First of all stories engage. When a teller tells a story well the audiencevisualize the story so that it seems to happen before them. If you want children to think, first of all they must be engaged.
Secondly, stories enable children to grasp complex ideas very naturally, where in the abstract, they would be lost. Tell the story of ‘Scylla and Charybdis’ from The Odyssey and children can follow the complexities of ethical dilemmas that would be nigh on impossible for them in the abstract.
Thirdly, stories can be used to activate the children as moral agents. You can stop the story at the crisis point, the difficult decision or the conflict, and instead of simply reading on, you could ask the class questions: ‘What do you think [the character]should do?’, ‘What do you think [the character] will do?’, ‘What would you do?’ and ‘What do…
Posted by on 2nd February 2016 at 12:00am
There is a popular approach to doing philosophy with children that involves presenting a stimulus (often a picture book), having the children formulate questions, gathering and sorting the questions and then having the children vote on a question to discuss. There can be great value in this student-centred approach to discussions, however it can make doing P4C in the curriculum more difficult. The reason for this is that, according to the principles of a standard P4C Community of Inquiry in the UK, the children significantly determine the direction of the discussion. So, if you’ve chosen the picture book Elmer by David McKee because you want the class to explore the notion of ‘difference’, there is always the danger that the children will focus on a completely different theme with the question that they vote on or that they naturally move towards during the discussion, such as…
Posted by on 18th November 2015 at 12:00am
World Philosophy Day is here again on Thursday 19th November.
Download free lesson plans from our website to inspire your classes; don a beret or a beard and get thinking!
In Peter Worley’s latest book, 40 lessons to get children thinking (one for every week of the school year, plus a spare, because philosophy isn’t just for a day!), he wants to inspire young thinkers to become philosophers.
Posted by on 11th November 2015 at 12:00am
Philosophy has been in the news a good deal this week due to some very positiveresearch by EEF into SAPERE’s model that notes improvements to reading and maths. Tom Bennett wrote a piece responding to the P4C buzz yesterday:Philosophy. For children? When thinking requires thinking about something. This is my response to that piece, piece by piece.
Posted by on 24th July 2015 at 12:00am