• Nathalia Grøndahl Fuglsang
3. term, Applied Philosophy, Master (Master Programme)
The following thesis explores the adequacy of the practice, philosophy with and for children in an achievement society. The practice is usually justified to help and teach children how to ‘think’ and to become critical thinkers in the society in which they are raised. However, considering the paradigm shift, from a disciplinary society to an achievement society, this thesis focuses on how philosophy with and for children can be useful to guide and teach children. Since the paradigm shift more and more young people and children are experiencing a feeling of low quality of life, low self-esteem, stress, ADHD, and other psychological diagnoses. Therefore, it is the aim of this thesis to explore how philosophy for/with children can be reformed to the symptoms of an achievement society. The research question of this thesis is: Is philosophy with children, as it is currrently used in schools, adequate in the achievement society under which children and young people are raised in contemporary society? To answer the research question, the thesis defines the achievement society and the acceleration society, a society which, according to the findings, need a way for children and young people to contemplate and reflect in a profound immersion. In order to achieve contemplative immersion, two approaches of philosophical pedagogy are examined; one, philosophy for children as presented by Lipman & Sharps method and Michael Højlund Larsen and two, philosophy with children as presented by Louise Nabe-Nielsen. To examine these approaches, I met with David Larsson, Tine Romose and Elise Nørløv, who all use philosophy with children in their daily work with counseling children. However, the thesis argues that the achievement society of today does not call for a philosophy with and for children that is inner-directed, tradition-directed, or outer-directed because these belong to outdated culture types before the current paradigm. Instead, the thesis argues that philosophy with children should take inspiration from the being-directed culture type to properly prepare children for the achievement society. A being-directed culture type may guide the individual towards being and how to experience a contemplative immersion and resonance with the world as a being-in-the-world, instead of guiding the individual using traditional values, family values or values otherwise determined by the peers of the individual. This thesis concludes that the current practice of philosophy with children cannot be deemed adequate to teach and help children navigate in the achievement society. Instead, the thesis will present a new approach to philosophy with children, in which the children will learn how to undergo a contemplative immersion and profound boredom without expecting results. To direct philosophy with children to a being-directed culture type, this thesis suggests focusing the children on being with their questions in quiet non-doing. Meaning letting the children sit with their wonder, without influencing it with others’ values. This will guide the children to apply a skeptical, critical but also immersive and reflective state of mind in the current achievement society, and thereby teach them to navigate in the societal expectations and values.
Publication date3 Jan 2022
Number of pages79
ID: 457545822