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E-BULLETIN November 2011 - Issuu:08


NOVEMBER AT CHILDRENÂ’S RESEARCH CENTER Students from different departments of different universities joined the ChildrenÂ’s Research Center-Turkey. A meeting activity was conducted with the students of science, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, English language teaching. Innovative, creative and scientific aims were shared and discussed.

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COVER STORY COGITO ERGO SUM- I THINK, THEREFORE I AM! Descartes

Children use their minds, feel curiosity and think while they are going to the school, playing games, reading stories and imagining. Sometimes, they ask such questions; we feel surprised and wonder how they can think about such interesting questions. The innate curiosity and learning desire are actually the main source of philosophical thinking. Philosophy teaches us questioning to find out the unknown, developing different perspectives on an issue, thinking without borders and reasoning. But, what is philosophy for children? It is the process of asking questions, beginning to research, finding out the reasons, explaining personal perspective while listening to and evaluating different ideas and opinions. When the children’s innate curiosity and exploration desire are combined with the philosophy, we can enable them to grow up as adults who are ready to learn and can think efficiently and freely. The most important aspects of the philosophy activities are thinking about questions and discussion. So, what a philosophy activity aimed for children can include?

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When the children’s innate curiosity and exploration desire are combined with the philosophy, we can enable them to grow up as adults who are ready to learn and can think efficiently and freely. A group discussion activity can be conducted with children. The best way to start a discussion is to create an environment where everybody can freely express their ideas and discuss. For this activity, a story, memory and experienced event can be shared and related questions can be formed. Children can think about questions, explain their ideas and criticize different ideas. A “reason game” can also be used for the same purpose. Children can be asked to write down one claim that they believe in and three reasons proving their claim on a paper and share it with their friends. For example, a claim like “not all leaves are green” can be used by a child. She can also use the leaves of different color that she collected from the garden as proofs.


In such activities, children create their hypothesis and exemplify their thoughts. They listen to their friends, evaluate their ideas and contribute different perspectives and they try to acquire the answers for the questions. Undoubtedly, the philosophy points the importance of disciplined thinking and shows us the path to the truth. Children can benefit from these and sustain their curiosity and learning motivation, create unique ideas and perspectives and develop thinking skills without borders. If you take a look at an apple just from one side, it might look fresh, healthy. You take a bite and think that it tastes as good as it looks. But you should have also taken a look at the other side of the apple to see that tiny worm out of its hole.

Drawing : Bengi Gençer

Philosophy is just like that. You try to understand a concept thoroughly, create ideas, evaluate them and try to find answers.

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ACTIVITIES

How about creating a philosophical discussion activity? Form a group with 4-5 of your friends. Draw two circles on the big paper and write “friendship” in the middle of the inner circle. You will use this one at the end of the discussion.

Prepare same drawing of circles on blank sheets of paper for each of your friend.

Now ask your friends to think as many words as they can which they associate with the target concept “friendship”. They should write their ideas on the paper but they should write the ideas related to the concept in the inner circle and the unrelated one in the outer circle.

After choosing one of your friends as the leader of the discussion you can start you discussion.

Share your own ideas.

Explain the words and the reasons of your thoughts you have written on the paper.

You can use sentences beginning with “Yes, but…” or “Suppose that…”

Listen to your friends carefully, think about their ideas.

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Think about these during your discussion:

Friendship

Do you have common ideas about “friendship”?

Were there different ideas?

What was interesting during the discussion?

You can discuss about concepts just like Socrates, Plato or Aristotle with your friends. At the end of your discussion, you can try to summarize the thoughts and create a philosophical statement. 07 Children’s Research Center, E-Bulletin, November 2011, Issue:08


With this activity, you can also observe the environment and think about the things you are curious about. For examples, if you observe the leaves of the tress in autumn, you can see them flying and landing on the ground gently. You can also see this movement if you observe a parachute. You can share your observations with your friends.

Drawing : Bengi Genรงer

Materials: Paper, tape, scissors, colored markers, drinking straws, plastic grocery bag, thread.

To create your parachute: Cut a 20-cm square from the plastic bag and make canopy Cut four 20-cm lengths of thread Tie or tape one to each corner of the square. Tape the other ends of the threads to your parachutist.

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ACTIVITIES - 2 After preparing these, you can use different methods to watch you parachute float in the air gently land. You can seal off a 6-cm section of jumbo straw with tape. Tape the section of the cone with the open end facing outward. Insert the narrow straw into the straw section already taped inside the cone. Set the point of the cone at the center of the canopy, so that canopy drapes gently around the cone. Point the straw to the sky and blow sharply through it. What would happen if you change the parachute’s materials, shape, string length, and weight? What could be done to slow your sky diver’s fall? What do you predict will happen if you cut a small hole in the center of the canopy? Try it and see. To create your parachutists: Roll a quarter sheet of paper into a tight cone 10 cm long and 3.5 cm across at its opening. This cone will be your parachutist You can add arms and legs out of paper strips to the cone. You can decorate with markers to look like a sky diver.

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All men by nature desire to know. Aristotle


Children's Research Center