Unfortunately the list of references at the end of the article are a little jumbled, but I’ll post them at the end of this so you can check them out yourself! You can even see a photo of a P4C training session I helped with from a few years back featured.
To think is to inquire, in Dewey’s proposal; and it’s interesting that that Dewey had Science rather than Philosophy teaching in mind when he thought about inquiry-based teaching and learning. While Philosophy cannot claim to be the only discipline to promote thinking in education, it is a discipline self-consciously devoted to thinking, and it has developed an abundance of tools and techniques aimed at improving the quality of thought.
As Dewey and Lipman demonstrate with their work, there is a world of difference in outcome to be expected from an education that emphasises the memorisation of knowledge and one that treats such knowledge as material with which to think. Nothing is more likely to develop an inquiring outlook than philosophical inquiry, and there is nothing like learning to inquiry philosophically, for developing a capacity to think for oneself. Though engaging in collaborative inquiry, students can be taught to listen to other people with whom they may not agree. They can be taught to hear each other out, and to broaden the outlook in their own thinking. As children grow up, they grow to consider other’s points of view – and not to think that those who disagree with them about matters of value and conduct must be either ignorant or vicious – thus paving the way for active engagement in community life.
Links and References
Cam, Philip. (1995), Thinking Together: Philosophical Inquiry for the Classroom. Australian English Teaching Association & Hale and Iremonger.
Lipman, M. (1980). Philosophy in the classroom (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Lipman, M. (1991). Thinking in education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Splitter, Laurance J. and Ann Margaret Sharp. (1995), Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Enquiry. Melbourne, Acer.
FAPSA – Federation for Australian Philosophy in Schools Australasia.
Primary Ethics – Ethics Classes in Australia, which uses P4C methodology
IAPC (Institute for Advancement of Philosophy with Children) Montclair State University.
p4c.net Philosophy for Children on the World Wide Web
SAPERE – Philosophy for Children in the UK.