Philosophy for Children (P4C) engages children in developing their own questions in response to a given stimulus (picture books work brilliantly for this). They then enquire thoughtfully, and collaboratively, into their choice of question, guided by the facilitator (the teacher). Finally they reflect on their thoughts and participation, and suggest how they could improve on their learning (skills and content) next time. Consequently, both the process and the content of learning are simultaneously developed.
Why do we teach philosophy?
Research shows that children who are taught philosophy make improvements in their academic progress. They do so because philosophy:
- develops children's thinking skills
- encourages collaborative working and learning
- advances social and emotional development
Philosophy is an approach that is used successfully from EYFS through to Year 6, as it works on a spiral curriculum. This means that the same concepts can be explored in Nursery right through to Year 6, with discussions being developed by pupils’ increasing experience of contexts and experiences as they progress through each year group.
How can philosophy support children with talking and thinking across the curriculum?
By experiencing philosophy teaching, children develop their ability to think more widely, ask questions and, share and consider opinions. They can then apply these skills to their learning across the curriculum, developing their academic ability and understanding. Philosophy is a fantastic tool for helping learners develop across the whole primary curriculum.