TPF and P4C
Some P4C practitioners (though not all) clearly distinguish 'Philosophy for Children' and philosophy as an academic subject. TPF's interest is in doing philosophy. When we do philosophy with children it is 'P4C', but when we do philosophy with adults it is 'P4A' and so on. For TPF, methodologically there is very little difference between P4C and P4A. In this respect TPF practices 'P4X' - philosophy for anyone.
Inspired by a dialogical tradition of doing philosophy begun by Socrates in Athens 2,500 years ago, The Philosophy Foundation developed it’s own method of doing philosophy (including P4C). TPF’s starting place is to draw from the philosophical canon, then to devise a session that makes the controversies within a philosophical issue accessible to a particular age-group of children, often (though not always) linking the session to topics within the national curriculum. In short, we provide the conditions and opportunity for a class of children to be able to recognise a philosophical problem as a problem and then to be able to properly dialogue with each other so that they are able to begin to explore the issue in a way appropriate to philosophical investigation (see ‘What is philosophy?’).
We train and accredit philosophy graduates and undergraduates in facilitation and questioning skills to work in schools directly with students and their classroom teachers. This approach ensures students are given the opportunity to philosophise with a philosophically-informed facilitator, and that teachers training with us are trained and coached by a resident philosopher who also works within the school, ensuring high standards of pedagogical practice and philosophical understanding.
TPF have developed a proprietary closed-questioning, dialectical method of facilitation that promotes the elicitation of formal argumentation and the subsequent examination and evaluation of those arguments by the children, with minimal interference from the facilitator beyond structural, dialectical guidance. See Peter Worley's papers on academia for more on these ideas.
Peter and Emma Worley set up The Philosophy Foundation in 2007 to train philosophy graduates to be able to do philosophy with young children. The Philosophy Foundation now works with over 90 classes every week, reaching 9,000 beneficiaries per year, and provides Teacher Training in TPF's method of P4C with Partner Schools.