The University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Philosophy has joined a group of Grade 5 to 8 students at Hugh Cairns V.C. School to develop and expand philosophical thinking skills. University students and elementary students sit together and ponder: “What makes something beautiful?” or “If you could go back in time, would you change historical events – why or why not?” Philosophical questions emerge over an eight-week period through rich dialogue, thoughtful reflection and a deeper understanding of philosophy. The importance of critical and creative thinking, social skills, and metacognitive abilities all become strengthened.
The Philosophy for Children project is another example of Saskatoon Public Schools’ strong link to the University of Saskatchewan and philosophy’s historical and methodological connection to inquiry-based learning. We are grateful for the support of Professor Erin DeLathouwer, program coordinator, Philosophy for Children, Dr. Eric Dayton, philosophy department head, and Dr. David Parkinson, vice dean of humanities and fine arts. We also acknowledge the effort of the University of Saskatchewan students, who regularly attend the school sessions to enhance the skills of our students.
Trustees heard about the Philosophy for Children inquiry project from Brad Will, Grade 6
teacher and two students at Hugh Cairns V.C. School, as well as Professor DeLathouwer and Eric Lorentz, a 4th year philosophy student at the University of Saskatchewan.