Communities of Inquiry:
Significance, Cultural Change and
the ongoing relationship with P4C
The conceptions and practices of Community of Inquiry as understood in P4wC have evolved through the philosophies of Peirce, Dewey, Lipman & Sharp and many others. They have been further synthesised with ongoing pedagogical research and practices, such as those inspired by the theories of Vygotsky, to generate diverse expressions of Community of Inquiry and P4wC. Consequently, this is a highly contested space. We invite exploration of the evolving dynamic between the Community of Inquiry and the continuingly emergent practices of P4wC.
Sir Ken Robinson famously challenged 21st century educators to recognise that the culture and framework of our educational system is still firmly grounded in the factory system of the late 19th century; one which pacifies and over-assesses individuals; pitting them against one another to achieve educational success. He proposed that this culture was no longer fit for purpose. He further asserted that how we teach our young people is detrimental to their wellbeing and ultimately our communities. Robinson’s challenges are nothing new. Dewey made similar calls for the transformation of our educational culture and practice one hundred years before Robinson.
The last 30 years have seen committed efforts by philosophers and educators to implement P4wC throughout the Asia-Pacific region, yet this has been a difficult undertaking. Might this challenge be a manifestation of the cultural dilemma Dewey through to Robinson have asserted? Or are there other reasons why P4wC has struggled to find a strong foothold in our communities?
Further, how do we account for the emergence of hybrid practices that exhibit some of the elements of P4wC as well as embrace the elements of other pedagogical constructs, including those that seem to be at odds with the values espoused by Dewey and Lipman. What is our relationship and response to these practices?
We invite submissions that consider the significance of community and the practice of inquiry. How have inquiring communities been challenged, defined and reimagined in the past several years with the impacts of isolation, uncertainty and disruptions to learning? And how has our understanding of the place of the physical dimensions of engaged inquiry been affected by these challenges?
We invite explorations of Lipman and Sharp’s original conceptions of the Community of Inquiry and their significance to the contemporary practice of P4wC. How are these values and practices understood in the contemporary context? What are their limitations? And what challenges and outcomes for future practice are envisioned?
We encourage submissions that consider the questions raised and others that explore these themes.
- How are the concepts of ‘Community of Inquiry’ and ‘Philosophy for/with Children’ related? How ought this relationship be understood and how should it influence our practices?
- In what ways and to what extent is community important to the practice of philosophical inquiry?
- How ought we to understand “community”? What are the implications for what constitutes a community of inquiry in both real world and virtual settings?
- How do cultural and community experiences, particularly of non-Western P4C practitioners, inform the practices that have arisen within P4wC? Do they lead us to rethink the balance (or ‘relationship’) between the individual and the community?
- What constitutes an authentic Community of Inquiry, and what are the challenges to its implementation?
- How can we meaningfully assess communities and groups? What are the consequences for how we identify cognitive action within groups? How can this be negotiated in a culture of standardised testing?
- Further, how do we account for the emergence of hybrid practices that exhibit some of the elements of P4wC as well as embrace the elements of other pedagogical constructs, including those that seem to be at odds with the values espoused by Dewey and Lipman. What is our relationship and response to these practices?