We are continuing our work with year 7s and 8s in Philosophy this year. In addition, Year 9 will also have the chance to experience the P4C (Philosophy for Children) methodology which provides an opportunity for children to consider, challenge, and question more deeply.
Students begin each philosophical enquiry with a stimulus such as a story, picture or piece of music about which they ask questions. Groups then vote for the question which they would like to discuss further. They are given time to reflect on the question and discuss with their peers.
This form of working encourages the students to listen to each other, consider others' opinions, and value each others' ideas. It actively seeks collaborative, creative, and critical thinking, and has proved to have many benefits including:
- Increased confidence
- Greater self – esteem
- The ability to reflect and think more deeply
- The ability to work together with others
- Greater cognitive ability
- Increasing use of reasons when answering questions in class
- Improved communication skills
- Better management of feelings
- A greater tolerance of others' ideas
Here are some questions discussed by children during their P4C sessions in other schools:
- Is it ever good to fight?
- Is happiness the best feeling?
- Is it better to cheat and win or not cheat and lose?
- Is it better to say something nice or do something nice?
- Does getting what you want bring you happiness?
I can’t believe the difference it has made to my class – not just in their work but in their attitude to each other.
-Teacher of a year 6 class.
Philosophy makes the shy people brave and the brave people braver.
-Year 4 student.
Last Updated: September 2019