File Download
  Links for fulltext
     (May Require Subscription)
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: Engaging children in doing philosophy to promote an open society

TitleEngaging children in doing philosophy to promote an open society
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):van Aalst, JCW
Issue Date2010
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lam, C. [林志明]. (2010). Engaging children in doing philosophy to promote an open society. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4555177
AbstractKarl Popper developed a falsificationist epistemology in which knowledge grows through falsifying, or criticizing, our theories. Since criticism plays such a vital role in Popper’s falsificationist methodology, it seems natural to envisage his heuristic as a helpful resource for developing critical thinking. However, there is much controversy in the literature over the feasibility and utility of his falsificationism as a heuristic. This study argued that Popper’s falsificationism is justified on the grounds that it not only solves, theoretically, the problem of the bounds of reason in the form of comprehensively critical rationalism, but influences, practically, the research work of scientists from diverse fields. It also found that there is cause for cautious optimism about the effectiveness of falsification as a strategy for solving scientific problems. Popper’s falsificationist epistemology carries profound political and educational implications. On a political level, it is necessary to establish and maintain an open society by fostering five core values, viz. freedom, tolerance, respect, rationalism, and equalitarianism, as well as three crucial practices, viz. democracy, state interventionism, and piecemeal social engineering. On an educational level, the overriding aim is to nurture in children the requisite abilities, skills, and dispositions characteristic of critical thinking for full participation in an open democratic society. In order to achieve Popper’s educational ideal, this study proposed implementing Matthew Lipman’s Philosophy for Children (commonly known as P4C) programme in schools, arguing that the programme can fulfil the requirements of Popper’s educational ideal through using community of inquiry as methodology of teaching, philosophy as subject matter for inquiry, logic as both means and ends of inquiry, and Socrates as a model teacher for inquiry. The present study then conducted an experiment to assess the effectiveness of Lipman’s P4C programme in promoting Hong Kong children’s critical thinking. Forty-two Secondary 1 students volunteered for the experiment, from whom 28 students were randomly selected and randomly assigned to two groups of 14 each: one receiving P4C lessons and the other receiving English lessons. The students who were taught P4C were found to perform better in the reasoning test than those who were not, to be capable of discussing philosophical problems in a competent way, and to have a very positive attitude towards doing philosophy in the classroom. It was also found that P4C played a major role in developing the students’ critical thinking. Considering that the construction of children by adults as incompetent in the sense of lacking reason, maturity, or independence reinforces the traditional structure of adult authority over children in society, it runs counter to the goal of fostering critical thinking in children. As a way to return justice to childhood and to effectively promote critical thinking in children, the present study suggested reconstructing the concept of childhood, highlighting the importance of establishing a coherent public policy on promotion of agency in children and also the importance of empowering them to participate actively in research, legal, and educational institutions.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPhilosophy - Study and teaching - China - Hong Kong
Critical thinking in children - Study and teaching - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/143994

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorvan Aalst, JCW-
dc.contributor.authorLam, Chi-ming-
dc.contributor.author林志明-
dc.date.accessioned2012-01-11T01:49:23Z-
dc.date.available2012-01-11T01:49:23Z-
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.identifier.citationLam, C. [林志明]. (2010). Engaging children in doing philosophy to promote an open society. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4555177-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/143994-
dc.description.abstractKarl Popper developed a falsificationist epistemology in which knowledge grows through falsifying, or criticizing, our theories. Since criticism plays such a vital role in Popper’s falsificationist methodology, it seems natural to envisage his heuristic as a helpful resource for developing critical thinking. However, there is much controversy in the literature over the feasibility and utility of his falsificationism as a heuristic. This study argued that Popper’s falsificationism is justified on the grounds that it not only solves, theoretically, the problem of the bounds of reason in the form of comprehensively critical rationalism, but influences, practically, the research work of scientists from diverse fields. It also found that there is cause for cautious optimism about the effectiveness of falsification as a strategy for solving scientific problems. Popper’s falsificationist epistemology carries profound political and educational implications. On a political level, it is necessary to establish and maintain an open society by fostering five core values, viz. freedom, tolerance, respect, rationalism, and equalitarianism, as well as three crucial practices, viz. democracy, state interventionism, and piecemeal social engineering. On an educational level, the overriding aim is to nurture in children the requisite abilities, skills, and dispositions characteristic of critical thinking for full participation in an open democratic society. In order to achieve Popper’s educational ideal, this study proposed implementing Matthew Lipman’s Philosophy for Children (commonly known as P4C) programme in schools, arguing that the programme can fulfil the requirements of Popper’s educational ideal through using community of inquiry as methodology of teaching, philosophy as subject matter for inquiry, logic as both means and ends of inquiry, and Socrates as a model teacher for inquiry. The present study then conducted an experiment to assess the effectiveness of Lipman’s P4C programme in promoting Hong Kong children’s critical thinking. Forty-two Secondary 1 students volunteered for the experiment, from whom 28 students were randomly selected and randomly assigned to two groups of 14 each: one receiving P4C lessons and the other receiving English lessons. The students who were taught P4C were found to perform better in the reasoning test than those who were not, to be capable of discussing philosophical problems in a competent way, and to have a very positive attitude towards doing philosophy in the classroom. It was also found that P4C played a major role in developing the students’ critical thinking. Considering that the construction of children by adults as incompetent in the sense of lacking reason, maturity, or independence reinforces the traditional structure of adult authority over children in society, it runs counter to the goal of fostering critical thinking in children. As a way to return justice to childhood and to effectively promote critical thinking in children, the present study suggested reconstructing the concept of childhood, highlighting the importance of establishing a coherent public policy on promotion of agency in children and also the importance of empowering them to participate actively in research, legal, and educational institutions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B45551777-
dc.subject.lcshPhilosophy - Study and teaching - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshCritical thinking in children - Study and teaching - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleEngaging children in doing philosophy to promote an open society-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4555177-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4555177-
dc.date.hkucongregation2011-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats