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We’re learning philosophy, thanks to high school kids

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Matt Faraci, Sayville

At school we are learning about philosophy. The Oceanside High School kids who are taking philosophy class came into our school to teach us.

Philosophy is the study of knowledge. When they first came into our classroom, they told us the rules of having a discussion in philosophy. The rules are to be nice. If you disagree with someone you say, “I beg to differ,” or “I respectfully disagree.”

Then the high school kids read us a short book, such as “Frog and Toad,” “Frederick,” and “The Important Book.” The books that they read to us all have philosophy in them. “Frog and Toad” is about being brave. “Frederick” is about teaching a family that there is more to life than just the basics, such as food, water and shelter. “The Important Book” is about the importance of objects. The author wrote about the importance of an apple, saying that it is important because it is round. Also they wrote about a spoon, saying it is important because it is mirrored on the front and back.

After that, we went into smaller groups. Then the high school kids asked us questions like “Is it brave to stand up to a bully?” or “Do you have to have a job to be doing work?” We could never get the answer wrong because there is no wrong answer. The high school kids were always respectful, even though they might not like our answers.

Philosophy is a great thing to learn about. It was a great experience to see how older kids teach younger kids. We hope we can learn more philosophy in the future.

Mary Ralph’s fifth-grade class, South Oceanside Elementary School, School #4

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