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  • Writer's pictureGina Parker (Mullarkey)

Exploring the 4C's of P4C with students

What are the 4C's?

In Philosophy for Children we often refer to the 4C's of P4C, to support in defining the type of thinking we are trying to develop:

  • Caring

  • Collaborative

  • Creative

  • Critical

On SAPERE P4C Level 1 training courses these are introduced and explored with teaching staff and as students progress in using P4C they are encouraged to self evaluate. I remember in my early days of P4C my concerns over pupil's lack of understanding of these terms and how they are applied and developed through P4C. One question I am often asked in relation to the 4C's is:

'How do I engage the students in developing a greater understanding the 4C's?'

We (myself included) often underestimate what children are capable of, as I have done in my previous paragraph alluding to the idea that I thought pupil's wouldn't understand the 4C's. Of course as is so often the case, they completely exceed my expectations.

In a number of schools I have worked in I have had the pleasure of working with the students to evaluate what they think they have achieved through P4C linked to the 4C's. I have done this very simply by providing them with a carousel of flipchart sheets with one of the 4C words on each sheet. In groups they are invited to jot down things they have done in a P4C session linked to that C. They have then moved on in a carousel, ticking where there is agreement, adding new ones and questioning those they are unclear on or even disagree with. I have included below a couple of those examples. As you will see students are fantastic at understanding the 4C's and why they are doing P4C! As always we have much to learn from them.

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