Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The philoSURFERS on World Philosophy Day

Today, the third Wednesday of November, marks the tenth celebration of World Philosophy Day. Since 2005, UNESCO has taken the lead in promoting value of philosophy has on humanity and  the communities in which we reside. Considering the philoSURFERS have dedicated their time and efforts to achieving this aim on a daily basis by supporting teachers in bringing philosophy, specifically p4c, to life in classrooms, we thought it would be a great time to write a post concerning philosophy's importance. In just a few minutes, the philoSURFERS put together this post to share why people should even care about philosophy.
People should care about philosophy because philosophy is a part of life. Everyone thinks about things they care about and we make decisions everyday. If a questioning attitude is a part of life then we should all care about philosophy. Our questions need to be answered, and by doing p4c we get answers to things we wonder about from others around us.

Philosophy has helped me look at the world with a different mindset. Before I was introduced to p4c I never really thought anything through. For example, I never really gave any thought to decisions I would make, my future, or problems happening right before my eyes. Philosophy has allowed me to think at a deeper level, understand others more, and helped me discover myself. I have discovered myself throughout high school through philosophy by being taught in an environment where we talk about things that really matter to us. An example of this is being in Mrs.U's class and constantly talking about careers we are looking into and that helped me really think about my future and think about the classes I need to take, and set goals I need to set for myself.

Being a philoSURFER and having the opportunity to spread philosophy to other students and teachers is great because they now understand the importance of philosophy. This role doesn't stop at school grounds, it continues into my personal life. For example, I talk to my family about things that we discussed that day when we have plain vanillas and I also talk to my friends about what's happening.

The reason I care about philosophy is because it’s a simple way of expression that really helps others to feel more comfortable with new people around them. In today's society I think that people are more focused on their looks than whats actually inside and philosophy is a great way to help erase that way of thinking. There have been so many times I've judged someone just by the way they looked, but when we have an inquiry together their input and questions paint a whole new picture in your mind that you forget about your first impression. Philosophy allows you to really listen to others. Sadly, most people do not get too many experiences in doing philosophy. 

However, I like to think we are trying to change this.  Actually, we’ve been doing something about this since freshman year when we first started doing p4c. Since then, I have loved doing philosophy, not only with my peers, but with the elementary students, as well. Given our positions as philoSURFERS, we have chances has given to learn more and to teach others that are not to familiar with philosophy and philosophical thinking.  It is for this reason, I can’t wait to continue my experience with Dr. Miller and the rest of the students and schools we work with.

Many adults, teenagers, and children do not get the opportunity to express themselves or say what they feel, but I believe when philosophy is introduced to these individuals, they will feel more comfortable in expressing themselves. For example, I was introduced to philosophy during my freshman year in my Ethnic Studies and Philosophy class at Kailua High School. At first, I was a bit scared because the students in my class were not people I would really open up to. The individuals in my class did not seem open-minded, therefore, I was not comfortable in speaking my mind. I knew they were quick to judge. At that time I was also shy. The dynamics of everyone in the classroom did not make me feel safe. At one point, I really considered switching into a different class. However, after talking to various teachers, they told me to give it some time. Staying in that class was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I soon learned to say what I wanted even if people were still going to judge. More and more philosophical discussions really helped me to open myself up and share my thoughts and ideas. 

I am currently interning as a philosopher in residence, a philoSURFER, and I enjoy doing philosophy. I have been doing p4c for four years in my classes and interning as a philosopher in residence has opened my eyes to seeing how powerful philosophy can be in the classroom. Elementary students are excited and eager to have discussions where we can talk about almost anything. Philosophy is a way to think philosophically and share your thoughts, ideas, and wonderments without being judged, this is why the world needs philosophy. 

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