Individual teachers are looking to develop their skills so they can practice and lead on P4C in their schools; but both school budgets and teachers’ time are exceptionally stretched, so intensive courses face-to-face or online have less appeal than they might. So to allow people from around the world to access top-quality training in philosophy for children in a more manageable, paced way, we’ve decided to modularize our open training and make it available as an on-demand course.
The course mostly follows the structure of the Philosophy Circles minibook, which you’ll receive when you sign up for your first module (whichever one it is!). Each module of the 12-module course will feature a 1-hour Zoom session at 4.30 p.m. on a Tuesday. Sessions will be recorded, edited and added to the resource page for the modules to form the core of an on-demand course. Those completing all twelve modules (live or in their own time) and sharing their practice in the resource forum accompanying the course will be eligible to claim a Level 1 Philosophy Circles Practitioner certificate.
If you would like to discuss participating in the course, or might like to book one or more of these modules as a CPD session for your school’s staff, please email us or ring Jason direct on +44 7843 555355.
March 16th – Introduction to Philosophy CIrcles
A fast-paced, practical introduction to the core principles of Philosophy Circles and the pedagogical philosophy underpinning them.
March 23rd – The Questionarium
A deep dive into three aspects of questions: Structures that make for philosophically fruitful questions, the Domains where philosophical tradition and what is engaging for children overlap, and Coaching questions that allow light-touch facilitation.
March 30th – Starting Positions
This session is about exercising our question-creation muscles with lots of iterations of one of the simplest ways to run a philosophical enquiry. We’ll also explore some of the variations of this method, and the differences between debate and discussion and how one can feed the other.
April 20th – Stimuli
We will look at the advantages and pitfalls of a range of forms of stimuli, what to look for and avoid in stimulus selection, and how to create your own.
April 27th – Going into Orbit
A central part of philosophy for children is de-centring the teacher! We will explore ways of signalling a change in shift of teacher status from physical to verbal, and how you can switch between different modes to enhance an enquiry without dominating it.
May 4th – Community Builders
“Whole piece practice” isn’t always the most efficient way to learn music, and similarly, picking out particular aspects of philosophical enquiry and focusing on the development of those skills can be a better rout to both depth and engagement. Plus there is a to of fun to be had! We’ll explore both specific games for creative, critical and collaborative thinking and the principles you can use to create new ones.
May 11th – Philosophy in role
Story has a tremendous power to engage children, and they are even more engaged when they become characters within the story. We’ll explore both one-off sessions and philosophical frame stories involving adventure, time-travel and sailing the high seas, as well as the opportunities of facilitator-in-role. While every module of the course is taught as a stand-alone session, those of you have been along for the whole of our adventure so far will to see lots of opportunities to apply your previous learning from here onwards.
May 18th – Use their Questions
Traditionally, philosophy for children emphasizes getting children to create their own questions. We will explore stages towards to that, alternatives, and the efficiencies and benefits of a more organic approach in which questions emerge from listening to children’s responses.
May 25th – Thinkers Games
Philosophy is traditionally thought of as a rather sedentary activity, but this session explores a wide range of specific games that make the thinking physical, as well as the underlying principles that will enable you to create your own. The result: wider engagement, and a repertoires of approaches that are very fertile in creating new thinking, whether planned in advance or used on the spur of the moment.
June 8th – Philosophy Topics
One of the biggest obstacles schools have in embracing philosophy for children is a crowded curriculum. The philosophy topics approach helps you to find the philosophical questions on offer within your existing curriculum, so that it becomes another way of doing things, rather than another thing to do. Connecting philosophy with the curriculum also has an egalitarian aspect to it, providing a richer starting point for children who are disadvantaged by less talk at home.
June 15th – Scribe, don’t script
Part of “taking a back seat”, putting yourself at the service of the enquiry in the role of host and notetaker rather than leader is an important aspect of facilitation. We’ll explore this using the Discussion Dashboard which puts a wide repertoire of facilitation moves and community builders at your disposal while focusing you on what the children are saying rather than your own knowledge of the enquiry theme.
June 22nd – Planting Cats – School-wide implementation
By now, those of you who have attended all the modules so far will be fizzing with ideas and anxious to help them spread beyond your own classroom. We’ll look at ways of enthusing colleagues, getting buy-in from students and parents, and strategies for making your school a more philosophical place to learn and work.