Philosophy for Children

The Empty Space WS


What is Philosophy for Children (P4C)?

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Developed by Mathew Lipman in the USA in 1960s and 70s, P4C is currently practiced in approximately 60 countries worldwide. The approach engages children in dialogue around concepts or ‘Big Ideas’ that are important in their lives; happiness, identity and truth, for example. This both enriches the children’s understanding of these concepts and supports them to engage in better dialogue. Getting better at dialogue means getting better at ‘thinking together’, which ultimately leads to better personal thinking and greater wisdom.

You can find out more at the website of SAPERE, the charity administering P4C in the UK.


Why Practice P4C?

P4C helps children to be comfortable with the idea that other people have different points of view or perspectives to their own. It encourages them to see differences in perspectives not as threats but as opportunities for learning. It equips them to seek to understand new perspectives, to challenge and evaluate them and ultimately to use them to make new meaning and better decisions. It makes them wiser.

A growing body of evidence shows that regular P4C practice has multiple benefits that transfer to subjects across the curriculum and lead to higher attainment. Take a look at this 2015 report from the Education Endowment Foundation to find out more.

This video of P4C in action at the Gallions Primary School in London makes a persuasive case for its impact:



What CPD and Support is Available?

I am an experienced SAPERE-registered trainer. Please contact me to discuss your individual needs. Common forms of CPD and support are:


SAPERE Approved Level 1 Training

This is a twelve-hour course preparing participants to practice P4C effectively in their schools. Individuals can attend open courses, or schools can book in-house training. Flexible delivery models are available. SAPERE handbooks and web-based resources are included. Click here for a course description.

Standard price £1900 (bespoke packages of post-training support are available).


Tools for Thinking Together

This is a one day Sapere-validated course for people / schools who have completed the Level 1 course and have been practicing P4C for three months or more. It focuses on supporting facilitators of P4C to help participants to develop reasoning and to construct meaning and conceptual understanding. You can find out more about the course here.

Standard Price £600 for a one day inset


Consultancy and In-Class Support

Support for P4C leaders. Modelling and support of classroom practice.

Standard price £400 per day


Introductory Sessions

Twilight sessions (can be preceded by in-class modelling)

Standard price for twilight £275

Please contact me if you would like to book a course or if you would be interested in hosting an open Level 1 course in your school in exchange for two free places.