“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) is a dynamic, philosophy-inspired television-classroom series designed to help youth share their big ideas with the world. A collaborative venture with Helena Civic Television and Cottonwood School, the program combines classroom and one-on-one mentorship, pedagogy, philosophy, and theater. A mash-up of Mr. Rogers, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and Socrates, the BiLP program aims to highlight the joy and fun of doing philosophy and the rich philosophical terrain available to and present in our youth.
About Our Fall “Film & Philosophy” Project
During the Fall session of our BiLP “Film & Philosophy” project, our group first watched a series of selected short films & Twilight Zone episodes, followed by youth-led, facilitated classroom discussions. Young thinkers were asked to identify, reflect and respond to various philosophical elements and themes present in the films, as well as make comparisons to experiences in their own communities and lives.
Later in the Fall session, we began a series of story creation endeavors inspired by our classroom discussions and a little game we called “And the Moral of the Story Is…”
The Winter session of our BiLP “Film & Philosophy” project is in progress and consists of a hands-on, creative endeavor incorporating work explored in the Fall session. Students are working together to create a 10-15 minute Twilight Zone & philosophy-inspired film. They have selected their philosophical topics, are writing their scripts, and will begin the filming and editing process after the new year.
They will also be participating in two HCTV studio visits — once before the new year (to share what their films will be about, their process, and philosophical inspirations — and once after the new year (to showcase their work).
The finished films will be made available for viewing on the Merlin website come 2020.