philosophy for children. appraising its impact on college level students


  • damian spiteri Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST).


Identity, critical pedagogy, changed beliefs, questioning, self-reflection


This paper is centered on analyzing how a ‘philosophy for children’ lecturing methodology (Lipman, Sharp and Oscanyan, 1978) can foster learning amongst foundation-level students at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, MCAST. This is a college that offers VET (vocational education and training) in different areas to students aged 16 and over. Foundation level courses are at level 1 of the National Vocational Qualifications framework, this level being the most basic. The students in this study are reading Health and Social Care. The courses on offer at MCAST in Health and Social Care go up to level 6, the level of an undergraduate degree level qualification. It is possible for students to progress from level 1 to level 6 over seven years of study. Alternatively, they may terminate their studies with a lower level of qualification, including after completing the Foundation level course. The methodology that has been adopted is based on engaging these students in continual questioning and philosophical reflection on the subject matter and on their connecting it with learning derived from other sources and from their personal life-experiences. It is based on engaging them in asking their own questions, exploring concepts that they deem as important, learning from each other’s points of view, and thereby understanding themselves and others from a more reflexive perspective. It is both lecturer-centered and student-centered since lecturers model appropriate procedures of inquiry, encouraging students to find a voice so as to challenge what they deem as unacceptable, rather than intervening so as to impose pre-empted conclusions. The analysis is based on an ethnographic approach that is informed by the students’ voices and that involves field observation and focus-groups. It is anticipated that this study will provide an understanding of the student’s own assessment of the benefits of stimulating their philosophical curiosity through the medium of applying a philosophy for children methodology to Health and Social Care studies amongst college students. Key-words: Identity; critical pedagogy; changed beliefs; questioning; self-reflection

Author Biography

damian spiteri, Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST).

Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care, Malta College of Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST). Paola Road, Paola.




How to Cite

spiteri, damian. (2010). philosophy for children. appraising its impact on college level students. Childhood & Philosophy, 5(10), p. 425–445. Retrieved from



researches / experiences