For any nation to survive, that nation must strongly uphold and abide by its philosophies of Education. Nigerian educational system has been destabilized due to lack of appropriate approach to educational issues. The gross effect is total breakdown in Law and order in our society.
Philosophy for children (P4C) is an approach to education that can help eradicate the cankerworms eating the Nigerian educational industry because it is notable for its effectiveness in arousing critical and creative skills among students.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM
Actually, following the established fact that the Nigerian nation was being colonized by the Britain, Nigerian educational system was constructed on a remnant of the three ‘Rs’ as brought by the British government, -these include: READING, WRITING AND ARITHIMETICS. The formation of the Nigerian academic system consciously omitted the most vital or important educative valves. The fourth ‘R’ which was termed reasoning or thinking has been considered by many scholars as being a formality.
Obviously, we teach our children how to write, read and do arithmetic in our schools and these values are entered in all our curricular. But very unfortunately, the most essential valence or ingredients of education - that is reasoning is conspicuously absent in the school curriculum.
In Nigeria, no teacher teaches our children how to think and reason under a certain condition within a given period of time. Both in secondary schools and tertiary institutions, there is no text book whereby the 'principles of good reasoning and thinking are put in place for people's use.
It is interesting to note that the private institutions in Nigeria have the good intention but since the force of pre-established curriculum of the country limits them which compels our educative system to that mere values of writing, reading and arithmetic - thereby ignoring the most important ingredients of education called reasoning and thinking - they (the private institutions) fell into the same academic pit with public schools.
Apparently, Philosophy for Children (P4C), is not all about teaching the children views and ideas of specific philosophers of the world or of teaching children the University-style philosophy in schools.
Rather, it is about reconstructing the age-old discipline of philosophy to make it easy accessible for children and teachers alike. Philosophy for Children (P4C), is all about Laying foundations for good thinking and sound reasoning – in contexts, both in and out of schools. It is about helping children find ways to connect their thoughts and ideas with others, to enable them build a coherent understanding of the world and their experience of it. Teaching children to value and as well respect the views of others, while at the same time encourage them to look for reasoning regarding what they think, believe, say or act. In fact, philosophy for children in this way, helps to build that self-esteem in person especially as it concerns our children.
1.2 POINT OF INQUIRY/STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
We believe that both the private and public owned schools could move from the present academic tragedy to academic excellence. It is my candid opinion that one of the ways out of this educational mess is the adoption of the critical, creative and caring thinking. I said this taking cognizance of the fact that philosophy for children (P4C) is never about teaching children the views of specific philosophers or of teaching University – style philosophy in schools. As I had pointed before, philosophy for Children is all about:
(a) Laying foundations for good thinking and reasoning both in and outside school;
(b) Helping children to seeing beyond “hard-facts”; assisting them to make reasonable judgements;
(c) Reconstructing: the age-old discipline of philosophy to make it accessible for children and teachers,
(d) Thinking in different ways and at different levels; for instance, thinking about a question and concept;
(e) Helping children find ways to connect their thought and ideas with others, so that they can build a coherent understanding of the world,
(f) Providing opportunities for children to discover and invent ideas" rather than merely absorbing and regurgitating the views of others.
(g) Demonstrating to children the value of reflective and self-corrective discussion for improving their understanding and resolving.
Philosophy for Children is as much about problem seeking as it is about problem solving.
Now, regarding the fact that in issues of philosophy for children, children and their teacher share some reading or listening, the children take thinking time to devise their own questions and then discuss them accordingly.
1.3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OR BENEFITS OF THIS STUDY
First and foremost, I wish to state that Community of Inquiry P4C has been defined as Community of Inquiry Philosophy for Children. Undoubtedly, this is a new innovation in educational setting. C0IP4C, is a method of teaching and learning with its norms. It is a teaching methodology whereby the participants (students) or any member of the community has freedom to exercise his responsibility. Philosophy For Children is also a system in which every member of the community is allowed to air his or her own views while any discussion is going on within a particular time. In this system, all the members of the community are being carried along-thereby making every individual feel that sense of belongingness. The norms and values are often observed.
Apparently, the benefits; of C0IP4C are enormous to mention. In community of Inquiry Philosophy for Children: we learn how to be attentive, Listening attentively in every discussion, we learn and understand to respect other members of the community and their views, we also learn how to tolerate and accommodate others; in C OIP4C, we really learn how to dialogue issue out – looking for the truth and lasting solution to problems confronting human beings because we live I a difficult and very challenging world. Questions may be asked, what the role of education is if the people who live in this type of depraved and deplorable situation are also lettered or pedagogically educated? - Still they can't find a lasting solution to this ugly trend in the society. Our formal educational pedagogy seems to be unable to provide a lasting solution to these critical problems of meaninglessness, homelessness and unreasonableness found in the attitude of our youths in the contemporary society. These are the aims and benefits of introducing COIP4C sector, looking for an alternative - hoping that using andragogical slant of education with its method of COIP4C - that reasonableness shall be inculcated into our youths, and with these benefits - we will be able to identify the strategies for tackling a range of issues confronting our contemporary society.
1.4 TARGET AUDIENCE
3. EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHERS
4. EDUCATIONNAL ADMINISTRATORS
5. CURRICULUM PLANNERS.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the basic problems confronting teaching in Nigeria?
2 How has misplacement of priority affected Nigerian educational system?
3 What are the effective methods for managing educational system in Nigeria?