Philosophy for Children (P4C)
Philosophy for Children (P4C) develops critical thinking in children. As part of our curiosity curriculum, we use P4C to take children’s wonder at the world around them and hone their questioning skills to find out more. By welcoming a broad range of suggested answers generated by the children, they learn to support each others’ reasoning or challenge it in a respectful, considered way.
At Wigton Infant School we begin by exposing children to a range of pictures and asking them to express what they find interesting about them, or any questions they may have. As childrens’ oracy (speaking and listening) skills develop, we use the SAPERE programme, where children begin by voting to choose a stimulus (an object, sound or image for example), then suggest questions they would like to explore before working as a class to discuss possible answers to the question they have chosen.
Teaching staff manage the inquiry, and occasionally prompt discussion, but the aim is for children to independently “run” the inquiry, using prearranged rules that they have set to give everyone an opportunity to be heard.
Questions children have previously suggested and explored include “Should it be Christmas every day?”, “Are pets people?” and even “Are buildings art?”.
Whilst teachers might provide a stimulus with a certain topic in mind (such as tree branch, with a view to discussing nature), children may well let their curiosity take them on a different path (such as “Are leaves litter?”). Following children’s interests in this way helps them engage with the conversation, which in turn motivates them to practice and develop their oracy, all while considering and (mentally) exploring the world around them.
If you wish to explore P4c at home, you might like to subscribe (for free) to Hometalk for weekly activities: https://dialogueworks.co.uk/hometalk/