Transforming our perceptions of childhood / Transformer nos perceptions de l’enfance

Have you ever wondered what childhood really is? Or how our conceptions of children affect the experiences we create for them—as parents, teachers, mentors and allies? How can we build meaningful relationships between adults and children? 

This course aims to nurture collaborative inquiry into our unquestioned assumptions about childhood and children’s capacity to think and act independently in their lives. Inspired by the course’s podcast with renowned experts, participants will get to engage in rich group reflections and creative exercises to explore key concepts and practices that can enhance their interactions with children. What does it mean to create strong child-adult relationships and give voice to children around ethical issues that matter to them? How can we move toward an understanding of children that enables them to honour their potential as emerging citizens and ethical decision-makers? 

This course draws inspiration from innovative theories and participatory practices in philosophy aimed at social justice and inclusion—notably the dialogue-driven Philosophy for Children (P4C) and Philocreation approaches. Through dynamic creative explorations designed to help them think outside the box, participants will get to experience the power of philosophy to change our conceptions of childhood and child-adult relationships.

*Note: This is not a training in philosophical facilitation. For those training offerings, please contact the Institute.

Course Language

The course is delivered in English, but French is supported. 

Les francophones sont les bienvenus ! Le cours est donné en anglais, mais des traductions informelles durant les séances sont offertes. Il est possible de parler français durant les échanges et pour les travaux de réflexion.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the course, participants will…

  • learn how to explore childhood from a philosophical perspective through collaborative dialogue
  • become aware of the assumptions they may have about childhood
  • reimagine the dynamic of the child-adult relationship
  • recognize and nurture a child’s capacity for philosophical thinking, notably ethical sensitivity
  • foster and model an open-minded posture to support children’s own meaning-making


  • Session 1: Wednesday 17th January 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET
  • Session 2: Wednesday 7th February 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET
  • Session 3: Wednesday 28th February 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET
  • Session 4: Wednesday 20th March 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET
  • Session 5: Wednesday 17th April 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET
  • Session 6: Wednesday 8th May 2024 - 18.30 - 20.00 CET

Please note, all course times shown are CET. Convert to your time zone

A link to the online meeting room will be shared with all participants via email at least one week prior to the start date.

About the Facilitator

Natalie M. Fletcher, PhD, is an interdisciplinary researcher and philosophical practitioner based in Montreal, Canada, specialising in youth- and community-based philosophy. She is an associate professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Montreal where she leads the Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth. She is the founding director of the educational charity, which has sought—for over 15 years—to develop critical thinking, social responsibility and self-efficacy in young people from preschool to college through philosophical dialogues and creative projects, or its original Philocréation® approach.

A doctor of philosophy and pedagogy, she has taught at numerous universities and leads trainings in philosophical facilitation at all levels around the world. She has served on the executive committees of various international philosophy for youth organisations, and has published numerous articles and chapters in the field, including an essay that won the international award for excellence in research in philosophy for children. Her projects have attracted a wide range of media coverage, from newspapers like Le Devoir, La Presse and The New York Times to Radio Canada and CBC Television. Having had the great privilege of working with thousands of youth and adults, she believes in the power of philosophy to connect us with the concepts that matter to us most.

Ecolint Staff: Course registration procedure - please read this document

This course is available for Ecolint Staff only

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