Summer is over and I have reached the nerve-wracking position of having to have the courage of my convictions.
I write about how philosophical teaching and parenting can be done from birth and I do truly believe it but, although philosophical parenting can be instinctive, teaching needs a bit more planning. Having just finished a successful year of Philosophy for Children with my class who are now moving onto Reception Class I have been happily sitting in my ivory tower preaching “of course philosophical teaching can be done with pre-schoolers. Easy peasy!”
Now, though, I have to step away from my almost five year olds and figure out how to do this philosophical and Thinking Moves approach with just-turned-three year olds, and I really do mean just turned three. Three of my newbies turned three the week before term started and another four only turned three a few weeks earlier. Many of the class will have just started to understand simple questions and use slightly longer sentences, with some children not yet being at this stage. So how on earth am I going to do this?
I’m not altogether sure but my plan is not to have any formal P4C sessions until January and take a more relaxed Thinking Moves approach until then. I am making a Thinking Moves plan for each of the seven areas of Development Matters to cover all eventualities and will weave these into my weekly planning, provision and play to begin to build some foundational skills ready for January.
Here are the first few guides which are good to go and can be downloaded free from Dialogue Works. The other areas of the EYFS will follow soon. Good luck in your philosophical adventures all!
Early Years Mathematics Thinking Moves
Early Years Understanding the World Thinking Moves
Early Years Expressive Arts and Design Thinking Moves
You will also find an easy guide to Thinking Moves for Early Years on the site plus lots of other useful resources for download, including something for your P4C display - the Thinking Moves with icons and finger spelling by Sorcha Cowin.
Miss Magical Mess is a pre-school teacher and P4C Level 2B facilitator. After a shaky start as a P4C facilitator (P4C with 3 year olds... are you kidding?) Miss Magical Mess created her own approach to P4C and enquiry model and is now a big fan.