Philosophy for Children and the ‘whole child’

Winifred Lamb


The notion of educating the ‘whole child’ invites suspicion because of the value-laden assumptions carried by such a goal. I argue that the intuitive appeal of the notion reflects the meaning of education but that the goal is also implicit in P4C in its respect for wholeness in content, rationale and practices whereby the learner is honoured and engaged. In this paper, I focus on the senior high school curriculum in which the rich resources of philosophy can speak to the broad range of students’ questions and concerns: intellectual, existential and social, addressing (and challenging) their ‘whole’ persons with its legacy of wisdom.

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