By John Keenan, Upper School Teacher
Thank you to the PA for supporting my travels to Bogotá, Colombia, for the 2019 conference of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children. Founded in 1985, ICPIC is a worldwide network of Pre-K through 12th grade educators and researchers committed to cultivating philosophical curiosity in young people. Although US schools rarely include philosophy in their curriculums explicitly, such practice is far more common in other parts of the world. At this conference I was able to network with educators from across Latin America, North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and Australia. Through presentations, workshops, and guided discussions, I witnessed the wide range of pedagogical theories and techniques used to emphasize philosophical reflection in educational spaces. I discovered new sources of thought-provoking stimuli, effective discussion facilitation strategies, and creative models for activity-based inquiry. These techniques have greatly benefitted my teaching in multiple areas, including Quaker History & Practice, Ethics Bowl, and the newly offered senior elective in Philosophy.