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Primary Ethics : Home

Primary Ethics : Home | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

"Primary Ethics exists to develop and deliver philosophical ethics education for children who do not attend scripture classes in urban, regional and rural schools. We will develop an engaging, age-appropriate curriculum and the accompanying learning and teaching materials, for primary school children (K-6) in New South Wales and will deliver it to these children free of charge via a network of specially trained and vetted volunteers."

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On Philosophy In Schools – Philosophy For Children With Dr Sue Knight | Token Skeptic

On Philosophy In Schools – Philosophy For Children With Dr Sue Knight | Token Skeptic | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

[Audio file of the interview is available on the website]

 

As a resource writer, high school and now university-level teacher, I owe a lot to the Philosophy for Children methodology – known as “P4C”). What makes my experience particularly interesting is that P4C hails from the USA and I am an Australian – it is more popular overseas, than in its place of origin.
The P4C method draws primarily from the pragmatist tradition – Pierce, James, Mead and especially Dewey. The Community for Inquiry (aka CoI) includes Vygotsky’s theory of the internalization of social behavior and, naturally, draws upon the Socratic method with its community approach, with pupils sharing their views on questions drawn from stimulus materials.

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Stephen Law: Can children think philosophically?

Stephen Law: Can children think philosophically? | Butterflies in my head | Scoop.it

One notable example is the Buranda State School, a small Australian primary school near Brisbane, which in 1997 introduced into all its classes a philosophy program along much the lines outlined above.

A report on the success of the program says,

[f]or the last four years, students at Buranda have achieved outstanding academic results. This had not been the case prior to the teaching of Philosophy. In the systemic Year 3/5/7 tests, our students performed below the state mean in most areas in 1996. Following the introduction of Philosophy in 1997, the results of our students improved significantly and have been maintained or improved upon since that time.

There were substantial payoffs in terms of behaviour too. The report indicates “significantly improved outcomes” occurred in the social behaviour of the students:

The respect for others and the increase in individual self esteem generated in the community of inquiry have permeated all aspects of school life. We now have few behaviour problems at our school. [T]hey are more willing to accept their own mistakes as a normal part of learning and they discuss problems as they occur... A visiting academic commented, ‘Your children don’t fight, they negotiate’… 

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