internal goods of teaching in philosophy for children: the role of the teacher and the nature of teaching in pfc

riku välitalo


Philosophy for Children (PFC) promotes a pedagogy that builds on a collective process of truth-seeking and meaning-making. In contrast to seeing teachers as sources of knowledge, they are often described as facilitators in this communal process. PFC is part of the larger movement in education that has aimed to put the child at the center of the teaching and learning process. Yet, P4C, as other child-centered pedagogies, brings new challenges to understanding the role of the teacher. This article traces the questions concerning the pedagogy of PFC by incorporating Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of practice and the scholarship of PFC. MacIntyre’s concept of practice offers the source for unveiling the internal goods of teaching in PFC. This article traces the internal goods from the nature of teaching and from the role of the teacher. Especially a particular moral phenomenology and a biographical genre of a PFC teacher is articulated to flesh out the internal goods found in the teacher. The work of the teacher is characterized as entailing two components that shape its role. One is in composing a platform for collective progress grounded on epistemic criteria and another level of specifically educational judgements the teacher has to make individually, which together form the internal goods found in the performance. The nature of teaching and the role of the teacher in PFC provides a set of goods for the PFC teacher in her educational task.


Internal goods, philosophy for children, philosophy with children, Alasdair MacIntyre, community of inquiry

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