Considering The Insights of Children Through Listening to Their Big Questions About Life
Updated: Jan 2
A reflection on CBC Radio Episode: Playdoh's Republic, Children as natural philosophers.
I loved listening to the CBS Radio Ideas episode on Playdoh's Republic: Children as natural philosophers.
What struck me most was what Jana Mohr Lone, a children's philosopher, expressed:
"If we are listening to what they are saying and the more we do that, the questions that are most important to them will just rise to the surface".
This comment resonated with me for many reasons, one of which relates to exposing my own perspective of children, which is very much akin to that of a post-modern perspective of the child, and childhood, which considers the child as co-constructor of knowledge, identity, and culture. This view considers children as being both part of, and distinct from, adults and adult society, and as holding their own knowledge, and capable of co-constructing knowledge with others, such as adults, and this perspective may be best understood as being dichotomous to, the predominant developmental perspective of children, which seem to hold influence in early childhood development and learning contexts in our society. This quote helps to center me within my own post-modern perspective of children, and what I would call the wisdom inherent within children, that can be revealed through their curiosity and the quality of their questions.
If and when taken seriously by adults, the curious questioning of children can serve to offer much with regards to opening up worldviews and possibilities that could be collectively explored and considered through a co-construction of knowledge. "As such, the young child should be taken seriously. Active and competent, he or she has ideas and theories that are not only worth listening to, but also merit scrutiny and, where appropriate, questioning and challenge" (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 1999, p. 50)..
CBC Radio Ideas· April 18, 2018. Playdoh's Republic: Children as natural philosophers. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/playdoh-s-republic-children-as-natural-philosophers-1.4452632.
Peters, M. & Tesar, M. (2017). The philosophy of early childhood: Examining the cradle of the evil, rational and free Child. In M. Peters & M. Tesar (Eds.) Troubling the Changing Paradigms: An Educational Philosophy and Theory Early Childhood Reader, Volume IV (pp. 2-7). London, UK: Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/35496221/The_Philosophy_of_Early_Childhood_Examining_the_Cradle_of_the_Evil_Rational_and_Free_Child