Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a process of critical thinking with students, which enhances self-esteem, speaking and listening and thinking skills. Our Philosophy for Children sessions are unique with their Global Learning focus in schools.

P4C has been developed over the last 30 years and is now practised in 60 countries.

P4C helps to build a ‘community of enquiry’ where participants create and enquire into their own questions, and ‘learn how to learn’ in the process. It engages them in the search for meaning, enriches and extends their understanding. It strengthens thinking, reasoning skills and builds self-esteem. It helps to develop the qualities that make for good judgement in everyday life.

What does a P4C ‘Community of Enquiry’ involve?

A P4C session works through a ‘community of enquiry’. The children sit in a circle with a facilitator. The facilitator’s role is to help the children uncover the philosophical in the issues that they discuss. Children lead the dialogue, steering it in the direction they choose.

The facilitator asks questions to enable the children to enquire more deeply and challenge their assumptions.

  • The session starts with a stimulus (a video, picture book, visual art, etc)
  • Children are encouraged to draw on their imagination to ask a question based on the stimulus.
  • Children make a collective decision on the question they are most interested in.
  • The discussion starts but is then not contained. It follows its own path guided by the children’s thoughts and ideas.

The method requires children to reason and explain their thinking, to listen and to build on the ideas of others. Benefits and outcomes for children P4C is suitable for primary schools from Reception to Year 6. It helps to develop higher-order thinking skills, improve communication skills and helps children learn t

o co-operate with others. Children learn through enquiry, the exploration of ideas and to reflect before speaking. It gives children the possibility of seeing that theirs and other’s ideas have value and to realize that they don’t always have to be right. It builds children’s confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.

Why is it a useful tool for teaching about Global Citizenship?

P4C develops skills and attitudes associated with Global Citizenship such as: open-mindedness, critical thinking, listening, respect, co-operation, empathy and the ability to give reasons for an opinion.

P4C can help children to think rigorously about controversial global issues.

P4C allows children to develop their own personal opinions based on gathering and hearing of evidence from a range of sources about an issue.

Contact us about this training here.

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