Book the whole curriculum. “Author Robert Fisher

Book Review (By Ms. Sehrash Mahfooz)

Teaching Thinking: Philosophical
enquiry in the classroom (2nd Edition)

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Author: Robert Fisher                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Publisher: Continuum; LONDON. New
York: 2003

Teaching thinking is a sourcebook of ideas to help teachers,
students and others interested in education to understand and engage in
philosophical enquiry with children. It illustrates how philosophical
discussion can help to promote critical thinking as well as the moral and
social values essential for citizenship in a democratic society. It shows how a
community of enquiry can be created in any classroom, enriching learning across
the whole curriculum.

“Author Robert
Fisher (Professor of Education at Brunel University) offers an easily
accessible wealth of ideas to facilitate philosophical discussion, to present
contexts for moral education, to improve the quality of critical thinking, and
more. A welcomed resource and a useful tool, Teaching Thinking is especially
commended to the attention of classroom teachers at the secondary school and
collegiate levels of instruction.”-Library Bookwatch,
Jan. 2004 Lipman With his co-author left his post as
philosophy professor at Columbia University and founded in 1974
the Institute, for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC)
to research and develop the
Philosophy for Children curriculum.

This
book begins by exploring reasons why teaching thinking is so important, and the
role philosophy can play in providing the means for developing more effective
thinking. Robert Fisher is
Professor of Education in the School of Education, Brunel University. He is also Director of the
Centre for Research in Teaching Thinking. In this book he discuss about teaching
children how to discuss matters of importance in way that help develop their
thinking and learning. It is not about teaching children the subject of
philosophy, but how to engage them a special kind of discussion – Philosophical
discussion.

It
aims to show ways in which philosophical discussion can be used to add value to
our speaking and listening with children at home and school. It is about what
we do with children every day in talking and thinking with them, but try to do
it in better ways through an approach called philosophy for children. This book
is divided in four
main parts focus of enquiry, general theory, applied theory and extended
theory.

The
challenge to improve children’s thinking, learning and language lies at the
heart of education. This book makes a contribution to the theory and practice
of philosophy with children, illustrated with example of philosophy discussion
mainly derived from the author’s research with teachers and children in school
settings, in particular the Philosophy in Primary Schools (PIPS) project
carried out in London schools 1993-6.   Excerpts
are intended to allow the voices of children and teachers to be heard, and to
illustrate ways in which philosophical enquiry can be conducted with children
of different ages and abilities.

The
book begins by exploring reasons why teaching thinking is so important, and the
role philosophy can play in providing the means for developing more effective
thinking.

Teaching
thinking is organized in four parts. ; The focus of inquiry is focus in first chapter, Why
philosophy? Thinking about thinking. In this chapter writer explain about the thinking
is need to develop is the basic skills of curriculum. Because important part of
society is intellectual resource of its people. “A successful society will be a
thinking society in which the capacities for lifelong learning of its citizens
are most fully realized” (p.8.). They also argue that is it possible to develop
thinking in student have been able to intellectual deal with unpredictable
future.

But
the question is that how much every teacher develop these thinking with cover
the what is actually going to right direction as a free well intellectual one.
“Why, for Example, is a commitment to social justice (a manifestation of the
principle of equality) more important than a commitment to children becoming
free (a manifestation of the principle of liberty)? After all, child-centered
theorists (from Rousseau to A. S. Neill and mavericks like Homer Lane) have
consistently emphasized the centrality of the child’s autonomy and the creation
of a “free” learning environment, Indeed, there are critical educational issues
about the development of  “free persons,
” how that is done, how freedom connects to freedom of choice (Peters, 1966,
1972)”.

The
question develop thinking about what type of thinking? Is much needed to
develop at what level. Sometime teachers do their duties to accomplish their
own duties but the after achieving the objectives how much we ensure this
metacognitive process transfer to coming generation as it purposeful needed.
“Compount interest metacognitive strategies can be said to increase the
learner’s intellectual capacity”(p.15.). its develop with personal free will
with interest but the fault is how much we focused? “Philosophy helps us to
focus attention on concepts and questions central to human understanding.”
(p.17.).

The
author work on research of teaching thinking the author use the inspection repot of 1895 illustrates both the
strength and weekness of traditional teaching in school:  This gap between the traditional methods to be
cover with the enquiry learning, because its developing high order thing with
challenging cope up as compare to develop sufficient demanding understanding. Developing
reasoning, analysis and context specific thoughts are turned-out with intellectual
decision making process. According the author views Philosophy helps children to
develop critical thinking to encounter cater of individual stance at every step
they followed in life oriented. “They (Philosophy) develop a growing awareness
of themselves as thinkers, summed up by one 11-year-old who said, ‘Philosophy
is a kind of exercise in which you train yourself to be a better thinker’ (p.21.).”