Why teach Philosophy?
It may seem strange for a primary school to be teaching philosophy to all of its pupils but it’s really only about ‘big thinking’!
Children ask SO many questions every day and most of them start off with that little word, ‘Why?’
Our philosophy sessions give them the opportunity to ask those questions, to hear what their peers think, to learn how to ‘listen and respond’, to explore their ideas and imaginations, to learn that there are not always ‘right’ answers and to develop their ability to be inclusive, independent, respectful and creative.
Philosophy is not ‘difficult’. Philosophy is about challenging ourselves to ‘think differently’ and become more understanding of others.
A typical session:
- a stimulus is provided with some sort of dilemma (difficult decision)
- the pupils are given a chance to think about this and some reasons for their choice
- the class then shares their thoughts using a strict ‘hands up to talk’ approach
- the talker then chooses the next ‘hand up’ to respond
This maximises our ‘pupil voice’ and encourages our pupils to value THEIR contributions to a lesson.
We find that the pupils really enjoy this chance to talk/share/think/argue/debate and use their reasoning skills. Above all, it helps them to learn to ‘think outside of the box’ and see ‘the bigger picture’.
Further information and resources:
If you’d like to know more, please follow these links:
- P4C – an introduction to the ‘Philosophy for Children’ initiative.
- Sapere – ‘Sapere’ means ‘ to know’ – perhaps you knew that!
- The Philosophy Man – Jason Buckley is considered as the ‘guru’ of P4C and many of his ideas are brought into sessions.
How do we deliver this curriculum?
- Classes will have a topic posted on Google Classroom once every 6 weeks as part of their Music/Philosophy sessions.
- This will be a set homework task.
- Although we have a topic-based curriculum based on current class learning, we are adaptable and responsive to significant events in school, the wider community and globally.
- Topics can be suggested by class teachers/pup[ils.
- Following a classroom-based presentation and preliminary debate, pupils will make their comments on Google Classroom online for others to respond – this is overseen/moderated by a teacher.
As always, we hope that parents/carers will join in and encourage the development of their child’s independence and engagement with learning.