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The Pedagogy of Philosophy for Children/Philosophical Enquiry

Paine, Martin R. (2012) The Pedagogy of Philosophy for Children/Philosophical Enquiry. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This case study investigates the perceptions of two small samples of learners, one at Key Stage 3 and the other at Key Stage 4, at a small, independent progressive school, of Philosophy for Children (P4C), or Philosophical Enquiry (PE), lessons in the academic year 2011/12. The research interest lay in learners’ motivation and therefore the principal research questions addressed whether the participants enjoyed the sessions, and whether they engaged with the process of P4C/PE. The answer, supported by quantitative data, was overwhelming, yes, they did. While not generalisable, the research does relate to students’ disengagement from learning in mainstream secondary education. As background to the curriculum intervention, this dissertation discusses the pedagogy of P4C/PE in practice, and its foundations in the philosophy of education. This account suggests that the desired learning outcomes of P4C/PE are contestable within a wider context of educational policy and practice. P4C is known as a ‘thinking skills’ programme. Therefore, although centred in the affective domain, the remaining research questions were designed to be open to respondents’ perceptions of what they learnt and how they learnt in terms of ‘critical’ or ‘higher-order’ thinking and other transferable skills. This generated qualitative data; in contrast with much of the research into P4C, there was no attempt to measure cognitive development. The study is presented as an illuminative evaluation, descriptive of a multi-faceted practice in which the affective and cognitive interweave. The study discusses the facilitation and teaching approach of the researcher with regard to his professional development. It concludes that there is evidence that the P4C/PE sessions achieved a measure of success in its own terms, and, in terms of the curriculum policy of the school, that it can contribute to a humanistic and progressive pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Martin R. Paine
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 13:21
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3971

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