About P4C

Philosophical enquiry (P4C) is a refreshing and novel way of exploring ideas, getting people to talk to one and other, exchanging and questioning points of view and building relationships between people. It uses Philosophical questioning techniques to encourage people to look at issues relevant to their life, work and community from a slightly different perspective.

In 2006 we were particularly struck with the use of ‘Philosophical Enquiry’ at Limeside Primary School in Hollinwood. It was evident that the technique allows people to openly explore ideas, engage in dialogue, learn from each other and challenge each other without creating conflict.  This method has been championed in schools as studies have shown that not only could children’s reasoning powers be enhanced by using philosophical enquiry, but so could their reading and mathematical skills. Philosophical enquiry is fast becoming a tool used to develop understanding, not only of the material world, but also of the personal and ethical world.

So, in sponsoring the school we felt that we could contribute to more children being able to take advantage of this technique. We were also keen to investigate if we could use Philosophical enquiry as a means of bringing our communities together and promoting community cohesion. 

 In partnership with the school, the effects of ‘philosophical enquiry’ were spread out further into the local neighborhood. This work resulted in the publication of the book “What if?” and a short film showing some of its successes is now published on the Contour Group website.

The use of Philosophical enquiry has brought together communities in the Clarkwell and Limeside areas of Oldham, and we are currently developing a programme to use this method of consultation further a field. Several members of staff are now being trained to become facilitators of these sessions and regular  philosophy aka “noodle baking” luchtimes are being held.


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