Citizenship education and philosophical enquiry: Putting thinking back into practice
In this article, we argue for a purposeful re-introduction of philosophical enquiry to the process and pedagogy of citizenship education. We suggest the development of philosophy and critical thinking skills may usefully improve social and political awareness in young people. Moving beyond the boundary of the formal curriculum, we encourage the development of synergy between the international movement of philosophy for children and the expanding tradition of community philosophy as a means to promote more open and democratic enquiry. We suggest this will produce important benefits for young people, helping to promote responsible judgements on social affairs, develop intergenerational relationships and enhance freedom for the young to think rationally and autonomously as critically informed citizens. However, this is likely to occur only if teachers and schools are more willing and prepared to challenge dominant, reductive notions of education in favour of more active and democratic conceptions of the secondary curriculum.