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Philosophy for Children

What is P4C?

P4C is short for ‘Philosophy for Children’ and is an approach to learning and teaching. P4C is a recognised worldwide movement and practice, that was founded by Professor Matthew Lipman.  P4C has developed over 35 years, and is practised in approximately 60 countries worldwide.

Through P4C, children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions, which they then use as a focus for their philosophical enquiry. For example, the question might be 'is it ever ok to steal?  The teacher’s role, as facilitator, is to support the children in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way they 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. 

It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, social and emotional development. P4C is about getting children to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves.

At Royal Park, we believe that P4C is a key strategy to build confidence, develop oracy and empower silent children to speak. Through a whole school approach to the implementation P4C we have seen a huge shift in confidence and the children’s ability to articulate their learning.  As a result, it has greatly improved the children’s writing, with children using language they have heard or shared in a P4C lesson and also have the ability to reason and support their ideas. 

P4C has also seen our children engage with real-life issues affecting the world today. By actively participating in debate and enquiry, awareness of social, political, environmental and spiritual issues has deepened significantly; our children are now confident to share their views, stand up for their beliefs and be proud of their culture and values.

If you wish to learn more about P4C then please visit www.sapere.org.uk or speak to Miss Holdway, P4C leader.