P4C is an approach to learning and teaching, now a recognised worldwide movement and practice. It has developed over 35 years, and is practised in approximately 60 countries.
Children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue. For example the question might be 'Is it ever ok to steal?’
The teacher, as facilitator, supports the children in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the children speak and listen to each other in the dialogue. After the enquiry the children and facilitator reflect on the quality of the thinking, reasoning and participation, and suggest how they could improve; either as individuals or as a group (community).
At Stowford School all year groups have a weekly P4C lesson so that the children develop their skills and understanding over time. The role of the facilitator is crucial to ensuring quality dialogue and progress, as well as integration with the curriculum.
It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, social and emotional development. P4C is about getting children to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves.