Steve Williams

Research into the effects of P4C
In 1993, I introduced and taught P4C to all year 7 classes (11 to 12-year old-pupils). I conducted research into the effects. Results showed significant gains in pupils' comprehension, reasoning skills and intellectual confidence(Click here to download a full copy of the report in Adobe Acrobat format).

Recent research from Dundee University, confirming other work on P4C showed the following gains in primary schools:

  • Children gained, on average, 6 standard points on a measure of cognitive abilities after 16 months of weekly P4C
  • Pupils increased their level of participation in classroom discussion by half as much again following six months of weekly P4C
  • Incidents of children supporting their views with reasons doubled over a six-month period
  • Teachers doubled their use of open-ended questions over a six-month period
  • Pupils and teachers perceived significant gains in communication, confidence, concentration and social behaviour following six months of P4C

From: K. J. Topping & S. Trickey (2007) Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: Cognitive effects at 10-12 years. British Journal of Educational Psychology 77, 271288.

p4c at esh