Thinking Experiments is a book for Japanese educators, and it was written with three goals in mind. First, I wanted to introduce western philosophy to new readers in a way that is accessible and interesting, but also that shows the power of philosophy in getting students thinking deeply and carefully. Second, I wanted to explain a method for doing philosophy in classrooms that is simple enough for any teacher to experiment with. Lastly, I wanted to provide useful lesson plans linking philosophy to different areas of the curriculum, such as maths, science and history. If you open the book, you will find thirty lesson plans that are ready-to-use!
I think there are significant changes underway in Japanese education at the moment, and lots of teachers who see the value in students learning not only what to think, but how to think. Philosophy has always had an enormous role to play in that, because it makes people aware of the assumptions they are making in their judgements and conversations, and also supplies them with a toolbox of thinking skills that help them express their own ideas in a rational, coherent way. It also encourages people to become comfortable with constructive criticism — the idea that our own thinking can actually be improved by listening to people we disagree with and that this is actually nothing to be afraid of!
I believe that the lessons in Thinking Experiments will prove fascinating, and incredibly rewarding, for anyone who dares to experiment with their thinking!
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