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P4C Activity: Talking About Holidays

Starting Positions is our go-to way to getting everyone quickly engaged. It’s simple to set up: Get everyone standing in pairs, with two clear sides, and give a fun, low-stakes question for each side to argue. Then raise the stakes by going from pairs (1v1), to fours (2v2), to eights (4v4), keeping one side arguing against another with harder questions each time.
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Here’s one on Holidays, that proved very successful in a workshop last week:
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2s: What’s better: a holiday in the countryside, or the city?
4s: Is it OK to fly to just go away for a weekend?
8s: Is global tourism a force for good or for bad?
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Assign each side a perspective throughout the activity, and once both sides of the final question have been given a fair hearing, they can switch to show what they really think by standing on one side or the other. It may feel artificial to start by pushing children to come up with reasons for one side or the other, rather than just saying what they think. But you’re not replacing the sharing of opinions, just making them better informed by making sure both sides have reasons. There are lots of issues at stake in this question: environmental, economic and cultural.
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For another holiday-themed activity, this time with a mischievous twist, take a look at this popular issue from July 2016.
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Some Thank Yous
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Tom’s role at The Philosophy Man is changing from September. While he’s enjoyed his two years of full-time P4C, he misses being part of a school community and is joining the Religious Studies department at Bancroft’s School. It’s been a great pleasure and a brain tonic to work with him, and he has made a tremendous contribution to The Philosophy Man: writing and editing a wealth of resources in our Shop, as well as half of the bulletins, and working directly in 65 schools, (where he often has to hear “we love Jason’s emails!”). I’m sure readers will join in wishing him well in his new post.
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He won’t be disappearing though – as “Philosopher-at-Large”, he will still write bulletins and create new materials, particularly within RS and for secondary school age students. The school have kindly agreed to release him for some training days too, so he’ll still be a central part of our work.
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Nonetheless, in the short term, Jason’s calendar will be rather more crowded than usual, so please book training and workshops early if you can.
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Thanks also to Anouchka Wyss, Philosophy Masters student at Newcastle University, who has provided invaluable feedback by observing our training and editing upcoming publications; to Katherine Horsham who has kept on top of our accounts, freeing us up to work in more schools than ever before – and finally, thanks to those schools and to readers of the bulletin for your encouragement and enthusiasm. Happy holidays!

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