Philosophy for children (P4C)
Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an approach based on sociocratic dialogue. It builds higher order thinking, questioning, speaking and listening skills. It creates respect for others, promotes engagement with learning and enhances educational development. Through enquiry style questions that are open ended and rigorous, it offers the learners the opportunity to develop their thinking skills through exploratory talk and the careful use of reasoning.
At Pelham, each class will have a weekly session based on the 4 C’S of P4C:
- Critical – What do I think? Questioning
- Creative – What other ideas are there? Hypothesing
- Caring – What do others feel? Listening and empathizing
- Collaborative – What do others think? Pooling knowledge and referring
There are 10 steps in follow in a P4C session.
- Warm – up – this can be a quick game
- Presentation of stimulus – this can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic
- Thinking time – giving the children time to think about the stimulus
- Conversation – having a discussion based on their thinking
- Formulation of questions – children think of questions based on the stimulus
- Airing of questions – children share their questions with the class
- Selection – children get to fairly vote for their favourite question
- First words – the children who thought of the question discuss why they chose it
- Building – other children then build on the question or discussion
- Final words – any final discussion points
There is a huge range of stimulus’ used at Pelham. These two images are examples of visual stimulus’.
Here are a few examples of questions the children thought of, related to the stimuli;
Why are the other chicks leaving him behind?
Why is no one helping?
Why are they leaving him out because he looks different?
Why aren’t his parents helping?
Why are the black chicks ignoring the yellow chick?
P4C has been proven to improve self-confidence and self–esteem in pupils, as well as developing children’s emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills.