community of philosophical inquiry: citizenship in scottish classrooms. 'you need to think like you've never thinked before'

claire cassidy, donald christie


The context for the study is the current curriculum reform in Scotland (Curriculum for Excellence) which demands that teachers enable children to become ‘Responsible Citizens’. The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) as a pedagogical tool to enhance citizenship attributes in Scottish children in a range of educational settings. Before and after an extended series of CoPI sessions, the 133 participating children were presented with dilemmas designed to elicit responses which indicate their ability to make informed choices and decisions and to articulate informed, ethical views of complex issues. The sessions were facilitated by class teachers who were trained in CoPI. The results indicate that children’s reason giving was enhanced by participation in CoPI. The implications both for education for citizenship and the potential of Philosophy with Children to contribute to an enhanced school curriculum will be discussed.


Philosophy with Children; citizenship; children’s reasoning; decision making; Curriculum for Excellence

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e-issn 1984-5987 | p-issn 2525-5061