A Teacher’s Guide to Philosophy for Children provides educators with the process and structures to engage children in inquiring as a group into ‘big’ moral, ethical and spiritual questions, while also considering curricular necessities and the demands of national and local standards.
Based on the actual experiences of educators in diverse and global classroom contexts, this comprehensive guide gives you the tools you need to introduce philosophical thinking into your classroom, curriculum and beyond. Drawing on research-based educational and psychological models, this book highlights the advantages gained by students who regularly participate in philosophical discussion: from building cognitive and social/emotional development, to becoming more informed citizens. Helpful tools and supplementary online resources offer additional frameworks for supporting and sustaining a higher level of thinking and problem-solving among your students.
This practical guide is essential reading for teachers, coaches and anyone wondering how you can effectively teach philosophy in your classroom.
Table of Contents
1. Introducing Thinking Through Philosophy
For Whom Is This Book Written?
Clarifying the Term ‘Philosophy for Children’
Teachers ‘Making a Difference’ Through Philosophical Inquiry
Philosophical Inquiry: Both ‘Practical’ and ‘Evidence Based’
A Psychological and Educational Perspective on a Philosophical Process
The Structure of This Book
2. Aims and Process of Philosophy for Children
What is Philosophy for Children?
What Makes an Inquiry Philosophical?
What Are the Aims of Philosophy for Children?
What Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge Do Teachers Need to Facilitate Inquiries?
Are Children Capable of Philosophical Thinking?
Developing Teachers’ Facilitation Skills
Does Inquiry Need to Be Philosophical?
Infusing Philosophical Inquiry into Other Subjects
Space for Philosophy for Children in a Crowded Curriculum
What This Chapter Has Been About
3. From Theory into Practice
The Need for a Structure
What is Philosophical Inquiry in Practical Terms?
What is a Community of Inquiry?
The Rational and Moral Dimensions
Useful Strategies for Building the Inquiry
Thinking Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence
The Seven Steps to Philosophical Inquiry: Lesson Plan
The Three Stages of Development
Making a Start
What about Kindergarten?
Route Map for Introducing P4C Through TTP
4. From Small to Large: Different Contexts for Philosophical Inquiry
Lunch Club/After-School Club
A Single Class
The School District Program
External Provision of P4C
College and Community
5. How Inquiry Promotes More Effective Learning
How Philosophical Inquiry Improves Learning
How Teachers Can Support Students Construct Their Thinking and Learning
Transfer Across Subject Boundaries and Beyond
Challenging Themes: An Example Beyond the Curriculum
Higher Order Thinking
Communities Support Learning
6. Educating Students to Think: The Contribution of Philosophical Inquiry
What Are Some of the Issues Around Teaching Thinking?
Why Promote Thinking and Problem Solving in the Classroom?
Which Students Do We Teach to Think?
An Introduction to Logical Reasoning Skills
The Challenge of Thinking
7. Communication, Dialogue and Social/Emotional Development
Thought and Feeling Are Inseparable
Can Philosophical Inquiry Help Re-Educate Emotions?
Parallels Between Philosophical Inquiry and ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’
Participation, Communication and Social Wellbeing
Communication in the Classroom
Improving Communication and Dialogue in the Classroom
8. Does P4C Work? Evaluation Research
Why Evaluate the Effectiveness of Thinking Programs?
Placing Philosophy for Children Within Thinking Skills Interventions
Early Evaluation Studies of Philosophy for Children
Systematic Reviews of Philosophy for Children
Evaluation of the Thinking Through Philosophy Program
What Research Methods Are Best for Evaluating Effects of Philosophy for Children?
Overall Conclusions About the Effects of Philosophy for Children
9. Evaluating Philosophical Inquiry
Generalization and Maintenance
Analysis of Data
Evaluation Results Feedback and Dissemination
10. Truth, Democracy and Classroom Communities of Inquiry
Is Truth Problematic? Should Teachers Be Concerned?
Is There a Threat to Healthy Democracies?
Conspiracy Theorists and What Is Truth
Historical Concerns Over Truth
Concerns About Truth in Other Countries
What Can Be Done?
Cognitive Biases Complicate ‘Truth’
A Brief Note on Philosophical Ideas About Truth
Concluding Comments on Participation and Democracy
11. Lessons Learned in Sustaining and Embedding
What You Need to Do
Habits and Dispositions
Cautionary Tales: Sustaining over Time
Skills for the World
Skills for the Future
Keith J. Topping is Professor at the University of Dundee, UK.
Steven Trickey is Scholar in Residence at American University, USA.
Paul Cleghorn is an education consultant at Aude Education, UK.