A guide to thoughtful discussion
Although it’s easy to take thinking for granted, good thinking does not happen by chance – and superficial thinking can lead to really bad decisions. Good thinking is a disciplined, reflective process; it takes time and practice, but the results are worth it. The Thinking about Philosophical Issues series is all about developing your students’ skills with that process, with an emphasis on the contribution that thoughtful, disciplined discussion can make to all areas of students’ learning. The timeless, relevant and engaging discussion plans and activities centre on philosophical problems that are by their nature contestable. They are designed to stimulate discussion and help students to develop their skills of discrimination and reasoning. The focus is not on finding “an answer” as such but rather on the process you and your students go through to reach one (or more).
Like the discussions it inspires, this resource can be taken in many different directions. You can pick the questions that suit you and your class and, in turn, give students the opportunity to choose the ones they are most interested in. You might also present different sets of questions to small groups to discuss, before bringing everyone back together to share with the whole class; or give one question to each student to answer (with reasons!) and then ask the others in the group to comment on whether they agree or disagree. Whichever approach suits your class, you’ll be engaging your students in thinking deeply about concepts that are both common to all of us and central to our lives.
- Book 1: Ages: 5-12
- Book 2: Ages: 9-13+