Who are we?
As a teacher of English, Jason Buckley rotated around form groups, telling philosophical stories and getting arguments going off the back of them. Years later when he was looking for a name for his new organisation, he remembered one boy exclaiming “Yay, it’s the Philosophy Man!”
Whilst Jason was fast becoming an internationally-renowned speaker, Tom Bigglestone was heading up his own projects as Head of Religious Studies.
From small beginnings in 2008, The Philosophy Man is now the UK's leading independent provider of P4C training and workshops. We spend as much time in the classroom as we do delivering training, as we ‘show our working’ in front of children of all ages.
Why do we do it?
More and more children arrive in reception scarcely talking at all.
Parents distracted by social media speak less to their children, and the impact is growing. If children don't learn to talk confidently to groups in their primary years, it's unlikely they ever will. It impacts their learning and their economic and social potential.
And with the ever-increasing pressure from above, genuine opportunities for face-to-face dialogue and independent thinking can be squeezed out. Our mission to is empower teachers to find those moments in their existing curriculum, and remind themselves of why they went into teaching.
How do we do it?
When we work with schools that have already tried Philosophy for Children, we often get feedback such as, “When we had philosophy training before, we wanted to do it. But now we know how to make it work.” So we created Philosophy Circles.
In Philosophy Circles, the facilitator usually asks the first question, so the discussion gets started faster. The children’s own questions are still important, but they emerge through discussion. Rather than stages, Philosophy Circles is built around three facilitation principles which run through the whole process. It makes it more fast-paced and versatile for use across the curriculum.
Compelling, physically active openings to promote everybody’s engagement. How to bring playground confidence into the classroom and create engagement from the first minute.
Opportunities for sustained disagreement that create CHALLENGE. How to spot juicy philosophical questions within your existing subjects to generate deeper learning.
Take a Back Seat
The crucial shift in the teacher’s role and status that give children INDEPENDENCE. How to plan less and feel confident in letting discussion grow organically.
What do we do?
We provide everything your school needs for lasting success. From the first steps of growing staff confidence...
For schools starting out with P4C, or looking to revitalise it.
Through staff INSET or observing workshops, followed by twilight INSET.
Prepares everyone with the skills and resources to make an immediate start with their own classes.
To embedding philosophical thinking as part of your school ethos...
Our Headteachers'/Deputies workshops outlines the principles of Philosophy Circles, by putting them into practice through fun and interactive demonstrations, before suggesting ways to share them with colleagues.
For schools who have had our training and now want to empower staff to 'own it more', and embed their own P4C ideas into their topics
A great INSET day today learning all about how to use P4C effectively in the classroom with The Philosophy Man. A morning of thought provoking discussion, plenty of involvement, and lots of great ideas to take away. A big thanks to @makethinkingfun #letsgettalking pic.twitter.com/nywY5bnkmK
— FPS Stewart House (@FPSStewartHouse) January 8, 2018
P3 loved their #philosophy in role session with Tom today. They had to make so many decisions while making their way through the thick jungle. But should they eat the villagers food without getting permission??🤔@DominicPrimary @makethinkingfun pic.twitter.com/7NbRLh7DNc
— St Dominic's P7 (@MrsORourke6) February 16, 2018
Interested in creating a 'buzz'?
Interested in making a booking? Send us a quick message with your contact details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Feedback from recent training:
"I cannot describe the buzz and vibe from the staff, all down to you."
"You really did create a huge buzz in school, which is a difficult shout on the first day back! You covered everything we wanted out of the training and gave us mountains of material to use in class. I loved the fact you gave each phase some planning time to discuss ideas and plan sessions and then trial them out of colleagues. You have definitely given us some inspiration and I am very excited to see what happens next."
"There was a buzz during the staff meeting, which for any member of staff attending a staff meeting knows this is a rare thing! All the staff said how enthused and excited they felt to get back into their classrooms and try out the methods they had been shown."
"The questions raised interested everyone and there was a real buzz in the room. Our training was full of practical activities and games, with the just the right amount of discussion about teaching techniques interspersed. What an inspiring day!"
"It is us who would like to thank you. It was such an inspirational INSET and the staff were truly excited. Several of us have run introductory sessions with the children and although it is early days the enthusiasm is palpable."