educational deontology in the community of philosophical inquiry

silvia demozzi, marta ilardo


The paper aims at offering a pedagogical perspective as part of the debate on philosophical practices with children, referring particularly to educational deontology matters emerging when “uncomfortable” questions (but not only) occur. Many of the questions which arise during sessions of philosophical (or sometimes individually, at the end of the session and “out of the community border”) are left unanswered, being perceived as uncomfortable. Our reflection is on what educational deontology requires in order to deal with the challenge that these kinds of questions bring along. Starting from the concept of deontology proposed by the educationalist Mariagrazia Contini and embracing Jana Mohr Lone’s idea of children’s comfort with uncertainty, the paper offers a discussion on what we mean by educational responsibility when undertaking the task of facilitating a community of philosophical inquiry with children. The paper concludes that the facilitator should be present, attentive, capable of good listening. She/he should be a model, a good example for the community: available to listen and answer back, respectful, sensitive, capable of mind shifts and humble. Moreover, a facilitator should be trained to a reflexive thinking: she/he needs to be well aware of her/his cognitive schemes, the premises of her/his knowledge, the social and cultural paradigms she/he refers to. All this “intangible background” needs to be made explicit in order to be aware of the frames that shape each educational action. 


children; community of philosophical inquiry; educational deontology; responsibility

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