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Marie Kerhom (Montpellier/France)#

Using his own Understanding in the Context of Vocational Training for young Students. What kind of Education? What Kind of Tools?#

The ability for one to think by himself is the ”everyone’s vocation” declares E. Kant. That is why he exhorts everyone to come out the minority status, very convenient for all by exercising his own understanding.

But it is a very difficult action and “that is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds”. Although Kant writes that it is the “indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind” that provides man from realising his vocation, could it not also and especially be an educational problem?

The ones facing this difficulty are mostly young students in vocational training. Indeed the education they receive aims, before everything, at the acquisition of knowledge, practical and professional capacities. What education in professional program would it allow, in addition to these knowledge and professional skills, to form also the autonomy of the thought?

Which tools could the teacher use to help these students to dare to think by themselves?

It seems to me that philosophy is the most suited scolar discipline for this because it clearly aims at this purpose: “enable access for each student to exercise reflexion and judgement”. But how can it be done in vocational training while there is a lack of philosophy?

Could not the introduction of the New Philosophical Practices in this cursus, and particularly the CRP (Lipman) and the DVDP (Tozzi) be a relevant and effective way to favor this movement? Because these two philosophical practices, amongst others, aim at the development of critical thinking. The latter is a form of particular thought, answering precise criteria, and most of the time assimilated as understanding.

So, could the introduction of these New Philosophical Practices in vocational training allows to go toward Kant’s wish: to work in order for man to fulfil his vocation, so that he can decide by himself and live as an enlighted man and citizen?