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Community of philosophical inquiry : citizenship in the classroom

Cassidy, Claire and Christie, Donald (2011) Community of philosophical inquiry : citizenship in the classroom. In: European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2011-08-30 - 2011-09-03, University of Exeter.

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The context for the study was the current curriculum reform in Scotland (Curriculum for Excellence) which demands that teachers enable children to become ‘Responsible Citizens’. This paper reports a study which aimed 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 children were presented with dilemmas designed to elicit responses which indicated their ability to make informed choices and decisions and to articulate informed, ethical views of complex issues. The sessions were facilitated by the class teachers who were trained in CoPI. Changes in these teachers’ understandings of citizenship and pedagogy over the course of the study were also examined. The implications both for education for citizenship and the potential of Philosophy with Children to contribute to an enhanced school curriculum will be discussed.