Why do we do Philosophy for Children?
Here at Yardley Wood Community Primary School we are passionate about improving children’s speaking and listening skills and believe that Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an excellent educational approach to use to enhance these skills. In addition to this P4C develops children’s cognitive abilities, their critical reasoning skills and their emotional and social awareness.
What does P4C look like in the classroom?
The foundation of P4C lies in a child-led ‘Community of Enquiry’, which is defined as ‘a group of people used to thinking together with a view to increasing their understanding and appreciation of the world around them and of each other’, aiming to be ‘respectful of different experiences and open to other ways of thinking, but determined to think and act for themselves’. During regular P4C sessions the children are shown a philosophical stimulus for example a story, an artefact or a painting and there then follows a student led discussion with the teacher becoming a facilitator rather than the leader. The stimuli are designed to engage the children’s minds and to lead them to challenge their own and each other’s thinking. The areas chosen for discussion are either linked to the topic or concept that the class are studying or to a Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) topic that is particularly relevant to the class.
There are a few main principles that are encouraged during all P4C discussions which are:
1. It is ok to change your mind.
2. It is ok to disagree with someone, as long as you are respectful.
3. Everyone’s ideas are valued.
With these in mind the facilitator of each discussion will also focus on developing the P4C 4Cs of thinking:
· Caring – understanding others and being respectful of different opinions.
· Collaborative – finding solutions together.
· Creative – making connections and thinking of new ideas.
· Critical – understanding what we think and why.
To find out more about P4C please visit the following website: http://www.sapere.org.uk