Peer Review for Shelby
Shelby’s topic, the notion that children should be placed in small-groups to encourage critical thinking and open-ended communication skills, is very interesting and she did a good job of capturing my attention on the first page.
I believe that this topic is philosophically relevant and important because I don’t think that children are encouraged to think deeply enough in this day and age in our society. Furthermore, the thesis is clearly stated as far as I can see.
She then goes on to clearly explain and define any terms which may be ambiguous or unfamiliar to the reader.
She gives many examples of why a small-group would be beneficial to the notion being defended. She uses both idealistic examples as well as personal real-life examples from her job working with children at the YMCA. She also incorporates ideas from several key figures in the field of the philosophy of education/children.
The only complaint that I can raise is in her section entitled “Critical Engagement in Learning Institutions.” Here she says that we should “provide children with the ability to play with a purpose. Instructors, tutors, and parents should give entertaining, motivating, and intellectually stimulating activities so children are more capable of retaining and enjoying the knowledge they accumulate.” My main question is how we should go about doing this. Just a few suggestions would be sufficient here. But, hey, that’s just me.
She acknowledges and addresses the arguments raised against her viewpoint. One being that many philosophers differ on what constitutes a child. The definition of a child changes from culture to culture and over the span of time and space.
Shelby also lists all of her citations for the quotations she uses. Overall, I think this is a pretty solid paper and I would be interested into reading more.