Philosophizing with Children’s Literature: A Response to Turgeon and Wartenberg
Introduction: With the maturation of a field comes the opportunity and the responsibility to reflect on its sources, its areas and directions of development, debates among its proponents, and critiques originating from inside and outside the field. While early proponents of philosophy for children supported each other in the face of misunderstanding and misapprehension, differences inevitably arose among them, not only concerning materials and methods, but also concerning the very meanings of philosophy, childhood and education. These differences remain among contemporary scholars, educators and practitioners, who continue to engage in robust debates about how to research and practice philosophy with children and adolescents and how to theorize its foundational concepts. Understanding and sustaining both the practical and theoretical aspects of these debates and their intimate relation to one another is critical to the ongoing vitality and growth of this movement. The more we strive to understand the merits of rival interpretations and the critical value they provide for our own, the more we increase the quality of scholarly argumentation, engage meaningfully with scholarship in related fields, and protect our community of scholars and practitioners from debilitating schisms.