Practical Philosophy and Creating Agents of Change

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This keynote presentation for the all-Ireland doctoral conference was delivered at Queen's University, Belfast.

Philosophy with Children has been described by UNESCO as a ‘School for Freedom’, with the aim of creating reflective minds that are capable of facing ‘the great challenges of the contemporary world’ (2007, p. 240). In this presentation, I will draw on my own work in Philosophy with Children, including research with children from pre-school to eighteen years-old and in a range of contexts. I will discuss the potential of Philosophy with Children, notably the practice of Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI), in relation to achieving UNESCO’s goal. I will argue that CoPI supports children’s voice, thereby equipping them to be agents of change. Importantly, this will require consideration of different notions of ‘child’ and how these impact upon children’s opportunities to engage in research, and society more broadly. I will also propose that, as researchers in the social sciences, it is incumbent upon us to reflect and to think philosophically if we ourselves are to be agents of change through the work we undertake.
Period15 Jun 2018
Held atQueen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational