) committed to the specification and incorporation or expression of the idea of human rights within its local legal system. (shrink)
This article traces the development of the theory and practice of what is known as ‘community of inquiry’ as an ideal of classroom praxis. The concept has ancient and uncertain origins, but was seized upon as a form of pedagogy by the originators of the Philosophy for Children program in the 1970s. Its location at the intersection of the discourses of argumentation theory, communications theory, semiotics, systems theory, dialogue theory, learning theory and group psychodynamics makes of it a (...) rich site for the dialogue between theory and practice in education. This article is an exploration of those intersections, and a prospectus of its possible role in the formation and reformulation of school curriculum. It will be argued here that, when formulated as community of philosophical inquiry in particular, it offers the possibility of ‘philosophising’ the school curriculum in general, by extending the concept-work that doing philosophy entails to all of the disciplines. The article begins with an attempt at an operational definition of the term as, move to an analysis of its dynamics, offers an example of its use in a mathematics classroom, and finishes with a schematic view of its whole-curriculum and whole-school possibilities. (shrink)