I tried out some P4C (Philosophy for Children) last year and was very impressed with the response. I want to do it more widely and more regularly this year, but want to deal with a couple of niggles I had about how I did it last year.
Luckly, I work with the wonderful Peter Llewellyn who is bit of P4C Guru at our school, so I went to him for a bit of a refresher. I thought I’d share my notes here, in case they’re of use to anyone else.
1. Make sure you’ve covered the idea of philosophical questions ahead of time. (I’m going to be using the list of questions that Will Ord has on his website – follow the link and click ‘questions and Socrates’ from the right hand menu.)

2. Make sure you get the stimulus right

3. Start by getting an emotional reaction to the stimulus

4. Give a set amount of time (3 mins) in silence for each person to come up with their own question

5. Pair students up and get them to share their questions. Get the students to select the better question.

6. Put the pairs together into 4s. Repeat the selection process

7. Add each groups question to the board. Give the option for any wild card questions (anyone who thinks theirs, or someone else’s in the group is good enough to be on the board)

8. By blind vote select the question. Give each student two votes, which they can either split between two questions, or double up on one.

9. Allow the person who asked the question to introduce it. Step back.

Pete also mentioned the idea of giving specific roles to members of the group to help facilitate the discussion.

I’ll let you know how I get on with it!

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