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Philosophy for Children

At Brandling Primary School,  Philosophy for Children is a teaching strategy that  is incorporated where possible into our curriculum. 

WHAT IS ‘PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN’ OR ‘COMMUNITY OF ENQUIRY’?

 

Philosophy for Children (or P4C) is an ethos driven strategy that uses the process of philosophical enquiry for deepening thinking ability in children. It is based on the following essential points:

  1. The children ask the questions. Those questions are taken seriously and set the agenda for genuine discussion in a community of enquiry.
  2.  The teacher's role is to facilitate the thinking of the individual and the group.
  3.  The aim is a discussion that clarifies and explores complex issues that matter to children -
  • it is not to have a polarising debate;
  • it is not to engage in quick judgements;
  • it is not for teachers to air their own views and dominate with knowledge

       4. The process is not mere opinion-swapping. The children are encouraged to be responsible for what they say and to give reasons, examples, counter-examples, and consideration to what someone might say in response. Philosophy is about thinking carefully in a self-correcting way.

A Community of Enquiry is an ethos, not just a technique or methodology. It raises self esteem (especially in under achieving boys) nourishes linguistic, social and thinking skills and attitudes of curiosity and speculation.  It develops willingness to listen; to re-clarify thinking; to question first thoughts; and to be questioned on assumptions.