Children and Youth Philosophers

Children and Youth Philosophers is a registered company run by Ariane Schjelderup and Øyvind Olsholt, both Masters of Philosophy from the University of Oslo, Norway. We started working with philosophy for children in 1997. Since then we have arranged numerous seminars for schools and kindergartens, and we have facilitated many philosophical dialogues with children, youths and adults. For instance we have our own philosophy club in Oslo. We have also carried out a number of long-term projects, e.g. in several kindergartens and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo.

Our work

Our work comprises arrangement of seminars, facilitating dialogues with children and youth, consultation and research. When a Norwegian government committee suggested (in 2004) that philosophy can become a separate school subject in the entire primary and secondary education in Norway, it is clear that there is a need for experimentation and field research before a decision can be made. Here we wish to make a contribution.


We wrote the text-book Filosofi i skolen (Philosophy in School) in 1999, and in 2001 Ariane published her book Filosofi – Sokrates, Platon og Aristoteles (Philosophy—Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). In 2008 we wrote the book Filosofiske samtaler i barnehagen – Å ta barns tenkning på alvor (Philosophical dialogues in pre-school – Taking children's thinking seriously) in cooperation with pre-school teacher Maaike Lahaise.

In 2002 we started developing (the school agora)—a web resource for teachers and pupils in comprehensive schools containing teaching material in all the main subjects accompanied by philosophical questions and exercises. (The site is no longer updated on a regular basis.)

Doing philosophy presupposes a willingness to critically examine viewpoints and attitudes—regardless of the person. In return philosophical investigations provide us with an opportunity to see ourselves, listen to what our words tell us and join the narrow path towards self-knowledge.


International associations

Children and Youth Philosophers is a member of International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) and SOPHIA, European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children. Both organisations bring together philosophical practitioners and researchers in more than 50 countries, help exchanging ideas and experiences, and arrange conferences and other relevant meeting points.

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Page created: 27.09.06. Page last modified: 08.02.13 12:58.