P4C Plus

Teaching that puts more thinking into learning

P4C is an approach to teaching and learning based on philosophical inquiry.  It shows teachers how to teach through dialogue, facilitate student-led inquiries and get to know the students better.

P4C shows students how to think independently,  reason effectively, communicate persuasively and explore their values.  The students have a strong say in the content of a lesson and a safe space to discuss views on a wide range of topics.

P4C Plus shows teachers and students how to embed the power of P4C across all teaching and learning, through two important innovations:

Thinking Moves A – Z adds a new vocabulary for metacognition and thinking skills development.

– The 6 strands of Philosophical Teaching extend P4C into a pedagogy which works across the entire curriculum.

The philosophical nature of P4C Plus allows teachers, students and whole schools to explore their personal and collective values and virtues. These will give them the strength they will need to live according to these values.

Online and in-person P4C Plus training

Our training programmes will give you all the practical advice you need to facilitate P4C inquiries with your students, and to incorporate Philosophical Teaching into all your lessons.

Our modular P4C Plus Foundation training programme works for online and in-person training.

P4C Plus in action

P4C Plus is fun:  students and teachers love it. Take a look at these videos to see what we mean.

What’s special about P4C Plus?

P4C Plus draws on Socratic questioning, Vygotsky’s constructivism and Dewey’s ideas of democracy in education. Mathew Lipman developed P4C 40 years ago to help children become more thoughtful, more reflective, more considerate and more reasonable individuals”.

P4C Plus creates space for inquiry.  Once the spirit of inquiry is infused into teaching, every lesson becomes an opportunity to ask questions – whether questions of meaning or value judgement, or questions seeking information.

P4C Plus gives teachers practice and guidance in philosophical facilitation moves that widen or deepen inquiry.  It helps teachers keep dialogue constructive, focus on concept connections, draw on relevant reflections and push for reasons.

P4C Plus shows teachers and students how to cultivate personal, social and intellectual virtues, and shows school leaders how to integrate these virtues into their whole school’s values.

P4C Plus is well suited to International Baccalaureate and other schools, where inquiry is at the heart of the curriculum.  IB teachers who have been trained in P4C Plus, report how much they appreciate what the courses teach them about the practice of inquiry.

What is a Community of Inquiry?

A community of inquiry is a group in which the individuals feel valued by each other and where they feel safe to express their views and share their experiences.  Under P4C Plus every class can operate as a community of inquiry, if the teacher wants it to do so.

What is 4Cs Thinking?

Four types of thinking are central to P4C Plus:

  • Caring thinking: this is about respect for others in the community of inquiry and respect for the subject of the inquiry. 
  • Collaborative thinking:  this is about helping the community as a whole to progress by building on each other’s ideas.
  • Critical thinking: this is about questioning and reasoning well, and seeking understanding.
  • Creative thinking: this involves making connections and suggesting ideas.


bobhouse@dialogueworks.co.uk for more information.