BC Social Studies Teachers' Association

2022 BCSSTA Conference

Teaching for Inquiry: Philosophy, Pedagogy and Praxis

 October 21, 2022
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The 2022 BCSSTA Professional Development Conference will be held at SFU Burnaby and Online! Join us for a wide variety of online, in-person and hybrid workshops at this PSA professional development conference.


Currently accepting exhibitor applications.


Keynote: "Why Teach Philosophy for Children", Dr. Susan T. Gardner (Capilano University)

Abstract: Many think that the discipline of philosophy is tedious, esoteric, and irrelevant to real world issues. In her presentation about Philosophy for Children (P4C), “Dr. Sue” will make the claim that quite the opposite is true. She will argue that if philosophy is taught as it should be, it is exciting, highly relevant and can make all the difference in a young person’s life. Her underlying message is that an educational establishment that does not include P4C in its curriculum should consider itself negligent.

Bio: Susan Gardner (PhD, Concordia University, 1981) is a philosopher. Her main research focuses on critical thinking and Philosophy for Children (P4C). According to Gardner, a necessary condition of a well-lived life is that one learn how to think well.

However, thinking well requires both the skill and motivation to impartially evaluate multiple and potentially contradictory points of views. Because seriously considering the merits of opposing viewpoints is particularly difficult in situations in which one has much to gain by bowing to the dictates of ones own internal or external choir, an education that shakes up the normal script of reasoning only after one has decided the answer is crucial.

To that end, learning how to think imartially is the focus of Gardner's critical thinking text Thinking Your Way to Freedom. It is also the focus of her many forays into the field of Philosophy for Children.

Gardner is the director of The Vancouver Institute of Philosophy for Children (VIP4C), and the director of a P4C camp held every July at the University of the Fraser Valley, called The Thinking Playground. 

Gardner is also a director of The North American Association of the Community of Inquiry (NAACI), and is currently serving as the Vice President of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC).