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Blog Special Issues

Educators learning through communities of philosophical enquiry

‘Community’ is suggestive of collectivism and plurality, while ‘enquiry’ evokes processes of exploration led by pressing questions or concerns. Combining these concepts and practices is at the heart of the ‘community of enquiry’, associated with Philosophy for Children (P4C). Over the past 50 years, philosophical enquiry in community has been taken up, not only in schools around the world but also in a wide range of other contexts, including teacher education, university teaching and research, and in informal community settings.

The collection of writing brought together in this BERA Blog special issue draws attention to the thinking, shifts of perspective and wider development of educators who work with/in community of enquiry approaches. It highlights questions raised for those educators relating to how this practice can be critical, creative and educative for those who lead such enquiries, or would like to do so, whatever their field. The authors in this collection communicate about ideas and practices in order to problematise issues related to who, or what, is doing the educating in communities of philosophical enquiry. The contributions include discussions on:

  • open and philosophical listening; troubling notions of child, listening and voice
  • educators’ power and positionality and the impact on who can speak or be heard
  • silencing, marginalisation and epistemic violence
  • hierarchies of knowledge and knowing
  • eco-philosophical perspectives; the importance of place and embedded enquiry
  • dialogue, social action and democracy
  • reflexive and critical professional development
  • the aims, purposes and forms of education; how processes of philosophical enquiry can generate wider dialogue towards the reconstruction of education.


Profile picture of Joanna Haynes
Joanna Haynes, Dr

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Education Studies at University of Plymouth

Joanna Haynes is associate professor at Plymouth University Institute of Education, England. Her research interests are in community and democratic education, philosophy of childhood and intra-generational learning, areas in which she has...

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