Thinking in Education

In “Thinking in Education”, Matthew Lipman views the concept of “schooling without thinking” as completely contrary to everything education should be. It destroys creativity and the natural impulse to learn by constricting the young child. To illustrate his point, the author encourages us to consider the young child. While he or she is at home, the environment is conducive to learning, exploration, and the acquisition of language. The problem comes, however, when the child is placed into the rigid structure of the educational system. At this point, as one of the more important quotes in “Thinking in Education” by Matthew Lipman states,  “what the child probably expects from the school is a surrogate home, a surrogate family—a surrounding that constantly stimulates thought and speech”. What the child finds goes against all of these natural impulses to learn (especially through experience) as he or she is forced into a routine—one based on schedules instead of narratives. The ultimate result of this educational experience is that the child begins to grow bored and uninspired with education and sees it more as a hindrance to his natural inclinations rather than a boost to his understanding and willingness to learn. According to Lipman in “Thinking in Education” , the solution is not to simply allow them vague periods of uninterrupted free play that would be similar to what they have at home, but rather to encourage them toward a “discovery process” that is not based on dull sequence and facts, but rather moves forward like a narrative and thus allows them to understand structure on a level that is suitable and even pleasurable to them.


Read also: Matthew Lipman – Philosopher and Educator

Philosophy Goes to School

Philosophy in the Classroom

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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