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Ideas for a Philosophy club?

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by Ferney, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Ferney

    Ferney New commenter

    Hello all,

    My school doesn't currently offer any Philosophy syllabus, but as half of my degree was in Philosophy, I have volunteered to start it up. The plan is that later this year I'll start up an extra-curricular Philosophy group, next year Philosophy A-level will be added to the 6th form prospectus (it's too late for this years, obviously), and the year after I'd start teaching it at AS-level.

    I have never taught Philosophy before (in fact I'm currently and NQT), and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas for what to do with the Philosophy group that is fun/interesting, the basic idea being to generate interest in the subject ready for 2010/11. The group would probably be aimed at Years 10-13.

    All suggestions welcome, though if possible I want to avoid becoming a debating group.

    Ferney
     
  2. Ferney

    Ferney New commenter

    Hello all,

    My school doesn't currently offer any Philosophy syllabus, but as half of my degree was in Philosophy, I have volunteered to start it up. The plan is that later this year I'll start up an extra-curricular Philosophy group, next year Philosophy A-level will be added to the 6th form prospectus (it's too late for this years, obviously), and the year after I'd start teaching it at AS-level.

    I have never taught Philosophy before (in fact I'm currently and NQT), and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas for what to do with the Philosophy group that is fun/interesting, the basic idea being to generate interest in the subject ready for 2010/11. The group would probably be aimed at Years 10-13.

    All suggestions welcome, though if possible I want to avoid becoming a debating group.

    Ferney
     
  3. How about having a look at some of the AS textbooks and picking out activities from there. You could liven up written exercises by using group discussions/ feedback/flip charts etc or get a group to start mag or website. I'm not sure if there are teacher packs but I'm sure I've seen philosophy stuff on www.uniview.co.uk. You might also ask RE teachers if they have games etc that they have no room in their alloted time for.Good luck!

     
  4. AlexiT

    AlexiT New commenter



    the Nelson Thornes AQA textbook is very good in the textboom role. For more fun Philosophy goes to the Movies by Chris Falzon is definately worth a look.

    + many, many websites... here are some good ones on ethics:

    <table class=" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">

    <tr>
    <td class=">


    http://www.friesian.com/valley/dilemmas.htm

    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/

    http://faculty.washington.edu/wtalbott/phil240/trego.htm

    http://faculty.washington.edu/wtalbott/phil240/phil240.htm

    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/egoism_obj.html

    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/Egoism.html

    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/12WAYS.HTM
    </td></tr></table>
    <table class=" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">

    <tr>
    <td class=">


    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/psych_egoism_counters.htm

    http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/Plato.htm

    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/
    </td></tr></table>
     
  5. Ferney

    Ferney New commenter

    Thanks for the tips guys, I'll look over some of this soon and start putting some ideas together for a club.



    Ferney.
     
  6. Hello FERNEY,

    I was willing to give you some ideas as I did Philosophy at the school for two years when I was 16/17 years old and I also have a BAhonors in Philiosphy. However, after I read your last phrase where you wrote that you want to avoid becoming a debating group, I became lost. How can you manage to teach Philosophy if there is not a debate involve?? I dont understand it to be honest. Best luck in your teaching but there is not Philosophy if there are not questions and more questions. If there is not room for people to debate their ideas, then your teaching will be hold as a dead dogma and your pupil would have not learn Philosophy, rather they will repit as a parrot what you tell them. Check John Stuart Mill, the dead dogma, it may helps you to become a more effective teacher before you even think what to teach!

    Sorry to be so direct, but I felt offended when I read avoid debate, WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY AFTER ALL????????



    Best
     
  7. Ferney

    Ferney New commenter

    I meant that I want to have open discussions that could go in a number of driections (though still based around the same topic) rather than being constrained to debating the merits and demerits of specific theories or statements. Also, I want to allow room for other types of activities, rather than pupils always expecting a dry debate-style activity. I guess I'm putting a very fine line between debate and discussion, but hopefully I've clarified what I mean a little bit. I certainly didn't mean to offend you!
     
  8. Ferney

    Ferney New commenter

    I meant that I want to have open discussions that could go in a number of driections (though still based around the same topic) rather than being constrained to debating the merits and demerits of specific theories or statements. Also, I want to allow room for other types of activities, rather than pupils always expecting a dry debate-style activity. I guess I'm putting a very fine line between debate and discussion, but hopefully I've clarified what I mean a little bit. I certainly didn't mean to offend you!
     
  9. hareonskis

    hareonskis New commenter

    Hi Ferney

    I have run a little philosophy club for the past 4 years - started just after my NQT year. It's not perfect; in particular, it's not as inclusive as i'd like it to be, but it's still usually the highlight of my week. It got started after a science lesson that I was doing in Philosophy-for-Children-style with year 8 got a bit off-topic. At the sart of the next academic year I started the group and it was mostly year 9s, many from the original science class. The core of the group has stayed roughly the same (they are now in year12, many of them having chosen philosophy at A-level, which I now also teach a bit of), although with quite a lot of change around the edges. At the moment 12-15 kids attend regularly. We've had some brilliant discussions.

    The format is (embarrassingly) simple. We have a website on which, in theory, people post ideas for discussion. We vote on the title that interests us most at the beginning of the session, and the rest proceeds as a P4C-style 'community of enquiry'. The person proposing the idea introduces it and anyone who wants to contribute puts up their hand. I act as chair, writing down names on a list as hands go up so that they don't have to keep track of whose turn it is. I leave the shape of the discussion largely to them, but i interrupt if I want someone to clarify what they have said, if i think they are getting bogged down in questions of data rather than of ideas, or if I see an opportunity to introduce a philosophical idea. We end up talking for about 40 minutes. Sometimes someone brings cake.

    Like you, I very specifically wanted to avoid it becoming a debating group. Nothing (actually that's not quite true) against debate as a way of thrashing out an issue. But it doesn't interest me as much as 'non-competitive' dialogue and i think it has to be very carefully managed so as not to end up reinforcing points of view rather than getting pupils to question themselves.

    However you decide to run it, i expect it will be wonderful :). Good luck!
     

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