Encouraging children to think,
This review is from: Really Really Big Questions (Hardcover)
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Stephen Law has published a number of books on philosophy, looking at the relevance of philosophical questions to every day life.
This book is aimed at children in key stage 2 and 3. It's laid out like an older level picture book, with cartoon pictures reminiscent of the Dr Seuss books. It starts explaining that there are many big questions that humanity is still trying to answer, and outlining what makes some are science questions, while some are more philosophical questions. The distinction is well written, particularly for this age group. The book is designed to be dipped in and out of, with the intention of encouraging thought, and questions.
Two of my children are currently in key stage 2, so I asked them to take a look at the book as well. The eldest was taken with the questions, "Are we all selfish", and "Is time travel possible", while the younger one liked the one titled "Is stealing wrong?". They both had viewpoints on the issues, and have since come looking for the book to see if other questions they have are dealt with inside.
The range of topics was excellent, ranging from the classic questions around evolution and the beginning of time, to questions around the existence of flying saucers, if it's ok to design a baby, if money brings happiness, and if robots can think? There is a glossary and index at the back, followed by suggestions for further reading, and on how to think.
I've always been a fan of encouraging children to think, of encouraging them to make their own minds up about big issues, and not being afraid to debate them; so I was impressed with this. It would be good to see more books like this around for children.