Did you know that we specialise in Philosophical Enquiry in Alternative Provision? Find out more here.

Why Philosophical Enquiry?

Put simply, philosophical enquiry helps children and teachers learn and teach more effectively. 

The Philosophy for Children (P4C) pedagogy, devised by Prof. Matthew Lipman, uses philosophical enquiry and facilitation to strengthen teaching, learning and assessment and has been proven to increase children’s cognitive levels, particularly in maths and reading, as well as many other wider abilities – significantly, problem solving, collaborating with each other, thinking critically and caring about the quality of our interactions and relationships with others. 

The 2015 EEF Efficacy trial carried out by Durham University showed that pupils made between 2-4 months progress in reading, maths and writing as well as pupils confidence to speak, listening skills and self-esteem.  People working in Alternative Provision know that when all these factors are working then a child’s emotional well-being is strengthened which is essential for any child to make the progress relevant to them.

P4C and Alternative Provision

Rebecca Gough, Permanent Education Director and our lead AP trainer, has extensive experience working with a number of Alternative settings: Behavioural Units, Hospital Schools and SEN Schools to incorporate P4C into their curriculum and whole school ethos. She explains that, 

‘In an AP setting the mainstream P4C structures do not apply – every school I work with is different so it is vital that every support package is different. I am extremely flexible and make sure that I am led by the school who ultimately knows the children best.’

Reasonable children

Current work by Rebecca with a Hospital school in London has been to support children who need to ask soul searching questions about their illness or prognosis. Philosophical enquiry techniques and activities have helped them come to terms with their thoughts, and future plans and to understand how to reason with aspects of life and death which are out of our control.

In another school, a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), a lot of our work recently has been to help the young people enquire and question the concepts of community and belonging. Many children who have grown up in unstable settings or gang communities need the chance to learn how to accept views other than their own and resolve problems without the use of violence or extremism. Philosophical enquiry is the way to do this work!’

Putting children at the centre of their learning and their futures

Don’t just take our word for it!

I first became aware of P4C about 18 months ago when I attended a training course where Rebecca had a workshop slot. It was incredibly inspiring and reminded me of exactly why I got into teaching in the first place. It was also clear that the P4C principles mapped perfectly onto our values as a Nurture school and I could see huge potential within our setting. Our vision is to become a Thinking Skills school just as much as we are a Nurture school – indeed the two approaches are inextricably interlinked. The thing that resonates with me most when it comes to P4C is this idea of “reasonableness”. That is such an invaluable life skill and it is something that many of our learners and their families struggle with. It leads to increased isolation, conflict, anxiety  and erects huge barriers to learning. If we can develop our young people’s ability to be reasonable members of their communities their lives will be infinitely more positive and productive.

Kate Emptage, Pathway Leader, Southgate School

‘The impact of philosophical questioning at our hospital school has been immense. The impact on our children and their ability to learn is life changing. For example, one of our pupils is a Year Four boy with both physical and mental health needs whose parent had allowed him to drop out of education and was insisting that there was a significant learning need. During a three week admission we were able to use socratic questioning and philosophical facilitation techniques, taught to us by Rebecca, which transformed this child’s self esteem and engagement with education. When I met them some months later in clinic, the child was happily back in school with a desire to learn’

Anne Patrick, Hospital School Team Leader

If you work in Alternative Provision then

let’s work together!

Rebecca will work with you to develop a model that is right for you. She will work directly with your teachers and leadership team so they can incorporate philosophical enquiry and high level facilitation into their existing practice. This model allows schools to have the skills, experience and ownership to continue and benefit from P4C without long term external support. This package can take the form of inset training courses, staff meetings, individual mentoring, co-teaching, observation, joint lesson planning and curriculum development.

IMPORTANTLY AT THIS TIME WE ARE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER A SUPPORT PACKAGE DELIVERED COMPLETELY ONLINE UNTIL YOU ARE IN A POSITION TO OPEN YOUR SCHOOL TO VISITORS.

Contact us here: enquiry@permanenteducation.org

Calling all thinking teachers!

Get ahead and have fun by joining our online A-Z Thinking Moves training on 5th October 2020. *Discounts available for student teachers*

 ~ @PERMANENT_ED 

There are places available on our October online A-Z Thinking Moves (Metacognition) training course, accredited by Dialogueworks. This course is excellent for teachers, school leaders and youth group leaders – plus we are offering significant discounts for student teachers who attend the October training.

Why Thinking Moves?

 

Our thinking ability is what makes us distinctively human.  Yet we have no generally accepted approach to teaching thinking – and no common vocabulary to describe different ways of thinking.  This, when you think about it, is extraordinary.  Imagine trying to teach or learn maths if we did not have commonly accepted terms such as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Thinking Moves A – Z  provides a vocabulary for thinking.  The moves themselves are not new – we all use them in our learning and our life every day.  But now we have a way of talking about how we think, and that gives us a means to work on improving the effectiveness of our thinking. 

The details:

Each place costs only £125 per person and includes:

  • 6 hrs online training plus webinars and a PDF copy of the A-Z Thinking Moves book.
  • Access to the premium resources from Dialogueworks – a comprehensive bank of lesson plans, assembly plans,
  • Online support from Paula and Rebecca at Permanent Education once you go back to school.

The next course is:

3.30-5.30 pm – 5th, 7th and 12th October – To secure your place contact us at enquiry@permanenteducation.org or call 07914 853919

Metacognition made simple

Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has shown that effective strategies for metacognition and self-regulation have consistently high levels of impact and can be particularly effective for low achieving and disadvantaged pupils. This Thinking Moves A – Z course supports every step of the EEF’s recommended framework for metacognition and self-regulated learning.

Calling all thinking teachers! Get ahead and have fun by joining our online A-Z Thinking Moves training on 6th July. *Discounts available for student teachers*

There are a few places available on our July online A-Z Thinking Moves (Metacognition) training course, accredited by Dialogueworks. This course is excellent for teachers, school leaders and youth group leaders – plus we are offering significant discounts for student teachers who attend the July training.

Why Thinking Moves?

 Our thinking ability is what makes us distinctively human.  Yet we have no generally accepted approach to teaching thinking – and no common vocabulary to describe different ways of thinking.  This, when you think about it, is extraordinary.  Imagine trying to teach or learn maths if we did not have commonly accepted terms such as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Thinking Moves A – Z  provides a vocabulary for thinking.  The moves themselves are not new – we all use them in our learning and our life every day.  But now we have a way of talking about how we think, and that gives us a means to work on improving the effectiveness of our thinking. 

The details:

Each place costs only £125 per person and includes:

  • 6 hrs online training plus webinars and a PDF copy of the A-Z Thinking Moves book.
  • Access to the premium resources from Dialogueworks – a comprehensive bank of lesson plans, assembly plans,
  • Online support from Paula and Rebecca at Permanent Education once you go back to school.

The next course is:

3.30-5.30 pm – 6th, 8th and 13th July – To secure your place contact us at enquiry@permanenteducation.org or call 07914 853919

Metacognition made simple

Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has shown that effective strategies for metacognition and self-regulation have consistently high levels of impact and can be particularly effective for low achieving and disadvantaged pupils. This Thinking Moves A – Z course supports every step of the EEF’s recommended framework for metacognition and self-regulated learning.

Anyone for Cakersize?

I had never heard of this before until tonight when running one of our Arts Award sessions with young people in Tameside to talk about ‘Our Community’ and one of the girls mentioned that a Cakersize club was part of her community…

These are great sessions and always remind me of how wise and aware our young people are. In these sessions we talk about what community means to us and how we can express what we think through talking and art. Here are some of the wonderful thoughts of tonight’s Scouts Group.

If you have a group of young people (under 12 yrs old) in Tameside who love talking and love art then let us know – we would be happy to run this Arts Award for you – FREE OF CHARGE and ONLINE (two one hour sessions with a bit of homework in between) PLUS – all of the participants who finish their booklets will receive a Discover Arts Award from the Arts Council of England.

Contact us at enquiry@permanenteducation.org

PS: I am still not sure if Cakersize is a thing..?

Can we programme a robot to have good taste?

During an online Philosophy Club for 7-11 year olds – where we were discussing if robot teachers are a good idea – one young participant asked Can we programme a robot to have good taste?

This question really struck me as it is a subject that I am currently grappling with for my research…what is success in life and who decides?

The young philosopher was using her question to highlight the problems that a robot teacher might face when giving feedback on a piece of work and deciding if it was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Others in the group then pursued many of the avenues that you may imagine – asking – What is a good picture? What if it was scribbly but the child was really young or had tried really hard? What about if it was a really abstract picture, how could the robot think that was good? Is this fair?

One way round this, suggested by the initial questioner, is that the robot learns the rules of the curriculum – it is either right or wrong….

When reflecting on the session I found myself asking – what is a teacher doing that a robot can’t? when we exercise our judgement on a piece of work can we ever be completely fair. Schubert (2014) explains this quandary through his writing about Bourdieu’s definition of symbolic violence ‘ Taste would seem to be a personal quality but it is actually social…Each time a member of society expresses a preferencethey are expressing , however unwittingly, the predispositions of the structured structure that is habitus.‘ We express a preference through the filter of everything that we have experienced so far in life.

Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier, social subjects, classified by their classifications, distinguish themselves by the distinctions they make, between the beautiful and the ugly, the distinguished and the vulgar, in which their position in the objective classification is expressed or betrayed.

Bourdieu, 1979

This leads me to ask what teaching and learning is really about? is it about recognising when children are able to reproduce established and ‘proven to be correct’ types of art, maths answers, stories and facts about the world or is it something else? What about social interactions – can we only recognise one way or are their many? What does this say about diversity in education and in society?

Perhaps most importantly for me, how then can we enable children to say or contribute something new to society? Do we need to remember the perennial line…if we always do what we’ve always done, then we will always have what we’ve already got. Personally, I think that we really do need some new thinking if we are to move on as a society, build greater resilience so that we can thrive and not just survive in our increasingly uncertain future.

The final thought has to come from a child ‘I think that if we allow robots to do too much for us then we will forget our skills and eventually we will forget how to be human.’

Is the purpose of education to help us to be human?

What do you think?

P4C Plus is fun – students and teachers love it – now available online – the perfect CPD for the new normal! #dialoguewks #p4c

I am really pleased to now be able to offer P4C Plus online for all schools thinking about how to equip their teachers for the new normal…P4C Plus is an approach to teaching and learning based on philosophical inquiry.  It shows teachers how to teach through dialogue, facilitate student-led inquiries and get to know the students better.

P4C Plus shows students how to think independently,  reason effectively, communicate persuasively and explore their values.  The students have a safe space to discuss views on a wide range of topics.

Dialogueworks