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  • Writer's pictureGina Parker (Mullarkey)

Philosofuns - What are they and are they really fun?



Jane Yates and I first began collaborating on the Philosofun Concept back in 2020, wanting to find more ways to showcase the accessibility and ‘fun’ ness of Philosophy for Children and Communities (P4C). In P4C we so often refer to the 4C’s of P4C, in relation to the skills we are trying to develop with the groups that we work with – ‘Caring, Collaborative, Creative and Critical’. We were seeing a lot of Philosothons taking place, with their strong competitive elements, which prompted us to develop Philosofuns, focused on the Caring, Collaborative and of course fun elements of P4C. We can’t personally take credit for the name ‘Philosofun’ as it was developed in true Philosophy for Children (P4C) style through a collaborative dialogue shared with Pippa Leslie on a train journey back from a SAPERE P4C conference. Jane and I were describing to Pippa what we were trying to achieve and then Pippa summarised our thinking succinctly and Philosofuns was born!


Our first online Philosofun took place during the depths of COVID in May 2020, with a linked Philosofun theme to the times we lived in ‘Provisions’ and was attended by over 40 participants. We now regularly offer online, face to face (both in the indoor and outdoor classroom) whole school and open courses and can also of course offer sessions with pupils. https://www.littlechatters.co.uk/forthcoming-courses


So, what is a philosofun?
















Delivering to trainee teachers as part of Kendal Schools Direct Alliance (Gina Parker Mullarkey left, Jane Yates right)


• Philosofuns are non-competitive, active, playful, engaging and fun!


• Short philosophical activities to ensure they can easily be slotted into the school day and

can be expanded to full class sessions or even full day sessions if required – you can use or adapt our ideas straight to your classroom


• Activities to foster collaborative thinking through ‘micro-communities’ focussed on small group conversations with potential to lead to a full class enquiry


• Activities focus on a theme or concept:


Examples of themes we have developed:


Friends

Homes

Pets

Gift/Present

Provisions (food)

Robots

Clocks

Maps

Trees



Pupils from St Hilary's Preparatory School taking part in a clocks themed philosofun activity where lots of our activities linked to maths.


If you have a theme you would like us to develop, please do get in touch.


Now, I have titled the blog - Philosofun – What are they and are they really fun?


If I am honest I have always felt a bit pressured by the title. Now, if I am wearing my philosophy hat, ‘fun’ can of course mean many different things to many different people, external factors can effect our reactions … and on and on and on I could go. However, I can evidence from participants on sessions that they have had fun!


Ormsgill Primary School, Barrow in Furness - Natasha : A really fun session and I’m excited to see what my year 5s come up with when answering some of these philosofun activities.


Mike , Everywhere Philosophy : Gina & Jane's Philosofuns are not only fun - they're also thought-provoking, exciting and wonderful opportunities for community-building!


James - Wigton Infants : I'll be using all of those activities (whether about pets or other themes)! Thank you all - that was a heap of fun!


Rana, Education Practitioner from Saudi Arabia - Thank you Gina and Jane, it was really fun as always and full of creative ideas which was lovely.


Please do visit my courses page to find out more about forthcoming Philosofun opportunities from just £10!

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