From Rosie Wilson, Lifeworlds Learning and Primary Teacher:
Philosophy for Children using the Like a Girl advert as a stimulus.
This was the last enquiry with my class as was (when I’d asked them what they wanted to do with me in the last few weeks Philosophy was on the list) and it was great to see their development. It was also the first one where the building went beyond enjoyment in voicing views and respectfully disagreeing to a little edge under everyone’s comments – they all cared a lot about what they were saying to each other, and there was a bit of a girl / boy divide between a few, with others (both girls and boys) really opening up the discussion and thinking.
Discussed / mentioned:
Not all boys think girls are weak
Sports shops do have limited choice. I had to buy boys sports socks – Who says they’re boys? – It said so on the packaging…
Well, girls couldn’t actually play on the professional England football team – Why not? What are you saying about their ability? – I’m just saying some things girls are better at and boys are better at (hottest topic and not really resolved / explored enough)
The questions are here with the chosen one in bold, and it was voted for as much to discuss the assumptions in the question as the question itself.
The children started off in quite a divided fashion but challenged each other really. They focused a lot on physical achievement – football, running etc, and many agreed that girls and boys could achieve equally, although one boy, often the most ‘popular’ in the class, did not, and many set out to challenge him, which they had not done before.
A comment that stuck in my mind from final thoughts, “Well, you know, it’s fine really, if girls want to do whatever, that’s fine, if a boy wants to wear a dress and marry another boy, I just think let people live their life”. This was more accepting / liberal / aware than many of the other comments in the circle, as it is quite a conservative community in some ways.
But it was a great stimulus, and what was so good about it was the filter down into other conversations and learning in the last week or so – we performed a modern version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which had some female characters commenting on men, and some male characters commenting on women, and these were challenged a little, as were other things, as a result of having that shared language from the enquiry.