Thinking, Childhood, and Time: Contemporary Perspectives on the Politics of Education is an interdisciplinary exploration of the notion of childhood and its place in a philosophical education. Contributors consider children’s experiences of time, space, embodiment, and thinking. By acknowledging Hannah Arendt’s notion that every child brings a new beginning into the world, they address the question of how educators can be more responsive to the Otherness that childhood offers, while assuming that most educational models follow either a chronological model of child development or view children as human beings that are lacking.
The contributors explore childhood as a philosophical concept in children, adults, and even beyond human beings—Childhood as a (forgotten) dimension of the world. Contributors also argue that a pedagogy that does not aim for an “exodus of childhood,” but rather responds to the arrival of a new human being responsibly (dialogically), fosters a deeper appreciation of the newness that children bring in order to sensitize us for our own Childhood as adults as well and allow us to welcome other forms of childhood in the world. As a whole, this book argues that the experience of natality, such as the beginning of life, is not chronologically determined, but rather can occur more than once in a human life and beyond. Scholars of philosophy, education, psychology, and childhood studies will find this book particularly useful.
Walter Omar Kohan is professor in the Childhood Studies Department at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.
Barbara Weber is associate professor and program chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) at the University of British Columbia.
Part One: Phenomenological Explorations of Time, Thinking and Embodiment
Chapter 1: Childhood and the Genesis of Time: A Phenomenological Approach
Chapter 2: Child and Time: A Phenomenological Journey into the Human Conditions of Education
Chapter 3: Think Like a Girl: Scout’s Time and Experience in To Kill a Mockingbird
Chapter 4: Listening, Phronein and the First Principle of Happiness
Pablo Muruzábal Lamberti
Chapter 5: Thinking and the Play of Being
Michael A. Bonnett
Chapter 6: Philosophia Ludens for Children: A Proposal to Play and to Think
Part Two: Decolonial and Postructuralist Perspectives on the Politics of Education
Chapter 7: Becoming Child: Wild Being and the Post-Human
Chapter 8: Paulo Freire and the Childhood of a Philosophical and Educational Life
Walter Omar Kohan
Chapter 9: Democratic Child’s Play: Natality, Responsible Education, and Decolonial Praxis
Chapter 10: Posthuman Child: De(con)structing Western Notions of Child Agency
Chapter 11: Relational Openings for The Otherwise: Thinking Community as What is Not…
Cristina Delgado Vintimilla
Chapter 12: Life as a Pedagogical Concept
Iris Berger and Adrienne Argent
Chapter 13: Natures, Cultures and Education: Anarcheologies of the Present
About the Contributors
Readers who recognize in a child’s experience not merely an imperfect attempt at adulthood—but, rather, a unique and profound expressivity—will cherish the work that Peter Costello has advanced in Philosophical Children in Literary Situations. Costello’s gracious and deeply insightful book engages with classics of children’s literature while providing multiple, lucid points of entry into a richly-layered phenomenological method. He writes not only for philosophers but also for educators, parents, and researchers seeking new ways of understanding the complexities of gender, race, meaning, and community that shape a child’s perceptual world.
"This impressive book is a significant contribution to the emergent field of philosophy of childhood. It breaks new ground by extending our understanding of childhood beyond the chronological, deficit, and romantic conceptions. Thinking, Childhood, and Time includes thirteen original essays that work together to reanimate our sense of childhood as an existential state. In essays that draw upon literature, phenomenology, postmodern theories, and posthuman approaches, the contributors’ explorations of time, natality, community, creativity, culture, and schooling are equally poetic, perceptive, and provocative. A testament to the philosophical interestingness of childhood, this book will have an immediate and lasting impact in education."