The paper "Exploring Prosocial Behavior through Structured Philosophical Dialogue: A Quantitative Evaluation" ambitiously made the argument that a pedagogy grounded in dialogical inquiry as part of the Philosophy for Children program will positively affect incidents of bullying in schools. This response to the author’s work includes a brief overview of her main argument and subsequent study and proceeds to suggest one possible alternative that she did not consider, namely Buber’s perspective on the I-Thou relation and the potential this holds in regards to bullying. Making the argument that bullying is a normative issue stemming from how people receive each other, the response authors claim that if we met each other as we should, by identifying the other as inherently valuable and worthy of empathy, then bullying would not result. In other words, bullying is an outcome of acting as we shouldn’t. Rather than focusing on responding to that action through a form of intervention, as the author did, this response emphasizes teaching children about how to better receive each other, thereby preventing bullying.
Response to Article
Nolan, C. M.
, Stitzlein, S.
Martin Buber’s I-Thou Perspective as an Alternative Approach to Antibullying Efforts. A Response to "Exploring Prosocial Behavior through Structured Philosophical Dialogue: A Quantitative Evaluation".
Democracy and Education,
(1), Article 11.
Available at: http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol24/iss1/11