Monday, 20 April 2015


A Life Teaching Thinking: An AutobiographyA Life Teaching Thinking: An Autobiography by Matthew Lipman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION: This is a book for both believers and skeptics. True believers in the idea of philosophy for children will certainly want to learn the life story of Matthew Lipman, who is the modern father of that revolutionary idea. True skeptics may be curious to learn how a conventionally trained philosopher could leave a tenured professorship at Columbia to establish the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Both believers and skeptics are in for a good read. - Gareth B. Matthews, Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

MY REVIEW: I was disappointed with this book. As an autobiography, it is average (at least for me). It is probably not until two-thirds of the way through that the author begins to develop a specific interest in philosophy and philosophy for children. Most of this period of his life story describes the various formalising strategies for the approach (eg, institutes, writing some books, media appearances, conference presentations, and academic work) with little in-depth discussion of the philosophy and his own personal engagement with the children that his approach was designed for (I'm not sure whether he taught children philosophy himself or merely developed the approach that others implemented). There's no doubt that this educational movement is important. I was just hoping for more narrative about Lipman himself worked with children in teaching philosophy himself.

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