Teaching Philosophy with Picture Books

  • Wendy Turgeon
  • Thomas E. Wartenberg


Introduction: From its inception, the Philosophy for Children Movement has questioned the use of picture books to begin philosophical discussions among young children. This trend has its roots in the work of the movement's founder, Matthew Lipman. Lipman believed that philosophical novels written with the express purpose of engaging children in philosophical discussions were better suited than picture books to the task of introducing philosophy into elementary school classrooms because only they could actually teach children how to think, the goal of the philosophy for children movement. And while there have always been advocates for the use of picture books in the P4C community, the relationship between the Lipman P4C curriculum and picture books has been an uneasy one.