from silencing children's literature to attempting to learn from it: changing views towards picturebooks in p4c movement

morteza mhosronejad, soudabeh shokrollahzadeh


This paper investigates critically the approaches to picturebooks as used in the history of philosophy for children (P4C) movement. Our concern with picturebooks rests mainly on Morteza Khosronejad's broader criticism that children's literature has been treated instrumentally by early founders of P4C, the consequence of which is abolishing the independent voice of this literature (2007). As such it demands that we scrutinize the position of children's literature in the history of this educational program, as well as other genres and forms, including picturebooks as a highly valued artistic-literary form to educationalists. In our inquiry, we probe, therefore, the transition of approaches to picturebooks concomitantly with the investigation of the transition of approaches to children's literature. This research evinces that some later scholars and practitioners of P4C have departed significantly not only from Lipman's approach to children's literature and picturebooks, but also from his conceptualization of childhood and philosophy for children. Meanwhile, it demonstrates that in spite of P4C scholars' taking effective steps to address children's literature in general and picturebooks in particular, there are some steps for them to take in order to fully recognize this literature as an independent branch of knowledge and picturebooks as artistic-literary unique works. While revealing the limitations and paradoxes that P4C scholars continue to deal with, in this article, we see Khosronejad's earlier idea (2007) as a suggestion to overcome the instrumentalization of children's literature and picturebooks in P4C. Fundamental dialogue with children's literature theorists particularly those of picturebooks will open new horizons to the realization of our suggestion.


picturebooks; philosophy for children (p4c); children's literature.

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