Children could learn valuable lessons in moral citizenship, such as making moral judgements and informed choices, through taking part in philosophical dialogue, according to researchers at Strathclyde. A study of more than 130 primary and secondary pupils found that taking part in practical philosophy sessions improved the children’s listening skills, gave them greater respect for other people, encouraged them to consider other perspectives and ideas they may not otherwise have thought about and helped them analyse problems so that they are thought through before making decisions.
The sessions, following an approach known as Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI), involved pupils being given a stimulus such as a picture, a piece of writing or a piece of music and being asked to come up with questions prompted by it. A question was chosen and a structured dialogue followed, facilitated by a teacher trained in CoPI.
Dr Claire Cassidy, a Lecturer in Education at Strathclyde, led the research. She said: “Doing practical philosophy in this way provides children with tools to enable them to participate as active citizens…
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