Monday, 17 June 2013

The BIG questions - Philosophy for Children (P4C)

This term a group of 13 students from Years 5-8 having been meeting regularly on Thursdays to discuss matters of philosophy. Guided by Carol and Wendy, they have thought deeply about a number of ideas, and examined their beliefs and understandings about their world.

Whether it is truth or beauty, friendship or fairness, violence or justice, what’s right or what’s real, philosophy deals with so many things that children love to discuss.

Developed more than thirty years ago by Dr. Matthew Lipman, Philosophy for Children is an international educational programme taught widely in many countries. Students learn to listen to, respect and understand a diverse range of views. They 'grow' their thinking, broaden their ideas, and realise there are different perspectives on every issue. They begin to develop the confidence and intellectual courage to put forward their own views in a group.

Here is a list of some of the questions that came up in last week's discussion on 'What is violence?' - these ideas will be explored further:
  • Is it ok to help a friend, even if you're going to get into trouble?
  • Do two wrongs make a right?
  • Do we need to prove ourselves to others?
  • When is it right to 'get even'? Do we need to get even?
  • Why do parents treat children differently?
  • Should we hold grudges?
  • Does anger affect our choices?
  • Why do people treat others badly?
  • Why do people value different things?
  • Who decides how money should be spent?
Discussions around the dinner table in the homes of these students will have been particularly stimulating recently! 

To understand what a P4C community of inquiry session looks and sounds like, this Australian video gives you a good 'taster'.

Information about P4C thanks to P4C NZ.

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