Descartes: Philosophy

Last week, students began philosophy by analysing key concepts in a text. The ‘Descartes’ workshop focused on using open questions to expand ideas and deepen thinking. See below for some of the students astute responses.

Why do we do Philosophy?

Tilly: We learn about different philosophers.

Ken: It’s good to know what’s outside school, like what’s going on in the world.

Lila: It’s calming. It’s a time to expose different issues and give our opinion on them. We talk about everything; the good and bad, what’s happening in the schoolyard, other countries, and things that affect the world.

Ethan: To ask questions.

Jude: We learn to be philosophical, reflect on your own life, and share your feelings with other people.

Finnley: We think deeper in our thoughts, or try think ‘outside the box’.

We then discussed the characteristics of asking big questions – e.g.what makes an ‘open question’?:

Alex: It has multiple answers, but a closed question has only one or two answers.

Charlotte: They give different answers, they are unique.

Oscar: Its is depending on someone’s opinion, its not just a yes/no answer.

Mikki: The questions are deeper and there’s more to explore.

Finnley: They are hard to answer, maybe there’s more than one answer. You might have to answer another question to get your answer.

Lila: It’s like a tree – plant a tree (which is your question) and it grows the more you research into it.

We then read the text ‘Charlie Parsley and Pearl Barley’ by Aaron Blabey, and discussed the big ideas or concepts in the book:


Concepts or messages in the text

Students mentioned ‘being unique’, ‘difference’, ‘stereotypes’:

Acacia: I think it’s that being different isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Ciel: Everyone is different, and people being opposites.

Alex: Friendship.

Indi: Even though they’re opposites they make a good team, their personalities match, it’s like they make one person.

Jude: It’s about stereotypes and anti-stereotypes.

Ken: Being different doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.

Open Questions about the story:








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