At the place where I’m living—the International Teachers Apartments at SIAS University—children hold a prominent place. Many who teach here are raising families, and want their loved ones near them during the school year. As a result there are a lot of events that are put on for children, such as trick or treating this coming week. Rather than walk around the local town, children will trick or treat inside the teacher apartment building, and members of the community will buy candy to give them. There are similar ways children are catered to through the entertainment offered and opportunities for service to the community (e.g. teachers can hire children to clean their apartments). Several people living here were hired specifically to teach the children of the SIAS community rather than college-age students.
Giving children the optimum upbringing possible is vital to society, but is difficult to do since children can be very different and are not always capable of giving a constructive account of what they are thinking. Yet as the saying “out of the mouths of babes” implies, they can at times see the heart of a dilemma in ways that the entrenched ideological mindsets of adults cannot. Reflecting on how we can learn from children while at the same time teaching them in healthy ways has the potential to reveal much about humanity. With that in mind, let’s use the following papers reflect on the place children can and should occupy.
- Laura Wildemann Kane, “Are children capable of collective intentionality?” Childhood & Philosophy, May-August 2017.
- Riku Välitalo, Ari Sutinen, and Hannu Juuso, “Philosophy for Children as an Educational Practice,” Studies in Philosophy & Education, January 2016.
- Meredith Meyer, Susan A. Gelman, Steven O. Roberts, and Sarah-Jane Leslie, “My Heart Made Me Do It: Children’s Essentialist Beliefs About Heart Transplants,” Cognitive Science, August 2017.
- Moira R. Dillon and Elizabeth S. Spelke, “Young Children’s Use of Surface and Object Information in Drawings of Everyday Scenes,” Child Development, September/October 2017.
- Lahny R. Silva, “The Best Interest Is the Child: A Historical Philosophy for Modern Issues,” BYU Journal of Public Law, 2014.
Have a suggestion for the What Are You Reading column? Contact us here.