Philosophy for Children

P4C, a methodology of teaching and learning, was created by Matthew Lipman over 35 years ago and has been developed and practised in 60 countries. At Redhill School, it is introduced to children at various levels and in various ways, from 3 years old to matric. The most revolutionary pedagogical shift in P4C is teaching children to develop their own philosophical questions (e.g. “Is Charlie, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory lucky?”,  “Is Macbeth subject to ambition or fate?”) rather than being focused on the answers of ‘ordinary school’. Once questions have been developed the students are led through philosophical enquiries or dialogues. The teacher’s role moves from ‘knower-of-answers’ to guide, where supporting thinking, reasoning and questioning are the focus, as well as finding links to a deepened understanding of the curriculum. After an enquiry, reflection is encouraged, so that the individual and the group can examine their thinking (e.g. “Has my thinking changed?”. “How was my quality of thinking, reasoning and participation?”, “What have I learnt through the dialogue?”). The cognitive, metacognitive, social and emotional development and benefits are remarkable. P4C’s main objective is to create independent thinkers, who can communicate complex and well-reasoned arguments.