writing like a child: childhood as "shelter and refuge"

walter omar kohan, magda costa carvalho

Abstract


The present text is a childlike exercise in writing. In responding to an invitation to write an adult, academic text, we the authors found that the presence of a child's standpoint acted to change the expressions that were to be elucidated, and that the project that adult writing represents was suspended by the creative force of childhood. "Philosophy for children" became "children for philosophy"; "moral education" became "the end (of) morality" and "conceptions of childhood" became the "childhood of conceptions." As such our text is divided into different sections, in each of which we explore the implications of allowing ourselves to be transformed in our practice by recognition of the child’s voice; the problematization of conventional educational programmatics for one, and the opening of new pedagogical pathways, which recognize childhood as a moving force of thinking, as opposed to an object of study and manipulation. To this end, we engage several interlocutors from different fields--literature, philosophy, education, "philosophy for children", and from chronological children themselves. We conclude by proposing, based on an encounter with the work of H. Cisoux and J. Derrida, that we think about the relations between deconstruction and childhood in such a way that our affirmation of childhood leads to a transformation of the text itself—not only in its content but in its form. As such, we present the reader with a fundamentally childlike text.

 


Keywords


philosophy for children; children for philosophy; conceptions of childhood; childhood of conceptions; moral education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12957/childphilo.2021.59827

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