Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: socio-emotional effects at 11 to 12 years

S. Trickey, K. J. Topping

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    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Two measures were used to investigate the socio-emotional effects of collaborative philosophical enquiry on children aged 11 at pre–test in five experimental and three control primary (elementary) school mainstream classes. Experimental teachers received initial and follow-up professional development. In a pre–post controlled design, experimental pupils used collaborative enquiry for one hour each week over a seven-month inter-test period. Control pupils followed a normal curriculum. On a test of self-esteem as a learner, experimental pupils (n = 119) gained significantly while controls (n = 52) did not. There was evidence of significant reduction in dependency and anxiety and of greater self-confidence. Girls tended to gain more than boys. These results were fairly consistent across schools/classes. On a scale for teacher observation of pupil social skills in problematic situations, a random sample of experimental pupils (n = 25) gained no more than controls (n = 22) overall. However, these results showed considerable variation across schools/classes. Implications for future research, practice and policy are addressed

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)599-614
    Number of pages16
    JournalSchool Psychology International
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Philosophical enquiry
    • Primary school pupils
    • Classroom dialogue
    • Self-esteem


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