Published on April 17, 2014
Introduction to Philosophy for Children (P4C) ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ (Socrates)
Aims: You will... Learn how a P4C session is structured and start to think about what makes it different Explore the nature and value of enquiry and experience a Philosophical Enquiry Be able to get started on using P4C with your learners Have looked at a range of different resources and stimuli for your own teaching practice
Philosophy for Children P4C • A structured approach to learning through enquiry and dialogue • Developed by Prof. Matthew Lipman in the 1960’s • Advocated in the UK by SAPERE (www.sapere.org.uk) • asking questions • giving reasons • building on ideas • exploring concepts • seeking truths • dialogue not debate
History of P4C 1970’s Professor Matthew Lipman Education failing children not taught to think P4C programme • drop the thoughts of philosophers into the minds of children • challenge misconceptions of what philosophy is and who can do it Communities of enquiry a programme of stories in which the characters are curious, model ideas, ask questions, search for meaningP4C in the UK: BBC documentary “Socrates for Six Year Olds” SAPERE - 1992 “Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry & Reflection in Education” Thousands of teachers trained in using P4C in the classroom
The Standard Model for Philosophical Enquiry 1. CIRCLE 2. STIMULUS 3. INVITING QUESTIONS
Critical Caring Creative Confident Cultural Community Collaborative Curious
‘In Philosophy you ask questions that you wouldn’t ask in any other lesson’ • Why should we do as we are told? • Who was the first person on Earth? • Does it matter if you are different? • What would you like best – going to space, or staying with your family? Year 3 children at Ambleside Primary School
Questions about the story Closed Questions Open Questions Intellectual questions / questions beyond the story Phillip Cam, “20 Thinking Tools” Acer 2006 Look and see Use your imagination Ask an expert Thinking questions
The Standard Model for Philosophical Enquiry 1. CIRCLE 2. STIMULUS 3. INVITING QUESTIONS 4. VOTE 5. DIALOGUE 6. DEBRIEF
Talk, talk, talk: Teaching and learning in whole class discourse http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/research/themes/speakandlisten/talktalk/ Over 60% of questions asked by teachers • factual closed questions • to which the teacher already knows the answer Children rarely initiate the sequence their responses are brief – four words on average Fewer than a third of questions asked by teachers • are higher order questions • to develop pupils’ understanding We are missing opportunities to help pupils make connections between what they already know and their own new ideas
Socratic Questioning Can you give an example of...? Can you explain that...? Can you put it another way...? How do we know that...? Do you have any evidence...? What if someone else were to suggest that...? What would be the consequences of that...? How could you test to see if it were true? How does what was said help us...? Are we any closer to answering the question/problem...? Is there another point of view...?
Why Philosophy? • does not deal with hard facts • the ability to give good reasons • problem seeking and creative thinking • ethical thinking and logical enquiry – citizenship education • look at familiar ideas in new ways
What is different about P4C? • An approach to learning that is relevant in every area of the curriculum • Children provoked into asking questions related to the topic and interesting to themselves. • Children respond thoughtfully to a number of conflicts or arguments, not listen to one view only • Explore ideas on wider concepts • Teacher as facilitator - not giving own opinion • Discussion is through reasoning, to make the issues clearer • All ideas treated with respect, but all ideas face critique
Investigating other forms of stimuli Working in pairs, consider the following questions in relation to your chosen stimulus: 1. How would you introduce the stimulus to your students? 2. What possible philosophical concepts/issues could be covered through the use of this stimulus? 3. What possible philosophical questions could arise? 4. Do you have any reservations in using this stimulus?
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