Philosophy of Treasures and An Invitation…

This week, a worked example of how to juice your topic for fantastic philosophical questions. And scroll down to learn more about a really exciting three-day P4C extravaganza in May that’s open to all. 

Digs, Hoards and Treasures!

Thank you to staff at Mountfield Heath School, with whom I spent Monday, for their role in creating some of the ideas below. After a morning of INSET exploring the the three principles of Philosophy Circles, the afternoon saw us plan new questions and activities to put into action right away.

Their spiral curriculum means everyone is currently learning about “Digs, Hoardes and Treasures”, which covers pirates, dinosaurs and everything in between. 

As always, we used our Philosophic Topic Processor (below) to form questions out of concepts, and then have fun in choosing what kind of activity or stimuli would capture imaginations. Here are a few examples:

It’s very fun to come up with questions like these, and even more fun to flesh out the stimuli, for example:

The Philosophy in Role narrative could involve finding a treasure map marked with an X… but later finding out the map has been stolen. If you follow the stolen map to the treasure, are you therefore stealing the treasure?

The letter about the dinosaur bones could present a dilemma – there’s a chance of dinosaur bones, but this will only be confirmed by digging up the playground, and therefore no playtime out there for two weeks.

The “ometer” could involve ordering things like an ancient crown, a Viking-gold hoard, rare Roman coins, a time-capsule from an ordinary person, etc.

All of our work with schools involves some kind of curriculum planning – whether it’s the afternoon of a full-day INSET, or after activities run during a half-day’s training, or through our popular Curriculum Clinics

SOPHIA Network Meeting + Pre-Conference Workshops, 24-26 May 

We’re pleased to announce that we are the hosting organisation for this year’s SOPHIA Network Meeting, at St John’s College School, Cambridge. SOPHIA is the European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children, and meets once a year somewhere in Europe. This time, it’s in Jason’s home city.

We start with an optional extra day on Friday 24th, observing us doing workshops with children aged 4-11 – particularly good for teachers new to P4C. Then on Saturday and Sunday it’s the meeting proper, with fantastic workshops and presentations from P4C experts from the UK and around Europe, with a convivial dinner on Saturday night. You don’t need to be experienced in P4C to come – it’s a perfect mix of informality, ideas and inspiration!

It genuinely knocks spots off a typical conference, and with numbers capped at 60 it’s very dialogical and friendly. It’s all run by volunteers, so its very inexpensive – tickets begin at under £20 for local teachers. We both go every year because it’s great CPD for us and we come back with reams of notes to improve our own practice. Plus Cambridge is gorgeous. 

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