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Defending aesthetic education is a vital task and the reasons we offer to justify the arts on the curriculum matter. I offer a philosophical argument for the necessity of aesthetic education for all school-aged students on the basis of its distinctive value, which is the aesthetic experiences the arts afford. It is aesthetic experience that is distinctive to the arts and a vital component in the flourishing life. As educators we have a duty to introduce our students to elements of a fulfilled and enjoyable life, which, I claim, includes the multiple and various arts and their associated aesthetic experiences.

Open Access
In: Beijing International Review of Education
Chapter 18 Multiliteracies and the Critical Thinker


Teaching children philosophy enhances critical thinking skills that are sorely needed in today’s technological society. When it comes to mass art and social media, we need to discern between reliable sources of information, misinformation, hoaxes and dross. I claim that the Community of Inquiry (CoI) pedagogy as practiced by proponents of Philosophy for Children (P4C) can assist in training students to challenge their own assumptions as well as those of others, work collaboratively in search of truth, and engage both critically and compassionately with diverse perspectives; whether they be face-to-face or online. Such multiliteracies are sorely needed in an age of Web 2.0, Democracy 2.0 and the neoliberal agenda. In this chapter I will defend the role philosophy can play in teaching students to be critically reflective, ethically engaged, democratically participatory and creative in their use of Web 2.0 technologies.

In: Education for Democracy 2.0