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5 Minutes to 5 Years: What to Aim for in P4C

This week, a resource to get you thinking about what to aim for in P4C, from short segments within a single enquiry to thinking strategically over five years about whole-school P4C. It’s not intended to be an authoritative or comprehensive resource, just a starting point for your thinking. This attachment – click to download – contains both black and white and colour versions.
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Zoom In, Zoom Out
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Zooming in to small details or moments, and zooming out to the bigger picture, or great expanses of time, can be a powerful way to plan, understand and explain at different, interconnected levels. A biologist might think about the same organism in terms of what is happening moment to moment, daily or seasonal rhythms, a whole life cycle, or in evolutionary time. In history, you might look at the diary of an individual soldier, a particular battle, a campaign, or the international alliances of the combatants. Or if the children are planning a project, you might get them to think about what they need to achieve at different timescales, rather like the attached “P4C 5 Minutes to 5 Years.”
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Happy Hour?
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Just as the question, “What makes for good P4C?” can be answered for different timescales, so broader questions such as “What is happiness?” can be explored by zooming in to the short term, or zooming out to longer periods. Is someone truly happy if they are enjoying a good holiday? Or is meaningful happiness something to be considered over a year or a lifetime?
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Or turning to friendship, what is the best timescale for thinking about whether two people are friends? If two people are having a fight, can they still be friends? What if they have not seen one another for years?
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Thinking Moves
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Zoom In and Zoom Out are among the “Thinking Moves” explored in the book of that name that Tom and I are assisting Roger Sutcliffe in preparing for launch in September. It will break much of the thinking of learning and everyday life into an A-Z of moves that are easier to teach, learn and practice than more general schemes for thinking about thinking. Watch this space!

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