P4C Class in progress


Question Trees: 

Question Trees are a great place to park those unexamined questions for later .  


Warm up:  Philosopher’s Fruit Salad

Philosopher’s Fruit Salad is always a community favourite to warm up our philosophical thinking at the start of the session.


Stimulus Time:

A stimulus can be anything – often a book, picture or activity; this time a YouTube clip about artificial intelligence was used.  You can check out the clip here:


The quality of the philosophical questions we generate depends upon the amount of attention we pay to the stimulus.  We really try not to distract each other during this time.  This can be hard because the stimuli are often very provocative! 


Private Reflection Time:

After seeing the stimulus we have private reflection time to think philosophically about it.  We capture our initial feelings and thoughts, concepts associated with the stimulus, and any philosophical questions that come to mind.


Facilitating an Enquiry:

The facilitator role in a P4C inquiry should be a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage.  The facilitator is part of the community of enquiry, but given the democratic and egalitarian nature of P4C, decisions are taken by the whole community and the facilitator has no more authority than anyone else.  


Question Creation/Question Reflection:

We create a question in small groups from the stimulus to put to the community vote for the main question for inquiry.

Each question from the small groups is aired and explored to ensure we all understand the question and to check for assumptions within a question or connections between the questions.     



Voting for the big philosophical question for inquiry can take any number of forms.  We could have a blind voted, had multi votes, voted with tokens etc.  This time we decided to vote with our feet.


The Enquiry:

Listening and contributing to the enquiry on the question is a powerful and captivating experience.  In our established community there is also a fair amount of good humour.


Final Reflection: Last Words

Inviting last words on the question ‘Why do we reject what we do not understand?’