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Philosophy for Children

Philosophy for Children

Promoting thinking, enquiry and dialogue


Key stage 2–3 teachers.


Philosophy for Children (P4C) emphasises the importance of the following in the process of education:

  • enquiry and questioning skills
  • imaginative and meaningful dialogue
  • careful reasoning and reflection.

It also:

  • develops children's thinking skills
  • encourages collaborative working and learning
  • advances social and emotional development.

These lesson plans and stimulus activities were developed through a training programme run for key stage 2-3 teachers interested in the P4C methodology.

On completion of the course teachers gained the basic qualification in P4C awarded by SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education).


All of the lesson plans and stimulus materials which you can download here have been tried and tested by teachers participating in P4C training programmes and networks.

Lesson plans

Useful links and resources

Recommended books

  • Robert Fisher, Teaching Thinking: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom, (Continuum, 2003)
  • Trudy Govier, God, The Devil and the Perfect Pizza, (Broadview Press, 1990)
  • Stephen Law, The Philosophy Files, (Orion Children's, 2004)
  • Matthew Lipman, Thinking in Education, (Cambridge, 2003)
  • Lipman, Sharp & Oscanyan, Philosophy in the Classroom, (Temple University Press, 1980)
  • Gareth Matthews, Philosophy & the Young Child, (Harvard, 1982)
  • Thinking Through Philosophy Books 1–3: visit www.eprint.co.uk to order
  • Victor Quinn, Critical Thinking in Young Minds, (David Fulton, 1997)
  • Nigel Warburton, Philosophy: The Basics (Routledge, 2004)

Recommended websites