Does One Stand to Gain by Combining Art with Philosophy? A Study of Fourth-Year College (13/14 Years of Age) Philosophical Writings Produced Within the PreCPhi/Philosophemes Corpus

  •  Hélène Maire    
  •  Emmanuèle Auriac-Slusarczyk    
  •  Bernard Slusarsczyk    
  •  Marie-France Daniel    
  •  Cathy Thebault    


Creative thinking is sometimes neglected by schools. Introducing philosophy in schools represents a commitment to balancing the development of logical and creative thinking, currently exercised only orally. In the present study, the focus is on writing. Firstly, the value of authentic pupil writings is underscored. The pupils and students studied wrote texts for “Adolescence et Société”, a magazine produced by researchers. 100 students’ works, written by philosophizing students in fourth-year college in France, culled from the PreCPhi/Philosophemes Corpus (1,300 texts collected from 43 classrooms) were studied in order to measure the progress of philosophizing students between a pre-test and a post-test following the introduction of a pedagogical tool that unites Art with Philosophy, Philo & Carto. Their writing skills were measured according to the following five dimensions: linguistic, philosophical, cognitive, reflective and creative. Performance measures, calculated on group averages and applied to the group’s variance between the pre- and the post-tests, were related to each dimension. Linguistic performance (presence of an introduction and conclusion) did not progress, remaining subject to pupils’ academic level. Philosophical, cognitive, creative and reflective performance increased significantly, or at least confirmed the trend. Reasoning, metaphors, conceptual differences and discourse ownership increased, while anecdotal examples decreased. These increases were accompanied by an increase in the post-test variance: gaps between the strongest and the weakest performances widened, except in the case of questioning, personal examples and generation of doubt, which were at the core of the effect produced. The study validates the fact that the Art and Philosophy link promises unprecedented educational prospects with regard to the production of early quality philosophical writings. This will require validation with other samplings.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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