Philosophy for children in Saudi Arabia and its impact on non-cognitive skills




P4C, Non-Cognitive Skills, Elementary Education, Teaching Philosophy, PWC, Philosophy with children.


This study examines the effects of teaching philosophy for children (P4C) on the development of non-cognitive skills among students. Although the main focus of modern schooling is on attainment, non-cognitive skills and attitudes are still within the scope of modern education. The Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia introduced a new policy to teach critical thinking and philosophy in its public schools in 2017. Although the effects of teaching philosophy on cognitive skills have been well-researched, fewer studies have studied the effects the teaching philosophy has on non-cognitive skills. The current study is the first to explore this issue in the Saudi educational context. This paper presents findings from a quasi-experiential design using 28 students in a Saudi elementary public school. An experimental group of sixth-graders participated in Philosophy for Children (P4C) sessions for 3 months, while the other group of sixth-graders did not receive any philosophy-related training. To collect data, the researchers used a survey designed for non-cognitive outcomes. The results show that the P4C group ranked higher in measures of communication, sociability, self-confidence, determination, willingness to try new things, happiness, and solving problems. On the other hand, the results show that the P4C group lagged behind in terms of empathy, democracy, and diversity compared to the experimental group. However, the differences are minor, and the sample is small. Nonetheless, the results are promising in indicating that P4C can improve students’ non-cognitive skills.


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How to Cite

alzahrani, emad abbas, & almutairi, abdullah. (2023). Philosophy for children in Saudi Arabia and its impact on non-cognitive skills. Childhood & Philosophy, 19, 01–24.



researches / experiences