Blog Archives

The Thinking Room

There are a number of techniques that have proven very effective in setting the appropriate mood for the start or end of a philosophy class. The most effective exercise, and the one preferred by most children is the Thinking Room.

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Posted in Explore, Mindfulness

Knowledge, Sources and Certainty

Where does our knowledge come from? Do we have some hard-wired or intuitive knowledge, or are we born like a blank slate, gaining all of what we know from our experiences in the world? In this introductory lesson we will

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Posted in Critical Reasoning, Explore, Knowledge, Thinking Together

What is Ethics

If your computer does not run Windows, stop right here. This does not affect you – but other problems might, so always keep your antivirus up to date. If you are using Windows, read on. Gameover Zeus is a particularly nasty piece

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Posted in Explore

Open and Closed Questions / Agree-Disagree Game

Open questions play crucial role in inquiry and debate, especially, but not exclusively in philosophy. In this session we will distinguish between open and closed questions and try to formulate good open questions for debate. We will also introduce the

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Posted in Beginner Plans, Critical Reasoning, Explore, Thinking Together

What is Philosophy?

WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? The name ‘philosophy’ derives from two ancient Greek words ‘philos’ meaning love, and ‘sophia’ meaning wisdom. Why is wisdom so highly valued? How can it help us to live well? This lesson explores these questions and related

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Posted in Basics, Beginner Plans, Critical Reasoning, Explore, Knowledge

Knowledge, Sources and Certainty

Where does our knowledge come from? Do we have some hard-wired or intuitive knowledge, or are we born like a blank slate, gaining all of what we know from our experiences in the world? In this introductory lesson we will

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Posted in Explore

Humans and Animals

In what ways can we capture and best define what it is to be human? Is the classical distinction between mind and body a good basis for determining our essential and non-essential traits? As human animals we have a great

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Posted in Critical Reasoning, Explore, Personal Identity

What’s in a Name?

This session explores the topic of proper names — the name we use to pick out one, unique, individual person. What is the meaning of a name; to what does it refer (particularly in the case of long-dead historical figures)? 

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Posted in Explore, Personal Identity

Experience Machine

Many people live their lives believing that having good experiences are what make for a good life. We spend much of our time seeking out and trying to attain these experiences. But is having good experiences the most important thing

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Posted in Creative Exploration, Ethics, Explore, Ontology

Dreams and Reality

Is it possible that we are dreaming right now? Could it be that the experiences we are having are not in fact being caused by the existence of real things existing independently of us, but are merely the figments of

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Posted in Creative Exploration, Explore, Knowledge, Ontology
Recent Praise
  • The Blooming Minds Handbook is an invaluable resource and used by both Year 4 teachers as a ‘bible’ in running sessions. The lesson plans are really well designed and the breakdown into stages of the lesson is very helpful. [Year 4 class teacher]

     

    The Blooming Minds Handbook for Teachers
  • My Year 5 class have been lucky enough to participate in Philosophy sessions with Kath for the past 5 weeks. Many children in my class have trouble maintaining friendships and there are often arguments and unhealthy gossip. There are also several children who display particularly difficult behaviour. Since the children have taken part in the Philosophy sessions, there has been a visible improvement in their attitude and outlook on their own behaviour. The sessions have had a significant impact on the way the children think and I often have conversations with them during the week in which they reflect back to the session. I often hear the phrase, “That’s like in Philosophy when Kath said…” or “It’s like we learned in Philosophy, we shouldn’t let our emotions push us to make bad decisions”. The phrases “I agree” and “I disagree” are now used regularly in the classroom, and the children readily speak about making decisions and using justification. I cannot begin to explain how pleasing it is for me, as their class teacher, to hear them reflecting in this way and using what they have learnt in the session to think about and improve their own skills and behaviour. Simply wonderful. [Y5 class teacher]

    Improving behaviour and reflective thinking