"The Mind is like a parachute; it works best when it is open." Frank Zappa

Philosophy for Children, or P4C as it is more commonly known, is a thinking skills programme which was developed by Matthew Lipman with his associates at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children(IAPC), Montclair State University.

It has an ultimate aim of making students more reasonable. Lipman advocated that the goal of education should be to develop ‘practical wisdom’ or ‘good judgement’.

Philosophy for Children is about creating a space where a group or community of children can generate their own philosophy based on their responses to a given stimulus. As the community becomes used to thinking together in this way, mutual respect and confidence are built up over time.

Research in P4C provides evidence that it not only increases thinking and listening skills, but also skills of communication, self-esteem, confidence, behaviour and engagement with learning across subject areas.

Traditionally, P4C has been classroom based in most of the 80 countries it is now practised, but it is increasingly used to make sense of and deepen experiences in the outdoors, communities and other sectors of education.

Further information about Philosophy for Children 

My P4C articles and resources

Exploring Time and Place Ed. Hilary Cooper Chapter by me about 'Time and Place Capsules' for EYFS  Chapter 7 p77  You can download a free pdf on the link

9 KS2 What can we learn from religious texts Buried Treasure August 2020

This is the outcome of an inspiring project I was involved in with Cumbria SACRE faith representatives. A Unit of Work based on our NASACRE Westhill Award Trust funded project called Buried Treasure.

Cumbria P4C is 25 Autumn 2020 newsletter

50 page newsletter celebrating Cumbria P4C is 25 - features a SAPERE 2002 newsletter with reflections from contributors in 2020.

Blobtree images and tools inspire Cumbrian teachers during Covid-19

An article written by me following training in February 2020 by Ian Long from Blobtree. Written in May 2020, and updated in September 2020 as part of Cumbria P4C is 25

Safe P4C document

A collaboration of ideas from P4C practitioners and Dialogue Works
P4C in the time of Corona
Keeping your community safe
September 2020

How can the Philosopher's Backpack enrich critical global thinking?

Global Learning Programme Innovation Fund Research Series Paper 6
Published by the GLP in collaboration with the Development Education Research Centre, UCL Institute of Education, London (2018)

Using P4C to improve writing

SAPERE Case study: Armathwaite School
I have built on this work to run courses for teachers and students in speech writing about the Sustainable Development Goals

Embedding P4C and Global Learning in the new Primary Maths Curriculum

SAPERE 2015 newsletter: "Embedding P4C and Global Learning in the new Primary Maths Curriculum: using infographics as a stimulus"

Giving Pupils a Voice through Global Learning

Global Learning Programme (GLP) Case Study

Opening Young Minds to Diversity

Global Dimension

Dismantling Disadvantage in Cumbria Newsletter Summer 2019

My arrticle about P4C on p3

Dismantling Disadvantage in Cumbria Newsletter January 2020

My article about P4C on p2

Handout Preparing pupils for Life in Modern Britain.

A handout produced for Cumbria SACRE conference in 2015 alongside a P4C demonstration done by pupils from Armathwaite School.

P4C and Institute of Outdoor Learning

Article from 2010 from the Horizon's Magazine, Institute of Outdoor Learning

Enquiry Based Learning

Enquiry Based Learning by Open Futures. Section written about Armathwaite School "Communities of Learning" which explains approach to P4C with Reception children using Philosophy Frog.

The impact of philosophical enquiry with children on development education.

Development Education Journal, 8 (1), pp. 15– 17 Rowley C. & Yates, J. (2001)

Critical Thinking Skills Project 2011 - Independent Evaluation

Thinking Skills and Community Cohesion Project
Philosophy for Children(P4C)
Evaluation by Jane Yates
Commissioned by Liverpool One World Centre

A typical session includes a stimulus such as a story, photo, artefact or experience. Participants generate philosophical questions and one is selected as the main focus of enquiry by the community.  The enquiry is guided by a facilitator, whose role is crucial in encouraging thinking and dialogue that is collaborative, caring, critical and creative.