Engaging the public in our research
Our academics and students are regularly involved in projects with local schools and the general public, sharing our expertise with them and using their experiences to inform our research.
Bristol Philosophy Exchange: philosophy students working with alongside teachers in schools
One of our recent projects is the Bristol Philosophy Exchange. The Bristol Philosophy Exchange is an innovative project in which philosophy students are given the opportunity to facilitate philosophical enquiry with primary age children in local Bristol schools.
The project is now in its second year and is pleased to be working with Hannah More Primary School and Sefton Park School. Over the course of 12 weeks, the 14 students involved in the project will work with around 250 pupils across the two schools to discuss exciting and important questions such as 'How do we tell right from wrong?', 'What is time?' and 'Am I the same person as when I was born?'.
Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a powerful educational approach which has been found through research studies to have cognitive and social benefits for children and schools.
The internationally recognised organisation, SAPERE, are the collaborators on this project.
Training and support
The students and the teachers will together receive SAPERE Level 1 P4C training. The training for this project has been developed and will be delivered by Grace Robinson; Grace is a registered SAPERE trainer, part time Teaching fellow at Leeds, and also runs her own business Thinking Space. Since 2008, Thinking Space has developed dozens of community philosophy projects throughout the UK working with hundreds of teachers and thousands of children. Grace led the 2007-08 ‘Big Think Project’ with students from Leeds, which led to the ‘Leeds Philosophy Exchange’, the parent of this Bristol project.
Students will work in parallel with the class teacher to run weekly philosophical enquiries within a whole-class setting. Students and teachers will take turns to lead facilitation of the sessions and will collaborate to ensure that that the sessions are of high philosophical and pedagogical quality.