Presenter: Dr Gilbert Burgh (University of Queensland)

I start with the contentious claim that few philosophers express interest in philosophy of education as they do in other ‘philosophy of’ areas of teaching and research, such as the philosophy of science, or take an active interest in philosophy as a pre-university subject, and if they do, the concentration is on philosophy in the senior syllabus. This neglects to take into account the relation of pedagogy to epistemology or knowledge construction, scope and sequence in the design of effective teaching and learning and the development of the ‘philosophical child’, as well as what have become legitimate fields of study, educational philosophy and the philosophy of childhood. Is it any wonder that there is such as misconception of philosophy among educators and a lack of interest in the inclusion of philosophy in the national curriculum? Indeed, the educational community does not seem to care much for philosophy at all. So what does this mean for philosophers of education? In my presentation I will explore some myths about children’s capacity for philosophical thinking from as early as kindergarten by looking at applied and empirical research, including research at UQ, and offer a way forward through the growing sub-discipline of philosophy of education, namely, educational philosophy, defined as the use of philosophy for obtaining educational objectives.


Forgan Smith Building (1),
St Lucia campus