Philosophy for Children builds higher order thinking, questioning, speaking and listening skills and supports the development of children's thinking skills, concentrating on the 4Cs of philosophical thinking – Caring, Creative, Critical, and Collaborative. We believe that this helps to nurture children socially, to improve their learning across the curriculum and to develop the confidence to voice opinions, whilst respecting others’ views. P4C has no right or wrong answer but gives us all a chance to share what we think based on a stimulus ( a video, story, piece of art etc). At Stoke Park we use P4C in all areas of the curriculum.
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?”
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 (Community).
At Stoke Park P4C is a timetabled regular activity so that the children develop their skills and understanding over time. The role of the facilitator is crucial to ensuring quality dialogue and progress, as well as integration with the curriculum; all our staff are trained by SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education).
It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, social and emotional development.