Confronting a culture of silence in an African classroom: an exercise in philosophical Pptice
Ikpe, Ibanga B.
PublisherHumanities Institute, Kangwon National University, Korea, http://www.kangwon.ac.kr/english/menu3/sub_03_01_02_14.php
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Can Philosophy perform a useful function in contemporary society? This question is usually answered in the affirmative by philosophy teachers who point to the development of the mind as its most important tool, claiming thereby that this prepares students for entry into any profession. Over the years this answer has become less persuasive as students and academic administrators become more and more interested in courses which either train students for entry into a profession or add value to such training. The advent of Philosophical Practice has attempted to remove this doubt concerning the instrumental uses of philosophy and what follows consists of an attempt to show how courses in Critical Thinking can be used to redress perceived short comings in students’ attitude and approach to learning. It focuses on the ‘culture of silence’ which describes the tendency of university students to shy away from intellectual conversations in the classroom and has been identified as a detrimental learner/graduate attribute in an African university and demonstrates how a form of critical thinking therapy can redress the problem.