Who asks the questions?

Steve Williams blog The P4C review asks – Who asks the questions?

The P4C Review

It is often said by people working in the tradition of Mathew Lipman that pupils should always create and choose the questions to be discussed. Two of the most common reasons given for this practice are, firstly, that it is democratic and democracy is a thing to be encouraged, and, secondly, that it enables us to discover what children think is interesting or important and this, in turn, will lead to their greater engagement with the subsequent dialogue.

Democracy is a complex concept but to my mind an important thread of meaning is the presumption of worth – a belief that each individual in a community has something to offer that could turn out to be of value in influencing what is done. In the philosophical classroom, I do believe that pupils should have the opportunity to contribute what they are capable of contributing. I won’t know what they are…

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