Philosophy for Children (P4C)

‘Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.’ Margaret Mead
Curriculum Intent
Through the delivery of our curriculum, we want our children to be ready for life beyond St John's Church of England Academy.
 
We aspire for them to be:
Articulate
Aspirational
Curious
Appreciative
P4C 
During P4C, we concentrate on how children focus on their thinking skills and communal dialogue whilst aiming to build 'communities of enquiry' where participants develop the 4C's: creative, critical, caring and collaborative skills.
  • Caring = listening (concentrating) and valuing (appreciating) (e.g. showing interest in, and sensitivity to, others’ experiences and values
  • Collaborative = responding (communicating) and supporting (conciliating) (e.g. building on each other’s ideas, shaping common understandings and purposes)
  • Critical = questioning (interrogating) and reasoning (evaluating) (e.g. seeking meaning, evidence, reasons, distinctions, and good judgements)
  • Creative = connecting (relating) and suggesting (speculating) (e.g. providing comparisons, examples, criteria, alternative explanations or conceptions)

Key Skills for P4C

Through P4C the children develop skills in

  • Asking questions
  • Giving reasons
  • Making distinctions/connections

Asking Questions

Teachers and parents ask children questions all the time, however a philosophical question considers CONCEPTS that are:

  • Common (we all use concepts on a daily basis)
  • Central (at the heart of how human beings think of themselves, others and things)
  • Contestable (meaning is fuzzy at the edges and depend upon situation and context)
  • Connected to experience (they need to be connected to our experiences to be meaningful)

For example, if discussing the story of Cinderella we might ask things like

Why are the stepsisters mean?

How would it feel to wear a glass slipper?

What did the mice turn into?

What time did the clock strike?

 

To make it a philosophical question we need to think about the concepts we see in the story - things like

ugly/beauty    fair/unfair    hardworking/lazy        kind/mean

rich/poor    reality/fiction    power/powerless        real/magic

Then we can come up with questions like:

Is ugliness to do with how you appear or how you behave?

Can you be good all the time?

Are good people, people who are good all the time?

Can you do a bad thing and still be a good person?

Giving Reasons

We encourage the children to explain why they think something, or why they have made this choice.

We use ideas like:

 

Would you rather? (out of these 3 things which would you rather do)

Good idea? Bad Idea?

Put things in order from the most important to the least important.

Agree or disagree lines.

Making distinctions/connections

The children are given opportunities to explain the similarities and differences between objects and ideas.

For example through activities like ‘Odd One Out’

 

          Belonging          Perseverance          Respect          Forgiveness          Truth          Aspiration