lunedì 2 novembre 2009

Un esempio di Comunità filosofica inglese

Community Philosophy Project

One of the core aims of the philosophy project is to promote inter-generational understanding by creating opportunities for all ages to mix & talk. The 'unknown'is a breeding ground for misconceptions about each other that can lead to making judgments on little and inaccurate information. The more that is known about one another the less room there is to assume or fear with greater opportunity to connect and have fun.

Street Engagement

We run 3-4 sessions of street engagement most weeks. This involves going out around the village getting to know people with a view to developing philosophical activities 'where people are'. Recent sessions have involved for example, walking the streets and park, visiting the Folk Hall, and attending an open day at the Friends' Meeting House. Activities under development include working with local young people in the park to articulate their views and feelings on the dispersal order for the upcoming conference.

Our young people's philosophy group P4U meets weekly for a 'community of enquiry'. Every second week, one of the group members provides the stimulus for the enquiry, and these have included music, collections, and survival strategies. The group also have had 2 recent 'mind and muscle' trips where a physical activity has been the stimulus for enquiry such as a tree-top assault course where young people faced both fear and physical exertion. P4U are currently involved in a film project to collate local views on the recent dispersal order in the village. The young people also regularly volunteer at our events, and are involved in inter-generational activities and trips with residents of Red Lodge.
Red Lodge

A large group of Red Lodge residents enjoy meeting once a month for a philosophical enquiry. We also provide accessible trips based on their interests. We recently took them to Homestead Park for a tour of the gardens and a seminar on the history of Joseph Rowntree and New Earswick at which they all joined in discussing their own facts and bits of knowledge about the village. A few months ago, we had an evening out to the theatre with Red Lodge residents and the P4U young people's group. The topic of the play took a surprising and potentially controversial turn part way through, which stimulated a great philosophical enquiry at a later date! The trip was enjoyed by all who attended. We were invited to be part of the Red Lodge summer fete where we had a bus display and our P4U young people came along to promote the project to adults in the village.
Community Performance

The community performance 'This Is Us' was a great success in drawing together the community to celebrate their village. The performance included an inter-generational drama piece from the community philosophy project that involved community members from Red Lodge, Girl's Brigade, our community volunteers, and our young people's group (P4U). The sketch was designed by those involved (with a little external script-writing expertise), and involved the adults and young people playing reverse roles to explore how the village has changed over time, and challenge through humour some of the stereotypes the older and younger generations hold about each other. We also hosted the poster design competition for the event judged by community members in the Folk Hall, and won by 2 of our P4U young people.
Girl's Brigade

We are currently running a philosophical enquiry once a month with children attending the Girl's Brigade. We are also working on opportunities to get them involved in inter-generational activities including the possibility of a drama performance.
New Earswick Primary School

We have been running an after-school club at the primary school weekly since April. This is a chance for pupils that the school identify as 'gifted and talented' to get together and develop their philosophical discussion and thinking skills. We are planning to introduce some adult volunteers into the club this term to add an inter-generational dimension. We are also planning to bring some secondary school pupils into the group later in the year to ease the transition for those moving onto secondary school next year.
Joseph Rowntree Secondary School

We have a well-attended lunch club at the secondary school for pupils who want to know more about philosophy. We also have a slot this year in the Year 8 PSCE curriculum using the 'community of enquiry' structure to host lesson-time sessions on Respect and Relationships.
Community Volunteers

Two of our community volunteers have completed SAPERE's level 1 course in facilitating the 'community of enquiry', and have already put their skills to use in facilitating philosophical enquiries for us at the JRHT annual meeting. This term we are introducing adult volunteers into our work in the schools to add the inter-generational dimension as well as aid the practicalities of hosting enquiries with classes of 30 pupils.
Community Barbeque

We had a very successful community barbeque back in July, despite having to move it to the Folk Hall due to bad weather - 170 people of all ages came along and joined in with the activities and conversation. As part of the event we had a tile painting activity - the start of contributions for a community tile mural. An interesting discussion took place about perceptions of young people within the village, and the needs of different groups. Conversations that took place with community members, for example about how they would like to see groups on offer for adults to socialise, have influenced our subsequent planning of events and activities.

Conversation Corner
Over the summer months we had some enjoyable Saturday afternoons on the village green for Conversation Corner, engaging in conversation and activities with adults, young people, and children from the village. As part of this we have talked with residents about how they would like to see more activities on offer for children in the village where they can come and talk while their children take part.
Around The World

In August we hosted 'Around the World in 2 Days' - two themed evenings on China and Spain - thinking about their role as places of immigration and emigration for York. These evenings involved sampling foods and crafts from the countries, and talking about their culture and traditions. Guest speakers and artists included Suna Xie on China, and Sylvia Echarri De Carr on Spain. Following feedback from those attending these events we are working to set up a planning group to organise 2 more events on Africa and India.
Inter-generational Story-telling

We are involved in the library's weekly story-telling sessions with children and parents. We host some of these sessions, encouraging parents to allow their children to discuss and question stories while they are reading together. Through our meetings with CoYC staff, they have expressed an interest in involving our 'community of enquiry' approach in their city-wide literature festival next year thus we are currently discussing with them the idea of hosting local New Earswick events as part of this.
Inter-generational Crafts

We have a craft group for parents and children starting in November where they can come along and join in discussion while engaging in a task together. We are starting with puppet-making with the possibility of putting together a puppet show on their interpretation of New Earswick life.
Sports Club

We have looked at several different approaches to re-branding our Philosophy Café's (known as Café Philo) due to low numbers attending. We tried them at different times of day in different venues around the village such as the Folk Hall, Sports Club, and Bowls Club. Our most successful Café Philo was at the Sports Club, and some feedback received at a later event was that those attending enjoyed being able to stay for a drink and further self-sustained dialogue after the Philosophers left. This term we are trialling 3 'quiz nights' at the Sports Club with the aim of providing stimuli for discussion and facilitating the initial dialogue before leaving it to be self-sustained. The first of these events was a sports quiz where the final round was a list of controversial sports headlines for participants to identify the story. These headlines were based around national divisions in sport and were used to facilitate discussion. The November quiz is on music with a similar final round/stimulus for discussion involving controversial lyrics. The December quiz will be a series of interactive collaborative challenges including 'The Prisoner's Dilemma' which involves being strategic whilst deciding the extent to which to deceive others. This is a known stimulus for philosophical enquiries as it brings up issues of collaboration, deceit, and morality.
Dispersal Order Conference

We will be hosting a conference in the village in the new year to disseminate the findings of the dispersal order research to local residents. This event will be structured around discussion groups with the findings acting as a stimulus for enquiry.
New Projects

We have many new projects in the pipe-line including a Women's Group, a People's Interests Group, and an inter-generational film project among others. We also hope to host community street parties in the spring at various locations around the village that will involve community drama as a means of exploring New Earswick life.

Contact the project.

Further information on the background to the project

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