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Philosophy For Global Citizenship (P4GC) (18.4.2020)

FAQs.  What is Philosophy with/for Children (P4C)

Philosophy with/for Children (P4C) is a powerful educational approach which has cognitive and social benefits for children and schools. It has spread internationally over the last 50 years and is practised in over 60 countries.

P4C engages children in developing their own questions in response to a given stimulus. They then enquire thoughtfully, and collaboratively, into their choice of question, guided by the facilitator (the teacher). Finally, they reflect on their thoughts and participation, and suggest how they could improve on their learning (skills and content) next time. Consequently, both the process and the content of learning are simultaneously developed.

Democratic and egalitarian in nature, P4C places emphasis on building social and emotional skills and dispositions over time, as well as cognitive abilities.  Increased respect, open mindedness, reasoning and reasonableness - in and out of the classroom – are common effects of P4C.

P4C is a thorough pedagogy with considerable academic and practical pedigree. Professor Matthew Lipman created the approach drawing on the works of Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey and the tradition of Socratic dialogue.


Numerous studies into P4C have been conducted all over the world and yielded impressive results. A typical example being the Trickey and Topping research (which has been replicated yielding similar results in both England and America), published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology (2007), which highlighted the following benefits for students:

  • P4C sessions once a week for a school year can increase IQ by an average of 6 points as measured by CAT scores.
  • Improvement is sustained even after pupils move from primary to secondary school.

In 2015 research by the EEF in partnership with the UK based charity SAPERE confirmed the academic benefits of regular P4C with children. The EEF has begun a new three-year study in the UK that aims to include the impact of P4C on the social development of students as well as the academic.

P4C can be successfully applied to any subject, such is the foundational nature of philosophy. No longer are the Arts and the Sciences at either end of a competing spectrum. Rather this teaching method enables the best of both.

The P4C classes I took at school showed me the importance of collaborating with people of different viewpoints and experiences in order to encourage creative discussion and effectively solve problems. During my philosophy classes I improved my ability to creatively explore a given stimuli, collectively convey my thoughts and broaden my perspective on the world through listening to and debating ideas with my classmates. By approaching the learning syllabus in such a way, topics which I was previously reluctant to learn suddenly became effortless to understand…I am now studying physics at Imperial College London and I have just finished an internship at Google. Despite my passion for science and technology I would say ultimately my ability to explore and approach problems fluently in a variety of different ways enables me to be a successful engineer, qualities which P4C helped me to develop.” Paris-Anne O’Shea, November 2017

Course Properties

Course date 18-03-2020 5:00 pm
Course End Date 18-03-2020 9:00 pm
Registration Start Date 07-02-2020
Cut off date 18-03-2020 5:00 pm
Individual Price €30.00
Speaker Marelle Rice, Director of Philosophy Ireland
Number Hours 2
€30.00 29
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