a critical view of the "lipman method": philosophy and pedagogy in action


  • pierre lebuis Université du Québec a Montréal


Philosopie, Education, Matthew Lipman, Critique, Formation d’enseignants


As the responsible agent for teacher training in the framework of various research projects on the Philosophy for Children program in Quebec, and having facilitated many discussions with the focus on primary and secondary levels of education, the observations of Oscar Brenifier on several problematic aspects of P4C, linked to his critical view of the Lipman method, in fact inspired in me to a necessary reflection. His critique led me to consider Philosophy for Children in a new light, especially regarding certain modalities of implementation. Giving voice to children so they can express what they think is in fact a revolutionary innovation in schools, and this practice should be encouraged in the interests of a transformation of a school culture focused on knowledge transfer, in which the student is invited to talk only when answering the teacher’s questions. The possibility of expressing themselves freely, without the teacher's judgment is, in this sense, an important step that allows the student to recognize himself as a thinking subject and this is, without doubt, the dimension that inspires many people who search to introduce a space in the classroom for students’ voices and group discussion. From my point of view, a large part of the explanation of the distance between the application of Lipman’s initial philosophical-pedagogical project, and the style of application to which Brenifier attests, has to do with the fact that the modalities of training and support to the teachers have often been neglected. In many places in which the program is implemented, volunteers are in charge, and the local school authorities are not concerned to establish the necessary conditions for guaranteeing its rigor. But it is not just a problem of philosophical culture, as Brenifier seems to believe.



How to Cite

lebuis, pierre. (2012). a critical view of the "lipman method": philosophy and pedagogy in action. Childhood & Philosophy, 1(1), 89–110. Retrieved from https://www.e-publicacoes.uerj.br/childhood/article/view/20476