Interview with Mr. Park

On Monday 19th October, Professor Jinwhan Park from the Gyeongsang National University South Korea came to eeb2. Mr. Park is the president of “Philosophy with Children and Youth Network” in Asia and the Pacific (PCYNAP), he came to our school to explain this philosophical and ethical idea and I had the pleasure of interviewing him.
When you think of philosophy, you think of the academic one, the one we study, also known as the study of  nature and  its causes, of the principles of reality, of knowledge and our values, all based on logical reasoning. Mr Park's intention is not to teach academic philosophy to children. What he wants to do is teach them more about practical philosophy. By doing that, he teaches children how to be able to make an ethical and logical judgement in a particular situation. "It is crucial that younger students learn how to make a good judgement because some of them might be the future leaders of democratic societies so the sooner they are able to do it the better", he says. 

Of course, the struggle of making a reasonable judgement will not concern everyone, but we need to make decisions every day even at such a young age. Our parents make decisions and soon it will be our turn. This is why we need to cultivate and grow our intellectual capacity. Mr Park is working hard to include this new way of looking at philosophy in the school program, he does many conferences all around the world, especially in less developed countries or in new democratic societies, representatives of the PCYNAP are all over Asia and the Pacific. For example, Ms Jespers, a philosophy teacher in the French section, does numerous conferences in ex-soviet countries. Mr Park's motivation for all his work is to make the world a better place. He knows an “ ideal society” may never be obtained but it's not a good enough reason to stop improving and working on it. 
Mr Park also believes that countries which are more developed and have more experiences in the democratic system have the duty to share their knowledge with other countries, that may be further away from democracy. Jinwhan Park is also a teacher at the Gyeongsang National University. There, he trains people who want to learn how to teach ethics in middle and high school. Those future teachers also learn a very efficient pedagogical method, which allows students to create their own reasoning skills.
Jinwhan Park is bright man with more than 40 years of experience. He has been working hard in order to better the educational system all around the world (e.g.: philosophy). Mr park's work is essential to our future. If we want everyone to live in a real democratic society, the younger generations must learn how to reason correctly and the most efficient way of achieving this is to include the “practical philosophy” in middle and high school's programs.
by Sarah Mignot

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