Using Philosophy for Children (P4C) to build understanding and critical thinking about extremism and terrorism
Schools have a duty to safeguard children and to help them develop critical thinking in relation to extremism and terrorism. This is hard to do: these are controversial topics, and discussions need to be well managed.
P4C is a globally-established programme which encourages young people to explore challenging issues. P4C provides a safe space where students can air, examine and challenge views.
The P4C approach combines with a new set of teaching and learning resources to build resilience to extremism. A partnership of P4C trainers and teachers developed the resources in direct response to the attacks in Manchester and London, and to the murder of Jo Cox in West Yorkshire.
During 2018, 45 schools in Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Cumbria and London piloted the resource . Teachers and students both strongly endorsed the programme.
- Among students at a high school in Bolton:
92% said they had “learnt a lot about extremism and terrorism”
- 75% said they “now feel more confident to talk about these issues with other people, including friends, teachers and family members”
- 95% said they “recommend that pupils in other schools have opportunities to take part in the same activities”
Themes and Lesson Plans
Theme 1: Exploring identity
- 1: Identifit activity: own identity and identity of others
- 2: Human Beings poem by Adrian Mitchell
Theme 2: Understanding terrorism
- 3. The Riverside park protests: a peaceful protest
- 4. The Riverside park protests: a violent protest
- 5. The terrorism jigsaw: what makes up terrorism
- 6. The diversity of terrorism: challenging stereotypes
- 7. Factors of radicalisation: the attacks on the Manchester arena and MP Jo Cox
- 8. Who is responsible?: exploring wider responsibility
- 9. A case study of conflict: the Suffragettes
Theme 3: Responding to terrorism and developing shared values
- 10. Manchester Standing Together: choose love not hate
- 11. Contrasting the beliefs of ISIS and Islam
- 12. My week as a Muslim: Channel 4 documentary
- 13. Billy McCurrie: from terrorism to peaceful engagement in Northern Ireland
Theme 4: Government and democracy
- 14. The Magic Crown and Desert island activity: six ways of governing the island
How can you engage with the programme?
The training is available as open courses for individual participants, or as in-school courses for staff teams of up to 25. We recommend that schools train at least 2 teachers in the programme, so they can share learning. The training is designed for primary and secondary teachers working in years 5 – 8. The training is also suitable for staff in youth and community groups.
The training is delivered by the P4C trainers who developed the new resource
- Courses of 1 day plus 1 twilight for teachers already familiar with P4C, focussing on how to use the resources: cost £150 – 175 per person
- Courses of 2 days for teachers new to P4C, including training in the P4C approach and use of the resources: cost £250 – £275 per person
- In school coaching and support days: cost £500 per day
- All prices include training and access to the full resource package
Please contact programme leader Richard Gore for more information or to book training: email@example.com