Ten years ago "Philosophy in the Classroom", by Lipman, Sharp, and Oscanyan, hailed the emergence of philosophy as a novel, although in some ways highly traditional, elementary school discipline. In this sequel, Matthew Lipman examines the impact that elementary school philosophy has had, and may yet have, upon the process of education. Going beyond his earlier work to describe the contribution that training in philosophy can make in the teaching of values, he shows the applications of ethics in civics education and the ways in which aesthetics can be incorporated into areas of the curriculum related to the development of creativity. Making reference to the contemporary educational scene, Lipman compares the K-12 Philosophy for Children curriculum to the many unsatisfactory solutions being offered in our current drive for educational excellence. He addresses the relationship of elementary school philosophy to educational reform in the areas of science, language, social studies, and writing. And he shows how philosophy can be instrumental in the difficult task of teaching values to children while avoiding both ideological indoctrination and mindless relativism.
Author note: Matthew Lipman, Professor of Philosophy at Montclair State College and Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, is co-author of "Philosophy in the Classroom" and "Growing Up with Philosophy" (both published by Temple).