Inspired by the pioneering work of philosopher Matthew Lipman, the SPP-affiliated courses focus on planning, facilitating, evaluating and developing communities of Philosophical Enquiry with children. Although targeted at the nursery, primary, and secondary age range, the theory and practice studied during this course is relevant for any age group.
For philosophers and teachers: The Philosophy Foundation trains philosophy graduates to deliver philosophy to children, and introduces teachers to the method of Philosophical Enquiry. It is a registered charity with specialists working in schools nationwide.
Learning philosophy at a young age brings multiple benefits. Teachers and other education professionals in our schools report an increase in reasoning and thinking skills, with pupils saying they are learning how to approach problems more creatively, how to think more deeply, plus how to develop a train of thought and appreciate another point of view. The programme at the Philosophy Foundation brings philosophy to bear on the national curriculum, teaching classes of children to think critically and ethically about key moral themes.
For teachers: Sapere (the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education) provides classroom teachers with training to run and facilitate philosophy sessions with school children, in the classroom or in after-school philosophy clubs.
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The Sapere course has a three-level structure. Level 2 and 3 courses are co-directed by tutors with combined experience of philosophical study, school teaching and adult education to ensure a balance of theory and practice, and are recognised trainers by the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC). No background in philosophy is necessary to attend the courses. Depending on philosophical qualifications and teaching experience, successful completion of Level 3 enables students to organise courses and to provide In-Service training.