Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy (Hardback) book cover

Picturebooks, Pedagogy and Philosophy

By Joanna Haynes, Karin Murris

© 2012 – Routledge

270 pages | 35 B/W Illus.

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A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2012!

Contemporary picturebooks open up spaces for philosophical dialogues between people of all ages. As works of art, picturebooks offer unique opportunities to explore ideas and to create meaning collaboratively. This book considers censorship of certain well-known picturebooks, challenging the assumptions on which this censorship is based. Through a lively exploration of children’s responses to these same picturebooks the authors paint a way of working philosophically based on respectful listening and creative and authentic interactions, rather than scripted lessons. This dialogical process challenges much current practice in education. The authors propose that a courageous and critical practice of listening is central to the facilitation of mutually educative dialogue. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of education studies, philosophy of education, literacy teaching and learning, children’s literature, childhood and pedagogy.


"Philosophy is the main focus of this thought-provoking book. Building on and extending the ideas of philosophy for children that were developed in the mid-1990s, the authors argue for a community of inquiry where children, using picture books as a stimulus, do philosophy by examining the questions that the books raise through the gap between the text and the visual images. Children often pick up more on the visual, while adults tend to focus more on words. The authors' criteria for selecting appropriate books are useful. Teachers need to learn alongside children and be willing to enter unknown territories and not seek to control children by controlling the discussion. Children as well as teachers should generate questions. Haynes and Murris's analysis of the educational trends in Great Britain is also applicable to education in the US. Their questions about the nature of childhood and the impact of postmodernism on teaching and learning practices should generate discussion among teachers, whom the authors feel would also benefit from doing philosophy. Rich with information and insights, this is a valuable addition to discussions of education. Summing Up: Highly Recommended." -- S. Sugarman, emerita, Bennington College,Vermont State Colleges in CHOICE

Table of Contents

Introduction: Censorship and Controversy in the Classroom Part One: Provocative Picturebooks 1. Playing with Dangerous Picturebooks 2. Not So Innocent Picturebooks 3. From Philosophical Novels to Picturebooks 4. Picturebooks as Philosophical Texts 5. Emotions and Picturebooks 6. Literary and Philosophical Responses to Picturebooks Part Two: Being Child 7. Slippage Between Realms 8. Talking Dogs and Moving Bears: The Realm of Meaning 9. Philosophy, Adult and Child 10. Authenticity of Knowledge and Understanding Part Three: Philosophical Listening 11. Listening and Juggling in Philosophical Space 12. Listening and Not Listening in Schools 13. Towards a Critical Practice of Philosophical Listening. Appendix A: List of Picturebooks Discussed in the Book

About the Authors

Joanna Haynes is Associate Professor in Education Studies at the University of Plymouth, England.

Karin Murris is Professor at the School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects