What age do you think people need to be before they start asking questions such as “Do we need to have language to think?” Sixth-former? University student? Postgraduate? In fact, the question was posed by a tenyear-old, whose classmates had similarly thoughtful queries: “Why did a person make the first gun?” “Do twins have the same dreams?” “What is love? How can I love my mum and hate her at the same time?” It is not the standard stuff of conversation in most Year Five classrooms. Yet what distinguishes these nine and ten-year-olds is not that they are gifted or on an acceleration programme, but that at their state primary, Holland Junior School in Hurst Green, Surrey, they are being taught philosophy.
“The idea is to get the children to ask questions rather than answer them,” says Pamela Cooper, their teacher. “What is amazing is that they always come up with the big questions, the deeply philosophical ones. We start with a text — perhaps a story from another culture — or a picture book, then the children begin. The approach is for them to build on what the others have said, by agreeing or disagreeing, but in a constructive way. We are in one of Surrey’s pockets of deprivation, with a high level of free school meals, and 40 percent special needs. Yet some of the children who have low levels of literacy, perhaps because they do not have books at home, are very able when it comes to dialogue. They can question each other and develop arguments in a sophisticated way, and it improves their selfesteem. The children love philosophy. They want to carry on even when the bell goes for playtime.”
(THE TIMES online, Thursday, July 26, 2001.)
Responda em português.
Transcreva a palavra cujo sentido no texto corresponde a cada uma das seguintes definições dicionarizadas:
a) “very intelligent or talented”;
b) “way of dealing with a person or thing”;
c) “state of not having the normal benefits of adequate food, etc; poverty”;
d) “ability to read and write”.
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