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Philosophy

What is Philosophy for Children?

Benefits for Children

  • A way to open up children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration of ideas.
  • Gives children the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too.
  • They realise that they don’t always have to be right.
  • They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
  • All learners (including teachers) have opportunities to genuinely enquire.
  • A chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.
  • Intelligence grows.
  • Gives children who are not considered “academic” a voice and a chance to flourish.
  • Gives the “academic” children a chance to think outside the box and to see that the non-academic have inspiring ideas.
  • Gives all children value.

Upper Division

Philosophy is usually studied at university or college, but at Godstowe Philosophy is for Year 7 and 8 girls with a taste for abstract ideas and theoretical argument.

In the Godstowe Philosophy Club, girls learn that philosophy is different from Science or Maths - it does not rely on experiments and observation and it has no formal methods or proof, only thought. Philosophy involves asking questions, arguing, trying out ideas and wondering how concepts work. The main concern of philosophy is to question and understand very common ideas that we all use every day without thinking about them. For example:

  • An historian may ask what happened at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but a Philosopher will ask what is time?
  • A psychologist may investigate how children learn a language, but a philosopher will ask what makes a word mean anything?
  • Any one of us can say it is wrong to sneak into the cinema without paying, but a philosopher will ask what makes an action right or wrong?

Our Philosophy Club is an excellent opportunity for pupils to refine their thinking and oral responses, improve their confidence in interviews and their interaction with adults in this important final year.