Teaching Philosophy through Paintings: A Museum Workshop

  • Savvas Ioannou
  • Kypros Georgiou
  • Ourania Maria Ventista


There is wide research about the Philosophy for/with Children program. However, there is not any known attempt to investigate how a philosophical discussion can be implemented through a museum workshop. The present research aims to discuss aesthetic and epistemological issues with primary school children through a temporary art exhibition in a museum in Cyprus. Certainly, paintings have been used successfully to connect philosophical topics with the experiences of the children. We suggest, though, that this is not as innovative as the conduction of a dialogue in a museum. Results were mostly positive. Pupils participated in the discussion and they gave intensive definitions of beautiful paintings and counterexamples for given definitions. The structure of inductive arguments and the difference between belief and knowledge were discussed. Progress in the analysis of inductive arguments was slightly noticeable, but it is likely that this was due to limited time spent on analysing those arguments. Furthermore, more sessions are needed to make generalisations for the effectiveness of the Philosophy for Children program in a museum instead of a traditional classroom. Even though there is discussion about the different stimuli of the discussion, it might be worth considering the effectiveness of different contexts where the discussion can take place.