BASELINE In 1998, a meeting of experts organized at UNESCO on philosophy for children recommended that “networks [are created] between countries to promote philosophy for children and share experiences”,1 by assembling information that is available in this field around the world. In 2007, UNESCO published the study entitled Philosophy, a School of Freedom whose first chapter is entirely dedicated to examining the state-ofthe-art of research and practices of philosophy with children in the world. Since 2005, UNESCO has supported the annual organization of the international symposium on New Philosophical Practices, which, among other things, aims at sharing information on existing initiatives and on research outcomes in the field of philosophy with children. Currently, these symposia are organized in the framework of UNESCO’s cooperation with PHILOLAB association,2 and have set up in 2009 standing thematic working groups, addressing the issues of introducing philosophy with children in school curricula and setting up teacher training in this field. Many other impetuses exist in the world which strive to advance philosophy with children practices. 3 Among them, IPCIC and Sophia networks play an important role. Representatives of some of the other existing associations and networks, as well as academics or decision makers will be participating in the High-Level Regional Meeting on the Teaching of Philosophy / Europe and North America in Milan. We hope that many of them will join us to prepare this new initiative towards the creation of an International Network for development and support of Philosophy with Children Practices.
Conclusions of the meeting on Philosophy for children, meeting of experts, 26-27 March 1998, p. 28. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001161/116115mo.pdf 2 With the support of UPEC/IUFM de l’académie de Créteil, Sciences Humaines and Groupe Hervé 3 At the European level, SOPHIA, the European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children, foundation established in 1993, launched the “SOPHIA Network” in 2006, whose aim is to exchange on research and practices. At the moment SOPHIA Network members come from the following 27 nations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Catalonia, Check Republic, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Wales and Denmark. In Asia and the Pacific, the Asia-Pacific Philosophy Education Network for Democracy (APPEND) gathers resource persons who are engaged in the promotion of philosophy with children practices at the national and regional levels. This network also cooperates with UNESCO in the promotion of philosophy teaching. In the United States, the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) and the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) aim at promoting, coordinating and disseminating research, as well as organizing international congresses, emphasizing on Matthew Lipman’s and other different approaches to introducing philosophy in formal and non formal education. The ICPIC network includes many experts and practitioners from many countries in the world.
Published on Feb 13, 2011