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International Journal of New Developments in Education, 2022, 4(7); doi: 10.25236/IJNDE.2022.040705.

The Importance of Philosophy for Children


Ante Xu 

Corresponding Author:
Ante Xu

Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University


Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a student-centered pedagogy created by Matthew Lipman that uses dialogic teaching and Community of Inquiry (CoI) as an essential teaching and learning method. In P4C classrooms, children and teachers freely talk about a concept, a phenomenon, a law of a matter, a piece of song, a painting, etc. There are no unified answers, which inspires students’ thinking skills, autonomy, creativity and imagination, dialectic language development, open- mindedness, and multi-abilities. Moreover, confidence and courage are simultaneously developed and maintained. In P4C it is important for teachers to have growth mindsets and behave as facilitators. This enables students to discover their best selves. Socratic dialogue is widely used in P4C. Socrates never assumed the role of information giver. Instead, he was a good listener, questioner, and guide; he was someone who explored the interlocutor's inner potential and innate wisdom. In this thesis, I explain and analyze P4C, its importance, and its possible practical application in kindergarten classrooms, particularly in my home of China. I believe there is endless wisdom within each child and that a school based on Philosophy for Children (P4C) would encourage students to explore these reservoirs of wisdom.  


P4C, CoI, kindergarten, student-centered, Socratic dialogue, growth mindset

Cite This Paper

Ante Xu. The Importance of Philosophy for Children . International Journal of New Developments in Education (2022) Vol. 4, Issue 7: 21-34. https://doi.org/10.25236/IJNDE.2022.040705.


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