Philosophy, Pedagogy and Personal Identity: Listening to the Teachers in PFC

  • Geoff Baker
  • Andrew Fisher


Philosophy for Children (P4C) has enabled schools to engage with what is typically thought of as an ‘academic’ discipline and has provided the opportunity to unlock a rich educational experience for children from a diverse range of backgrounds (Madrid, 2008; Topping and Trickey, 2007; Douglas, 2003). A wide range of qualitative and quantitative studies have emerged looking at P4C in terms of the development of students at the social, academic and emotional level (Topping and Trickey, 2004; Hand and Winstanley, 2009; Lane and Lane, 1986; Williams, 1993; Trickey, 2006; Lone, 2001; Reed, 1987; Murphy et al., 2009). However, while there have been many P4C papers that have ‘teacher’ in the title, these are often about teacher training – including ‘hints and tips’ (e.g. Lipman, 1987; Marie-France, 1988; Popen, 1996; Burgh and O’Brien, 2002; Johnson and Pines, 1979) and curriculum development (e.g. Malanga, 1988; Weinstein, 1986; Cam, 2006; Stan, 1996; Wilks, 1993). Relatively few studies have looked at the effect of teaching P4C on teachers themselves (notable among these are Splitter, 2000a and 2000b; Yeazell, 1979). This paper considers how P4C affects teachers, in particular whether teaching P4C has led teachers to develop new pedagogical approaches, different ways of thinking critically and whether it has changed how they engage with their students, colleagues and their school.