Academic books

Social Reconstruction Learning

Jennifer Bleazby, Social Reconstruction Learning

This volume argues that educational problems have their basis in an ideology of binary opposites often referred to as dualism, which is deeply embedded in all aspects of Western society and philosophy, and that it is partly because mainstream schooling incorporates dualism that it is unable to facilitate the thinking skills, dispositions and understandings necessary for autonomy, democratic citizenship and leading a meaningful life. Drawing on the philosophy of John Dewey, feminist pragmatism, Matthew Lipman’s Philosophy for Children program, and the service learning movement, Bleazby proposes an approach to schooling termed “social reconstruction learning,” in which students engage in philosophical inquiries with members of their community in order to reconstruct real social problems, arguing that this pedagogy can better facilitate independent thinking, imaginativeness, emotional intelligence, autonomy, and active citizenship.

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The Socratic Classroom: Reflective Thinking through Collaborative Inquiry

Sarah Davey Chesters (Sense Publishers, 2012)

This book provides a framework for a collaborative inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning suitable not only for formal educational settings such as the school classroom but for all educational settings. For teachers, educationalists, philosophers and philosophers of education, The Socratic Classroom presents a theoretical as well as practical exploration of how philosophy may be adopted in education. The Socratic Classroom captures a variety of philosophical approaches to classroom practice that could be broadly described as Socratic in form. There is an exploration of three distinct approaches that make significant contributions to classroom practice: Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry, Leonard Nelson’s Socratic Dialogue, and David Bohm’s Dialogue. All three models influence what is termed in this book as ‘Socratic pedagogy’. Socratic pedagogy is multi-dimensional and is underpinned by ‘generative, evaluative, and connective thinking’. These terms describe the dispositions inherent in thinking through philosophical inquiry. This book highlights how philosophy as inquiry can contribute to educational theory and practice, while also demonstrating how it can be an effective way to approach teaching and learning. Audience This publication is suited to educators, teacher educators, philosophers of education and philosophers in general. It has a theoretical and practical focus, making it truly interdisciplinary.

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Teaching Ethics in Schools


Philip Cam, ACER Press, 2012

Teaching Ethics in Schools provides a fresh approach to to moral education based on reflection and collaborative enquiry. It demonstrates how an ethics-based model can stimulate ethical enquiry, influence habits of mind  and encourage students to develop good moral judgement. The book draws on the history of philosophy in succinct terms and relates this to contemporary school contexts, while including an array of activities, exercises and discussion points as stimuli for teachers to adapt and apply across diverse subject areas, throughout all stages of school.

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Designing a Thinking Curriculum

Susan Wilks

This book responds to the challenge of disengagement in the middle years of schooling by providing ideas for the implementation of a thinking curriculum in schools. Teachers, teacher educators and curriculum consultants describe how they have been influenced by theorists, their use of appropriate cognitive theories, and strategies they have developed that will assist students to develop higher order thinking skills. Ways of accommodating a variety of learning styles and establishing supportive school structures are also presented.

(ACER Press)

Critical & Creative Thinking: Strategies for Classroom Inquiry

Susan Wilks

Critical & Creative Thinking is a valuable resource for teachers. It provides a strong rationale for the role of inquiry in the classroom, a range of activities for encouraging pupil participation, and teaching strategies to develop and refine thinking skills and processes such as: identifying assumptions; prioritising; seeking alternatives; speculating; drawing inferences and identifying faulty logic.

(Eleanor Curtin Publishing)

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Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education: The community of ethical inquiry

Tim Sprod

Philosophical Discussion in Moral Education develops a detailed philosophical defence of the claim that teachers should engage students in ethical discussions to promote moral competence and strengthen moral character.

Paying particular attention to the teacher’s role, this book highlights the justification for, and methods of, creating a classroom community of ethical inquiry.

(Routledge)

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Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Inquiry

Laurance J Splitter & Ann Margaret Sharp

Provides a detailed description of what the discipline of philosophy offers to children and teachers. Building on the intimate connection between thinking and philosophy, the central theme is that when the classroom is transformed into a ‘community of philosophical inquiry’, children develop the ability to think in ways which are more reflective, more judicious and more reasonable. Primarily for teachers, teacher educators and others involved in school level education, but will also appeal to parents, youth workers, religious leaders and academics.

(ACER Press)

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The Ethical School

Felicity Haynes

The Ethical School discusses case studies to help teachers to reflect on their own ethics, guiding them to make more reasonable decisions in their schools, and thereby gradually transforming schools into more cohesive and caring communities.

This book covers such everyday problems as censorship, inclusivity, school uniform, punishment, personal gain and confidentiality, and argues that care and respect for others, equity, rational autonomy and concern for long-term benefits are more important for a school community than short-term power and control.

(Routledge)

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Engaging with Ethics: Ethical Inquiry for Teachers

Mark Freakley & Gilbert Burgh (2000)
This book adopts a ‘community of inquiry’ approach to the teaching of professional ethics to pre-service teachers. It is designed to assist students to bridge the gap between ethical theories and their practical experiences as beginning professionals. The first part of the book articulates the framework for the approach taken while the second part provides a series of fictional ethical vignettes set consisting of school teachers and their students in a local school.
(Social Science Press)

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Ethics and the Community of Inquiry: Education for Deliberative Democracy

Gilbert Burgh, Terri Field & Mark Freakley (2006)
Ethics and the Community of Inquiry develops a practical philosophy of education that addresses professional values and conduct and pedagogical practice within a framework of democratic education. The authors propose a philosophy of genuine inquiry to integrate curriculum, teaching and learning, and to place deliberative democracy at the centre of education reform.
(Thomson Social Science Press)

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