an island called serendipity: ethical and pedagogical definitions in the “philosophizing with children” project

sergio raúl andrade


This text proposes some lines of reflection and action related to a project that links philosophy and childhood, whose pedagogical and investigative activity has been developed in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, for more than twenty-five years. To do this we recover an experience of workshops with children and adults, in a continuous process of reflection on childhood and how children think about themselves. That experience focuses on imagining a particular space and time – living together on an island where adults cannot be found--and from there question the forms of decision making and participation – of political action – that children perform in the territories they inhabit. Here it is proposed that the circumstance of incompleteness regarding issues such as politics and sexuality encompass all age situations and, therefore, it is more appropriate to let ourselves be traversed by restlessness and doubt than to accept a preconceived world in which problems quickly find answers, and what you do not know or cannot be located in a fixed category is unknown, ignored, or remains hidden. We propose to start by not postulating any pre-conceived notions regarding childhoods--thinking of them as hypotheses with unexplored names, bodies and thoughts to get to know. Likewise, it is assumed that reflection on teaching practice relocates philosophy teachers as intellectuals who keep universal explanations in their “professorial pockets,” and reinvent themselves by dealing with specific problems, the small discoveries one makes through exchanges with others--those others that, as in the case of children, there is much to learn about and from. This is the ethical and political task that emerges from a continuous reflection on shared action. Welcome, then, to the island where everything is to be decided and participated in, the island of Serendipity.


philosophize; childhoods; teaching; ethics; reflection.


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