Philosophy for Children – P4C

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Philosophy for Children - P4CPhilosophy for Children – P4C “Improves teaching and learning for the lasting benefit of individuals, schools, colleges and communities.  In P4C the teacher facilitates a student-led discussion on a philosophical question. P4C builds higher order thinking, questioning, speaking and listening skills. Over 25 years, SAPERE has trained more than 27,000 teachers in the practice of P4C. The EEF has validated P4C in its pupil premium toolkit. “(P4C)

P4C, philosophy for children, collages and communities is an approach to learning and teaching being used on over 60 countries. Children create a philosophical question to examine, the example the site gives is “Is it ever okay to steal” and the teacher supports an enquiry, carried out by the children.  The enquiry may be a discussion where children learn to interact, put forward views, ideas, etc – thus developing social interaction, logical thinking and questioning skills.

The Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE) was founded in 1992 and has been developing resources ever since. The movement continues to grow year on year. Their base is in Oxford where much of the training is offered.

There are 75 registered trainers n the UK, INSET for the whole school can be booked and there is a three year programme to embed P4C into schools.

There are resources available for schools for each educational level and teachers can subscribe to receive bulletins and resources.

Philosophy for Children - P4C

The above early years image is for questioning. What is wrong with it?

“This is quite a fun activity to engage the children in. The link above will take you to an image of a mountain bike with square wheels. Show it to the children, pause for a few seconds and there’s no doubt that they’ll start telling you that there’s something wrong with it. Ask what it is that’s wrong and get them to explain how it should be different and why. Browse also for chocolate teapot, upside-down tree, square tomato and any other weird thing – you’re very likely to find it on the Internet!” (P4C) The activity can be found here:

Here is the Philosophy for Schools April / May 2017  collection of stimulus suggestions for P4C enquiries, at each key stage.