Psychology or Philosophy for Kids?

Psychology always used to sound too airy-fairy to me, not being from a psychology-type background! I wondered why we would want to fill our kids minds with brain-bending ideas on how the world exists. But then I was introduced to giftedness, and Philosophy for Kids and I realised how beneficial it could be.


Traditionally, philosophy is the discipline primarily concerned with logical, critical and reflective thinking, the development of reasoning competence and the analysis of meaning. Philosophy is thinking dedicated to the improvement of thinking. It is both open-ended and rigorous. Philosophy taps children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder. It engages them in the search for meaning and enriches and extends their understanding. It strengthens thinking and reasoning skills and builds self-esteem. It helps to develop the qualities that make for good judgment in everyday life.

<a href=”” rel=”attachment wp-att-934″>psychologyPsychology is the scientific study of human thought, emotions, and actions. Psychology helps us to understand human behaviour. It attempts to explain why we behave in the way that we do and explores questions such as: Why do people take risks? Why do good people do bad things? How does culture influence behaviour? What is the nature of intelligence?

So now that it has been explained a little more, I can see that even Psychology for Kids, or more specifically, Social Psychology for Kids is a great proposition, too. The earlier we understand what makes us and others ‘tick’, the better we will become at relationship building in the learning community in our schools. In fact, it appears that these two organisations overlap in some respects. It might be that these two different names may confuse those who are less au fait with the terminology.

There are attempts to deal with many of the issues spread throughout curricula in Health and Social Sciences, or in various Skills expected for students to gain in education. I like the way a Saskatchewan website I read recently lays out the Social Psychology Curriculum for their state.

Targeting the main questions:

  • What is Social Psychology?  Influences on human social action and interaction
  • Who Am I?  Covering personality, worldview, physical and emotional processes, motivation, perception, learning, memory and intelligence.
  • How do I make sense of the world? Social schema, backgrounds, prejudices, judgments, impressions, communications, gender, self-identity, mass media and identity management (some of these sound very critical for internet presence these days)
  • How do we act and interact in a social world?  In family, social and school settings, honesty, crowds, mobs, gangs, political and social movements, cooperation, competition, humour, leadership, conflict resolution, pro-social behaviours, aggression, social inaction, decision-making, problem-solving, power, compliance, conformity, obedience, coping skills, resiliency, and social justice.

It covers many of the topics I hear talked about in various educational circles – the sorts of topics that encourage students to think and understand and prepare themselves for what they will encounter beyond the school gates. Some of these are also specific hot-topics for gifted students.

If you find anything of use in this blog, feel free to use it – just attribute the source or link back to this blog, please. Enjoy …