TheFineBros is a Youtube channel which features a few interesting React to shows every week: Kids react to, Teens react to and Elders react to. Basically, React to are shows in which kids, teens and elders react to popular Youtube or Tv videos, as suggested by the audience on their Youtube, Facebook or Twitter channels. For instance, whenever a video goes viral on Youtube, people like to react to it in comment section. What TheFineBros did is that they selected a number of kids, teens and elders to watch the videos, recorded their reactions and asked some questions about it, made entirely new video and posted it on Youtube. What makes these videos so interesting to watch isn't just the reaction of participants, but their opinions stated after answering the questions.
Now, philosophy for children suggests that every child can philosophize about certain subject and that we, as adults, should encourage their curiosity by asking them questions or in any other way possible. Philosophy for children has various forms of realisation and it seems to me that what TheFineBros are doing has a lot to do with it.
In Kids react to shows we can see a number of episodes where children (5 - 12, if i am correct) react to quite a number of popular videos dealing with contemporary issues of our culture and they state very mature opinions on the matters. After kids watch the videos, Fine brothers ask them questions, firstly to state the obvious (what did they see, what is the video about) after which they have to state an opinion on what they saw. There are many examples for this, but just to name a few:
- Kids react to Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City - an episode where kids react to a video of a common man pretending to be a celebrity (he had a camera crew follow him around, he was dressed nicely, so people on streets believed that he was famous and asked for his autographs, and so on). In this episode kids are faced with questions like: why do people do such things, why they even want a picture/autograph of a person they don't even know, and so on. Here kids had a chance to answer about the very nature of todays pop culture and what it means to be famous, or to follow famous people.
- Kids react to Kony 2012 - Kony 2012 was one of the most popular videos last year and with a lot of controversies. Again, in Question time part of the video, kids had the chance to express what they felt or thought about Joseph Kony and the whole Kony 2012 campaign. Some of them told that he could be the next Hitler, they called him stupid, or they wanted him dead. They where asked why do people do bad things to other people (power, money, religion, some of the answers), will the idea of making Kony famous bring him to justice and do they think that it's right for America to take action and risk soldier's lives to help others. Also, another interesting thing here is that when asked where they have heard about Kony 2012 video, all the kids answered they saw it on social networks. I think that tells us a lot!
- Kids react to Osama bin Laden's Death - Another more serious episode asks the questions on what the kids felt when they found out about bin Laden's death, is it okay to feel happy when someone dies, was it okay for many Americans to go out on the streets and celebrate bin Laden's death, what will happen in future with new terrorists, why do terrorists want to attack US, what can Americans do to change it and what would kids do if they were president of US.
- Kids react to Honey Boo Boo - This week's episode was about parenting and the perception of beauty. Honey Boo Boo, a TV show about 'weird' family and their craving to make Miss Universe (i guess) out of their 6 year old daughter. The kids were asked what they thought about Honey Boo Boo and her parents, did they learn anything by watching the videos of Honey Boo Boo, whether it's okay to have beauty contests for children and why do people even like to watch shows like Honey Boo Boo.
Philosophy for children can be found exactly in all of those questions that the kids were asked. Videos are mostly fun for them, but after watching the videos, kids have to answer certain number of questions in order to reflect on what they saw, think about it critically and state their views on given matter. This show reminds us that we should question everything we see or hear, that it is okay to ask questions and think about things media presents to us and that any given subject, whether it's serious ones like Kony or bin Laden, or something more absurd like Nyan cat, has certain effet on our thinking process which we should examine.
Im gonna let you watch the videos on your own and see how kids answered to the questions. I hope this will encourage you to ask yourself the same questions and answer them with your own reasoning. Also, i hope this can rise new ideas on Philosophy for children teaching. The link to TheFineBros Youtube channel can be found here TheFineBros