We introduce groups to a philosophical approach, using a range of methods to facilitate collaborative enquiry into difficult questions on a wide range of themes, where relevant tied to current curriculum teaching topics.
We have three overarching aims:
1. To enable teachers and others in community and education roles to adopt a philosophical approach to their work, which involves a commitment to genuine dialogue and open-ended enquiry;
2. To help those we work with to develop the critical skills and emotional confidence to engage with the modern world’s most important and pressing conceptual and ethical questions;
3. To share the benefits and inspiration to be gained from engaging with challenging and exciting philosophical ideas.
We work in schools, delivering one-off sessions and longer-term interventions with classes. Whilst engaging with pupils, we hope to inspire and guide teachers and school staff, empowering them to adopt a cross-curricular philosophical approach in the longer term; and we also provide teacher training. We engage with third sector organisations in order to work with community groups.
Participants benefit from experiencing an educational approach that sits outside most people’s experience of conventional schooling. They develop tools, abilities and attitudes that are transferable to many aspects of their education, and to life beyond school as global citizens – for instance personal relationships, engagement with state institutions/professionals, or (the search for) work.
Our practice gives participants the skills to develop their own ideas whilst appreciating the views of others. We do this not through instruction, but through provision of an enjoyable yet challenging experience of collaborative exploration of difficult questions, usually relating to contemporary challenges – topics in which we have no commercial interest. We help participants to develop their critical thinking and speaking skills, whilst harnessing their creativity and imagination; we create a mutually respectful environment in which participants can experience shared understanding – even in the face of disagreement – and the cohesion this engenders.
Participants benefit from an approach to discussion and shared dialogue that takes place in a supportive space with careful supervision. This work, especially when embedded over the longer term, enables participants to develop their own voice, and to find the confidence to both air their own views and pause to understand others – and, ultimately, to change their minds in the face of insight, reason and understanding.