P4C Stimulus: Pet Ates

Last week, the South Korean government passed a new law banning the dog-meat trade. Its popularity is at an all-time low, with less than a fifth of South Koreans saying they support it. Before you present the real-world story, it’s interesting to turn it on its head. Show the pictures below and say they show a new social media trend from fifty years in the future. What do they think is the new fashion?

After revealing that the latest thing in 2074 is posing with your pet, and then posing with your pet in stew form, ask the following question. If more people decided eating their pets was OK, would that make it OK?

Once you’ve explored that, you can reveal the real news story. Draw attention to how unhappy some older Koreans are about the change.

This news story serves as an interesting stimulus for a range of philosophical questions:

  • If you oppose the consumption of dog meat, should you oppose the consumption of all meat?
  • The dog-meat trade’s popularity is dying out, so should it be left to die out too?
  • Is public opinion the best guide for making laws? Or is it something else.
  • When should the majority get to tell the minority what they can and can’t do?

Fifty years from now?

In our online classes this week, we’ve been using our “Ometer” resource (which we’ve detailed in previous bulletins) where students sort items, events or scenarios along a philosophical scale of most to least x.

In some sessions, students decided their own theme and question, and one group plucked for “Which of our current norms and practices will baffle future generations the most?”

A good rule of thumb is to come up with a few that might end up towards the “Most” end of the spectrum (“How on earth did people think that was a good idea?”), then a few towards the “Least” and a few in the middle. And then order them from there. Our group came up with:

  • Putting people in prison
  • Farming animals
  • Posting on social media
  • Keeping pets
  • 40-hour working week
  • School examinations

What else can your students add? And how would they order them?

Book an Oracy/Philosophy Day for your school

Most of our work is in schools during term-time, running demonstration workshops, followed by some twilight INSET in the staff meeting time (learn more here). We often run days working with entire year groups. We’re now taking bookings for the remainder of this academic year – just reply to this email to start a conversation about how we could help your school.

Here’s what the Philosophy Lead at a school in Surrey had to say about our recent two days there:

“The difficulty was getting the message across to my colleagues. I hosted a short staff meeting on P4C, but having Tom to host the sessions in class and the INSET for all staff was a fantastic way of showing the power and importance of P4C in the classroom and with all age groups. The variety of sessions with the different age groups was a great way of seeing a good range of the different activities one could do with the girls.

All the staff came away with a huge array of practical and fun ways to enhance teaching and learning. They were all very enthusiastic and excited about putting the ideas into practice.

The two days were amazing. The visit far exceeded my expectations. Tom was amazing too – he kept the girls and staff thoroughly engaged throughout the whole time he was with us. He matched the skills and ability of all the classes he worked with, from Reception to Year 6. We all learnt a great deal from his time with us!”

Contact us today to talk about how we can work with you.

Best wishes,

Tom and Jason

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