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Philosophy 4 Children

Philosophy 4 Children (P4C) is aimed at getting children to think and communicate well; to think more critically for themselves and be able to justify their reasoning. P4C is practised all over the world and is rapidly expanding into schools across the UK. At Ashley High, P4C is introduced in Year 7. The structured sessions are cross-curricular and include Personal Development sessions over a half term block.

During P4C sessions, children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue. For example the question might be 'is it ever ok to steal?' During the enquiry the children are encouraged to provide their own thoughts and opinions (it is perfectly fine to agree or disagree with a fellow peer!)

The teacher, as facilitator, supports the children in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the children speak and listen to each other in the dialogue. After the enquiry the children and facilitator reflect on the quality of the thinking, reasoning and participation, and suggest how they could improve; either as individuals or as a group. Verbal discussions generated during the P4C sessions are recorded in class Big Books.

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