Extra-curricular workshops

Philosophy for children

‘Don’t use compulsion,’ I said to him, ‘but let your children’s lessons take the form of play. You will learn more about their natural abilities that way.”

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Children of a similar age gather together to participate in a structured but playful enquiry under the guidance of a qualified facilitator. The small group size ensures that every child gets plenty of personal attention as we think, talk, play and workshop ideas.

At The Philosophy Club, gleeful energy and deep thinking co-exist. Children love the opportunity to express themselves spontaneously, laugh together and form new friendships, and they love having their ideas taken seriously.

The ability to ask searching questions, as well as the skill to construct coherent arguments, are the real life skills.”
Anthony Seldon

In our workshops, children can enjoy a truly open exchange of views. They are free to explore new perspectives, challenge each other in a constructive way, and change their own minds if they find convincing reasons to do so.

Through our process of collaborative enquiry, children come to realise the extraordinary value of their own contributions and their own capacity for reasoning and understanding. In these ways, The Philosophy Club opens children’s eyes to a more creative, reflective and personally meaningful way of living.

Invention to remedy hunger

What happens in our workshops?

Each workshop begins with a warm-up activity to awaken the children’s curiosity. The facilitator then shares a stimulus (such as a story, picture or short film), selected for its philosophical themes and its high-quality design.

There follows a structured group discussion built on the ideas in the stimulus, and supported by drama games, word games, drawing, and other creative activities that are related to the philosophical themes we’re exploring. Check out our current offerings of intriguing workshop topics for children of different ages.

Truth springs from arguments among friends.”
David Hume

Through the processes of enquiry, dialogue, reasoned argument and play, children progress towards a deeper understanding of the philosophical issues, and a more refined articulation of their individual beliefs.

The workshop closes with a period of reflection in which children share their impressions of what they’ve discovered through the process of collaborative enquiry.

To find out more about our activities and discussions, check out The Philosophy Club on facebook, where we’ve posted some of the insights, questions and short dialogues from our past Philosophy Club workshops.

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A selection of picture books raising philosophical questions are featured on our blog, The Playground Philosopher.

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”
George Santayana

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