1st Edition

A Teacher's Guide to Philosophy for Children

    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    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.

    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

    Skillful Questioning

    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?

    Sample Themes

    What Next?

    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

    Whole School

    Beacon School

    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

    Theoretical Perspectives




    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?

    Critical Thinking

    Which Students Do We Teach to Think?

    An Introduction to Logical Reasoning Skills

    Creative Thinking

    Intelligent Students!

    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

    Participant Perceptions


    Research Design


    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’

    Overcoming Bias

    A Brief Note on Philosophical Ideas About Truth

    Concluding Comments on Participation and Democracy



    11. Lessons Learned in Sustaining and Embedding

    An Example

    What You Need to Do

    Habits and Dispositions


    Cautionary Tales: Sustaining over Time

    Skills for the World

    Skills for the Future

    Final Thoughts


    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.

    "This book is aimed at teachers, leaders, and policy makers who are curious about introducing philosophy for children into schools. Anyone in this position could not do much better than to buy a copy of this book. It has been carefully put together by authors with expertise in philosophy for children, and practical experience of how schools and other educational settings work both in the United Kingdom and internationally."

    -Jane Gatley, Educational Review