تاریخ: 5 آذر 1393
Philosophy and Children on Volume 4

Place of Discussion in Knowledge Production in the

Curriculum of Philosophy for Children

Tuba Kermani 1 and Zahra Ommi 2

Unlike normal dialogs, discussion and understanding result in the development of an epistemo-linguistic interaction that shortens the path towards the discovery of the truth for the human society. This paper enquires into the place of such a methodical type of dialog in the production of knowledge in “Philosophy for Children”. Philosophy for children is a discoursive method of deliberation drawing on different philosophical findings and theories of the last 25 centuries. It also probes into the nature of the world, the characteristics of a good life, and the methods of developing wisdom. Since the time of Socrates, discussion or, in a sense, dialog has been introduced as a means of seeking wisdom and discovering the realities of the world. In some recent epistemological studies of teaching to learn, it has been demonstrated that discussion and collaborative learning are among the techniques that contribute to the metacognitive development of children and adolescents. When children benefit from each other’s experiences in a common inquiry, they develop some knowledge that is internalized at a deeper level and remains for a longer time than that transferred through a didactic method of teaching. The most important advantage of collaborative thinking is the achievement of cognitive and metacognitive skills by the participants in this activity.

Key Terms




collaborative inquiry

philosophy for children


[1] . Associate Professor, Theology and Islamic Philosophy, Tehran University.

2.PhD student of Comparative Philosophy, Allameh Tabatabaei University.



Role of Qur’anic Stories in the Mental

Development of Children

Saleh Hassanzadeh*

The human being, as the masterpiece of creation, needs to learn in order to attain optimal perfection. From their early childhood, their existence is the center of some amazing talents and powers that have to be discovered on time and put into practice. So, the appropriate training of children must begin at a time when his mind is pure from any bad experiences. This, in turn, brings about happiness in society and guarantees a good future for children.

From the very beginning, children ask many important questions about the existence of God, meaning of life, death, justice, and freedom. The best method for responding to these questions is resorting to Qur’anic stories.

Since long ago, tales and stories have played a significant role in human life, particularly, in children’s life and in developing their imagination and mental powers. In fact, by telling stories, we can persuade children to speak with each other and to ask some questions from each other.

Children show great interest in stories and are easily influenced by them.   We can indirectly teach correct behavioral patterns to children through story telling. Moreover, through providing some models, we can present religious and educational principles to children very easily and during a short time and, in this way, make them act upon them. This is because they have a very strong sense of imitation. Of course, it is necessary for the model to present an excellent example of moral behavior.

When choosing a story, we must be careful that it does entail any bad teaching. Some false concepts, such as fortune, luck, and chance, and some superstitions, such as bad omen, are harmful to children’s mental development. Stories must reinforce some concepts and ideas such as self-respect, courage, bravery, self-confidence, love of freedom, generosity, etc. in the minds of children. Likewise, the chosen stories cannot suggest some anti-values such as humiliation, submissiveness, and weakness to the children’s mind and soul. In children’s stories, the main purpose should be the expression of the beauty of good things rather than the ugliness of evil things.


* Associate Professor, Allameh Tabatabaei University.

Tales and stories play a significant role in training human beings, of course, only when they report realities. These true stories greatly influence the moral training of their listeners, particularly, children. The reason is that, upon hearing true propositional news, people become specifically curious to learn about the causes and concomitants of the occurrence of sweet and bitter events to the heroes in stories. Then, through identifying themselves with these heroes, they receive some advice and are enlightened. This kind of instruction will be more profound and influential if it is given through telling true stories entailing living characters and true events. If stories do not present objective realities and turn merely into means of entertainment and reporting historical events, without having any instructive aspects, they will become mainly similar to myths and legends rather than tools of moral education. Because of being true, Qur’anic stories could be efficiently used in any educational and ethical program.

Key Terms

Qur’anic stories


mental growth




The Relationship between Thought and Imagination:

A Case Study of Suhrawardi’s A Tale of Occidental Exile

Nadia Maftuni1 and Mahmoud Nuri2

In Farabi’s view, the philosophical perception and understanding of intelligibles is a very difficult, if not impossible, task for ordinary people. Accordingly, people in general are deemed to think like children in this regard, and imagination is the only way through which intellectual teachings can be transferred to their thoughts and minds. Employing Farabi’s strategy, Suhrawardi explains philosophical teachings in the moulds of story-telling, allegories, and symbolization. He tries to promote people from the stage of childhood to the stage of intellectual maturity. One example of Suhrawardi’s philosophical texts that can be used as a philosophical model for children in terms of both content and framework is A Tale of Occidental Exile. In this tale, Suhrawardi has explained some epistemological and psychological problems in the form of an allegory. Additionally, in order to use a more elevated language in telling his story, he has integrated some of the Qur’anic verses into the lines of the story in a highly cohesive and coherent manner.

Key Terms





Shaykh al-Ishraq (Suhrawardi)

A Tale of Occidental Exile




[1] . Assistant Professor, Tehran University.

2. MA in Art.



A Critique of the Ideas of the Pioneers of the Philosophy for Children Program and Reconstructing it within an

Iranian-Islamic Paradigm

Nawwab Muqarrabi*

The Philosophy for Children Program, which is widely followed in Iran and in the world, is proposed as an alternative paradigm to the traditional educational system. However, it is sometimes accepted and employed superficially without conducting any analytic investigation and theoretical study of its nature, and without considering the subtle socio-cultural differences between the contexts in which it is put into practice.

In this paper, the writer has tried to examine, evaluate, and critically analyze the fundamental ideas of the pioneers of the Philosophy for Children Program. The author accomplishes this task by providing three major critiques and, finally, concludes that overemphasizing any philosophical method will end in dogmatism and methodological monopoly. The most useful strategy to avoid this monopoly is the holistic promotion and development of other methods of thinking, including the ethical, religious, revelation-oriented, gnostic, and intuition-based methods, while being inspired by and relying on the Transcendent Philosophy within the framework of a cohesive and coherent whole.

Key Terms

modern educational system

traditional educational system

analytic critique


the Transcendent Philosophy


* PhD in kalam, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch.



Qari Naneh (Old Woman Winter) and Who?

The Role of Dialog in Children’s Folk Literature in their Logical Thinking

Mikaeel Rasulzadeh*

Debate and dialog have been two traditional means of obtaining knowledge since the beginning of creation. However, some conditions are necessary for a successful dialog or debate to take place. One of the most important conditions is for the interlocutors not to be dogmatic. Generally speaking, a dialog literally means thinking about the reality and nature of something and exchanging the related ideas. This paper deals with one of the available sources for internalizing the principles of dialog in children, namely, short quoted dialogs in folk literature in prose or poetry which teach certain well-established principles using a simple language. Therefore, while discussing the roots of debate and dialog, the writer briefly explains their background in both folk and classic literatures and in other sciences. He particularly focuses on dialogs in children’s folk literature with reference to two examples: Drakht-i Asurig (The Babylonian Tree) as an ancient example, and Qari Naneh (Old Woman Winter) and the Elements of Nature as contemporary examples in Azeri popular culture. In Qari Naneh’s dialog with the elements of nature, the tools of establishing the dialog include the following: knowledge, patience, and skill. Moreover, the most effective norms of having an efficient and useful dialog are as follows: 1) knowledge of thoughts and character, 2) a sympathetic language, 3) righteousness, 4) politeness in speech, 5) speaking in short, and 6) lack of haste in speaking.

Key Terms


logical thinking




folk literature


* MA in Social Sciences.



A Study of the Effect of Philosophy for Children on Promoting their Emotional Growth and Control of Anxiety

Mohammad Hashem Rezaie1, Mohammad Reza Sarmadi2, and Akram Chezani3

The general purpose of the present paper is to investigate the role of teaching philosophy to children on promoting their emotional growth and control of anxiety. Given the different dimensions of the issue, this purpose can be achieved by asking some questions and forming some peripheral objectives regarding the behavioral characteristics of pre-school children, the different aspects of their philosophical intelligence, their role in the control of anxiety, the outcomes of providing affective feedback to them, and children’s success in different stages of life.

The results of this research indicate that in philosophy for children great attention is paid to the different aspects of their philosophical mind. They also suggest that the attention to the development of each aspect through correct instruction in appropriate contexts results in the development of emotional intelligence. Moreover, considering the fact that EQ and IQ are related to each other, if they are developed alongside each other, they will bring about more success in life for children.

Key Terms


children’s philosophy

promotion of emotional growth

control of anxiety


[1] . Faculty member, Educational Sciences and Phycology, Department, Payam Nur University.

2. Faculty member, Payam Nur University.

3. MA student in Educational Philosophy and History, Payam Nur University.



Role of Teachers in Training Philosopher Children

Farzaneh Tajbakhsh*

Since the Philosophy and Children Project has established its position in the educational system of Iran, those who are involved in this field have a heavy responsibility to provide the right type of education for children to achieve the goals of this Project. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to train skillful teachers for performing this task. Here, one might ask some questions: can the teachers of the normal courses in the school curriculum teach philosophical thinking to children? Can such teachers manage the formation of a community of enquiry which results in critical and creative thinking in children? As the responsible authority of this project, what policies has the educational system of the country adopted in this regard?

In this paper, the writer has attempted to familiarize interested readers with the special teaching method of philosophy for children, the role of teachers in conducting instructional workshops targeting the growth of creativity, and the methods of thinking in children and the related policies.

Key Terms

philosophy and children

special teaching method of philosophy and children

philosophical thinking

brain storming


community of enquiry


* MA in Sociology.

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