Philosophy for Children

The P4C Handbook

‘P4C’ is the shortened name for Philosophy for Children, a methodology developed in the US and now practised in many countries, also under the names philosophical enquiry , philosophy with children, or philosophy for communities.

It’s unique because it develops speaking and listening as well as thinking skills in a collaborative setting. Students work together to reach a better understanding of a question that they’ve chosen themselves- hence they are motivated, engaged, and achieve more.

Because P4C is skills based, it’s a way of learning suitable for all ages and most settings. We find it especially suitable for exploring areas related to the global dimension, but it can be useful in any curriculum area.

This Handbook is a list of resources that we have found useful in P4C sessions. You will find a variety of different types of resources – books, artefacts, video etc. – to appeal to different types of learners. We have made suggestions about the most suitable age group, but this can be interpreted loosely. Instructions are given about how to use each resource and the kinds of philosophical questions that might be or have been asked. We have also indicated which of the eight key concepts of the global dimension each resource relates to.

Teacher Support

Our trainer Anthony Finnerty also runs a twilight session for both primary and secondary teachers called Think Global through Philosophy for Children. This introduces teachers to both global learning and Philosophy for Children.

The course will deepen teacher′s understanding of the values, skills and concepts of global learning, and introduce teachers to critical thinking as a key global learning skill, focussing on the Philosophy for Children (P4C) methodology. Teachers will participate in a philosophical community of enquiry, and understand the impacts of P4C on improving literacy, numeracy and behaviour, as well as exploring how P4C can be used to support the PREVENT agenda.

“A very engaging thought provoking session. Great to have both revision and practical ideas and to have time to reflect on our practice.” Lancashire teacher