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Title: Philosophy as the way forward: A pilot study exploring teacher's experiences & perceptions of philosophy education in primary schools in Greece
Other Titles: Philosophy as the way forward
Authors: Skavantzou, Areti
Keywords: Philosophy for children
Primary education
Thematic analysis
Teacher research
Issue Date: Oct-2023
Abstract: Philosophy For Children (P4C) is a world-wide educational movement, that has been implemented in more than 60 countries with an amplitude of studies showing a holistically diverse range of benefits for primary school children. Limited research has been conducted with teacher populations, while no such study has been implemented in Greece so far. The present pilot study aimed to explore P4C and primary school teachers’ experiences and perceptions of (a) philosophy in primary education, and children’s philosophical abilities, (b) the proposed benefits of philosophical discussions for children, (c) the challenges teachers and children face during P4C and (d) teacher practices in philosophy education. A mixed-methods study design was implemented. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore P4C teachers’ experiences (N=10). A quasi-structured online questionnaire was developed to collect primary school teacher’s (N=42) perceptions. Thematic and statistical analysis were implemented to analyze the data obtained. Findings were conclusive with regards to the P4C and primary school teachers’ positive predisposition and support towards philosophy in primary education. Teachers homogeneously expressed a beneficial perception of P4C specifically to children’s fondness of P4C classes. Dominant themes include benefits in children’s higher-order thinking skills (HOTS), emotional well-being, and democratic skills. Teachers’ biggest challenges included overcoming initial nervousness, navigating boundaries with children and classroom dynamics. Findings suggest that students face challenges in question-formulation, staying on-topic and self-expression. Teachers expressed positive perceptions towards the beneficial effectiveness of P4C in their professional development, via cross-curriculum skills and strategy transference. Study limitations, and future recommendations are discussed.
Appears in Collections:Program in Applied Educational Psychology

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