Lead researcher Prof’ Stephen Gorard, from the School of Education at Durham University, said: "Our results suggest that these philosophy sessions can have a positive impact on pupils' maths, reading and perhaps their writing skills.
The discussion starts but is then not contained. It follows its own path guided by the children’s thoughts and ideas, agreeing and disagreeing, but always giving a reason for their point of view.
Philosophy for Children promotes a forum for open dialogue, an exchange of ideas, opinions and argument, a place where questions are formulated, information interrogated, alternatives explored and where new theories emerge. It is possible to find a philosophical dimension, and so an opportunity for thinking, reasoning, questioning, challenging and interpreting, in all aspects of the curriculum. If we had the will and the confidence we could embed P4C as an integral component of our curriculum within our schools.
Here is a question to try with your pupils:
If there was a pill you could take which would mean that you would never fail, would you take it? Why ? Why not? Who should take it? When? What for?
Phil Garner is an education consultant and former headteacher who leads P4C sessions in schools. Please contact him on 0800 860 6281 for more information.