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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth


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A podcast featuring young philosophers 

Are we responsible for nature? Can everything be said? Is it effective to punish in the name of learning? Can competition be positive for relationships? These are some of the questions you will navigate listening of the podcast "Les jeunes sages". Each episode offers a lively and engaging encounter with Brila's philosophers interacting with a Québec personality, including First Nations activist and co-founder of Idle No More Quebec Melissa Mollen Dupuis, singer-songwriter Safia Nolin, actress Guylaine Tremblay and speed skater Marianne St-Gelais. Together, they prove that philosophy is not a question of age! A new episode is published every Wednesday on the Radio-Canada website and the Radio-Canada app OHdio. Happy listening! 


A second course in Philosophy for Children at UdeM

How to support the emergence of responsible citizenship in young people? What are the challenges of new philosophical practices involving young people? What is the role of the adult in the community of philosophical inquiry? Following the success of the two first editions of the introductory course PHI 2450 – Principles and methods in Philosophy for Children (P4C), during which students create their own community of philosophical inquiry to explore the philosophical as well as pedagogical developments of this eclectic movement, the IPCY is pleased to announce a second P4C course that will focus on the art of facilitation! The course PHI3450 - Philosophical Facilitation for Youth will take the form of intensive training workshops and supervised practices in philosophical facilitation. Students will familiarise themselves with the dispositions necessary to the animation of collaborative dialogues inspired by the authentic questioning of children and adolescents, in order to promote the use of the thinking tools and encourage the development of reflective dispositions, as well as to plan and put into practice philosophical workshops inspired by the traditional P4C curriculum and emerging dialogical practices!


Launching the call for proposals for the 2020 Ideation Conference

The IPCY and Brila are happy to launch a the call for proposals for the North American Association for the Community of Inquiry (NAACI) 2020 Conference ! The international conference “Ideation: Creative engagement in philosophy for children” (P4C) aims to immerse participants in a vibrant atmosphere of co-creation around questions pertaining to the place of creativity in philosophical inquiry with young people and the adults by their side. The conference that will take place in Montréal June 26-27-28, 2020 seeks to be diverse and inclusive, and thus encourages submissions from a wide variety of sources and backgrounds. Researchers, practitioners, educators, teachers, students and youth workers involved in P4C practices are invited to submit proposals for research, workshop or poster presentations addressing topics of creativity, creative thinking, creative agency or creative problem-solving in varied contexts, such as innovative classroom and extra-curricular models, community-driven citizenship and social justice initiatives, art and culture practices, social entrepreneurship and sustainable businesses. The deadline for proposal submissions is December 9, 2019. Looking forward to hearing from you!


The IPCY strike for climate with young philosophers

What is activism? Can a single person change the world? What does responsible citizenship imply? The IPCY had the honour of walking alongside Brila’s young philosophers aged 7 to 17 who participated in the recording of a podcast during the Montreal Climate Strike on September 27th. They joined hundreds of thousands of protesters marching their placards, demanding government action to combat climate change. Dialoguing together, they shared their questions, impressions and positions on this collective movement inquiring about young people's power of action, inspired by the youth-led mobilization initiated by young environmental activist Greta Thunberg.


A plea for philosophy from elementary school

Why not start practicing philosophy in elementary school? While the Quebec Minister of Education plans to revise the Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) program, Mathieu Gagnon and Michel Sasseville propose to integrate philosophy as part of the curriculum, supported by numerous professors, teachers, authors, philosophers, theoreticians and practitioners in Philosophy for Children (P4C) including Dr. Natalie M. Fletcher. In the article published in Le Devoir they write: "For almost 40 years, Quebec has been considered a leader in the field of P4C. So, why not take advantage of the expertise developed here for many years to rethink the ERC program, position Quebec on the international scene and even make a clear statement about our conception of students as open-minded citizens, respectful of differences, capable of self-determination and able to think for and by themselves with others?"


Concepts come to life at Brila's philocreation camp

The IPCY is proud to support Brila’s philocreation camp! “Do we understand our lives better with concepts?” This summer, a group of brilliant young philosophers aged 5 through 12 immersed themselves in ten days of reflexive and creative outbursts during the camp! Partnering with the amazing Maison Théâtre youth theatre they explored the many facets of living art through their very own conceptual playground, creating and playing with conceptual creatures that led them to recognize the nuances and ambiguities hidden in concepts and understand their importance in our world. Working alongside creative experts who gave them new tools and perspectives for their collective project-making, they brought concepts to life in a great conceptual masquerade! “It’s like taking our thoughts and giving them colour and personality. We often have these ideas, but they can be very vague and something that can disappear off the top of our head! When we make them characters, it makes it more real and takes the ideas in our head and gives them life!”


The IPCY and Brila participated in the Biennial International ICPIC Conference

The IPCY travelled to the 19th edition of the ICPIC – International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children alongside Brila! The event hosted by Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios in Bogotà brought together theorists and practitioners engaged in philosophy for and with children (P4wC) to examine the P4wC program in relation to the ideal of the citizen-agent offering a unique opportunity for dialogue and idea sharing with remarkable individuals and organizations engaging young people in philosophical inquiry all around the world!


Philocreation workshop for teens

What is it to live life to the fullest? Is life better with a grain of negativity? What is femininity? Do relationships eat away your identity? Do your origins chase you wherever you go? These are just some of the mind-boggling questions that captured a group of teenagers who invested the University of Montreal campus and immersed themselves in two weeks of philocreation, building an emergent curriculum, thinking and creating together toward the co-construction of a philosophical novel. They learned the fine art of bookbinding to create philozines able to carry their generative questions and courageous positions. They worked alongside creative experts who sparked new perspectives and art forms to enrich their collective storytelling. They constructed metaphors to enlighten complex experiences and transposed the scenes from their imagination. They wondered about the concepts that lurk in the shadows and hiked under the sun to enflame their inspiration. They wrote manifestos of adolescence and unschooling curriculums. They created a whole universe for a novel, impacting along the way our own world with their bold and thoughtful ideas!


Ideation : Creative engagement in philosophy for children

How might creative experiences enable, deepen and motivate Community of Inquiry (COI) dialogues? Are aesthetic, embodied, affective experiences important in a philosophical dialogue? Could creativity harm or hinder a philosophical practice? We are very proud to announce that Brila and the IPCY will be co-hosting the North American Association for the Community of Inquiry (NAACI) 2020 Conference! The international conference “Ideation: Creative engagement in philosophy for children” (P4C) aims to immerse participants in a vibrant atmosphere of co-creation around questions pertaining to the place of creativity in philosophical inquiry with young people and the adults by their side. In response to a world context with increasing demands for creative solutions that are both bold and thoughtful, this bilingual event will deepen our collective thinking around theoretical, empirical and practice-based approaches in P4C! In addition to offering a selection of research presentations—including individual, panel, workshop and poster sessions—and opportunities for COI dialogues, the conference itself will model various types of creative agency with participants of all ages to provoke and push our collective wondering around these important themes. The conference will be preceded by a three-day pre-conference philocreation workshop as well as a one-day tourist adventure in wonderful Montreal. This creative outburst will take place at the University of Montreal June 22-28, 2020—save the dates!


Brila's young philosophers reflect on the power of philosophy

Once again, the IPCY welcomed to the University of Montreal campus the youth board of Brila. The young philosophers participated in an afternoon of dialogues and creative projects trying to make sense of what philosophy really is, and along the way deconstructing and redefining conceptions of both childhood and philosophy. During the workshop, the young thinkers shared their own experiences and thoughts about philosophical practice in an interview for a book that will soon be published. The editors wanted to include their very special perspectives because they are so unique—for some having spent more than half of their lives doing philosophy! Surely, the interviews turned into passionate dialogues about the importance of a regular philosophical practice, the right of children to be taken seriously, the limitations of the current school system and the transformative power of philosophy!


Destabilizing stereotyped concepts in childhood

Can Philosophy for Children aid prevention of violent extremism? "Education aimed at violence prevention tends to affirm that thoughtless generalizations—especially prejudiced and discriminatory ones—about individuals and groups can lead to extremist thinking and harmful action. Yet, can the same be said of the stereotyping of concepts?" In her article Destabilizing stereotyped concepts in childhood: Some opportunities and risks of philosophy for children as an aid to PVE published in the latest issue of Prospects—a journal edited by UNESCO’s International Bureau of EducationDr. Natalie M. Fletcher explores how the stereotyping of concepts risks interfering with children’s reasoning, resulting in epistemic rigidity and reduced opportunities to practice responsible autonomy, and offers promising avenues for P4C "with an aim to cultivate flexible thinking in children and thereby support their evolving competence as emerging agents”!


The IPCY and Brila at the International School of Geneva

The year four classes at International School of Geneva participated in BrilaGlobo bilingual philocreation programming, supported by the IPCY, during which concepts even spilled out of school walls to be invited over for dinner with the family! The young philosophers participated in engaging philosophical dialogues and thoughtful creative projects, culminating in a great exhibition during which they were able to share their important ideas with their families and friends. The IPCY also provided training and coaching to the teachers of the primary, middle and secondary schools committed to integrate the community of philosophical inquiry into its pedagogical practices!


The introductory course in Philosophy for Children offered again in the fall

Do we stop being a child? Does knowledge make us happy? Can we rely on emotion to justify rules? Throughout the sessions, the students of the PHI 2450 – Principles and methods in Philosophy for Children course were able to explore the foundations of the eclectic movement and follow its multiple evolutions by questioning reasoned argumentation, phenomenological experience, ethics, social justice, affective education, aesthetics, creative expression… Every class the group embarked on a collaborative philosophical inquiry following the different styles of P4C in order to cultivate multidimensional thinking and thus be able to take a critical, creative and attentive glance at the different themes of the course. We are very happy to announce that the course will be offered again in the fall!


How to raise youth's awareness of socio-scientific controversies ?

The IPCY participated in the event “Multiple perspectives on education for socio-scientific controversies,” organized by the CIRST - Centre for Interuniversity Research on Science and Technology and the CREAS - Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in the Sciences. In collaboration with the Montreal Science Centre, the IPCY modelled an example of teaching socio-scientific controversies with an aim to foster critical thinking and argument co-construction with adolescents through innovative collaborative dialogues.


Why discuss difficult issues with youth ?

The IPCY participated in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) symposium of the Committee for Precollege Instruction in Philosophy at the American Philosophical Association conference in Vancouver. The symposium united international theorists and practitioners of P4C in order to promote collaborative thinking in the field. The IPCY’s presentation focused on the challenges of discussing difficult issues with youth—how to identify suitable times and how to successfully facilitate.


Young philosophers on UdeM's campus


The IPCY welcomed to the University of Montreal campus the youth board of Brila Youth Projects, an educational charity that fosters metacognitive thinking and creativity in youth through philosophical dialogues and creative projects. These young philosophers playfully engaged with the key concepts of philosophy and discussed questions explored by students of the PHI 2450 – Principles and methods in Philosophy for Children course, demonstrating that philosophy is suitable for people of all ages!


The creation of a pan-Canadian network of experts


The IPCY is delighted to partner with The Collaborative, a pan-Canadian network that aims to unite educators and experts to promote a better integration of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities at all levels of education. Specifically, in partnership with the CIRST, the IPCY is in charge of developing the “education for socio-scientific controversies” facet of the platform, including a collaboration with the Montreal Science Centre.


The first course in Philosophy for Children at UdeM

The IPCY is pleased to announce the first course in Philosophy for Children (P4C) at the University of Montréal. The course PHI 2450 – Principles and methods in Philosophy for Children explores both the philosophical and pedagogical developments of P4C by analyzing its foundations—its history, principles and pedagogical methods—and by giving students the opportunity to experience this practice together through the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI) method.