Required learning

Mentor training for the Big Questions program consists of attendance at all our mentor workshops; observation of at least one Philosophy class at a primary school; and self-directed study of a range of online resources, set out below.

Young philosophers

Mentors: Please read, view or listen to the following materials by the dates indicated. Generally this should take you about 30 minutes per week (although a couple of demo videos/podcasts are longer). You are not required to read/view anything during the mid-year SWOTVAC and exam period.

By 26th April:

Program overview and rationale. This is a brief document about the Big Questions program (2 pages).

The If Machine: Philosophical Enquiry in the Classroom by Peter Worley. Please read pages 10 – 45, i.e. the sections entitled ‘The If Machine’, ‘Philosophical Enquiries in the Classroom’ and ‘Teaching Strategies’ (36 pages). You can download this PDF version which contains pages 10 – 45. (Please refer to the actual printed page numbers, rather than the incorrect page numbers that may appear in your PDF thumbnails.)

By 3rd May:

The Extra Mile. Philosophy for Children among disadvantaged students in London. This is a short video (7 minutes).

Metaphysics 2 from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (9 minutes).

– Please ensure that you have finished reading the required chapters from The If Machine online (as described above).

By 10th May:

Peter Worley: The If Machine. This is a long but really excellent demo video (51 minutes).

By 17th May:

Class Act. This is an article by Peter Worley on why we do philosophy with children.

Philosophy for kids: Sparking a love of learning: Dr Sara Goering on TEDx. This is a short video (11 minutes).

Using questions to encourage philosophical moves. This is a synthesis of writings by Phil Cam, Will Ord and Clinton Golding (5 pages).

Phil Cam speaking about Philosophy for Children. This is a short video (4 minutes).

By 24th May:

Jana Mohr Lone, Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children, University of Washington, USA. This is a short video (4 minutes).

Philosophy in School from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. (Please excuse the poor visual quality.) This is a short demo video (3 minutes).

What must teacher education programmes do to open teachers’ minds to philosophy? This is a brief excerpt from a conference presentation by Sue Knight and Carol Collins.

‘It’s just my opinion’ isn’t good enough. This is an article by Mike Gershon.

By 31st May:

Helping kids develop moral judgement. This is a blog post by Michelle Sowey.

How to listen. This is excerpted from an article by Tom Wartenberg.

Do we perceive things as they are or as they appear to be? from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (8 minutes).

Nothing is required of you during the SWOTVAC and Exam period.

By 19th July:

Primary School Philosophy – Philosophy Now podcast: a live philosophical discussion with 8 – 10 year olds, facilitated by Peter Worley. This is a long but very informative demo podcast (54 minutes).

This analysis of the above session is worth reading.

By 26th July:

Metaphysics from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (9 minutes).

Time, Infinity and Anti-Things from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (7 minutes).

Knowledge: Justified, True Belief and the Gettier Problem from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (10 minutes).

By 2nd August:

Nagel’s Bat from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel. This is a short demo video (6 minutes).

Berkeley (Years 4 – 6) from The Philosophy Shop YouTube channel.(Please excuse the patchy audio.) This is a short demo video (8 minutes).

Trailer for ‘Teaching Children Philosophy’: Children discussing beauty in art. This is a short demo video (1 minute).