SURN Observes P4C!

As SURN Director and Assistant Director, Jan Rozzelle and Jenny Hindman travel through the United Kingdom to visit schools they may visit for the 2016 Study Tour, they have been building relationships with school leaders. They are learning about how these schools are using research and practices

Jan and Jenny traveled to see two schools in Berwick-upon-Tweed, which is located on the east coast of England near the Scottish border. Both schools start at Reception (kindergarten) and continue through upper elementary. They have approximately 150 students.

At Holy Trinity Primary School, we had the honor of listening to students in Mary- Rose Blythe’s class engage in a p4c experience. P4c stands for Philosophy for Children. The students made observations about a stimulus material in this case a painting. Then they generated words and questions. The class voted on a question and engaged in rich dialogue about it. In the process they agreed, clarified, disagreed, and refined their thoughts. A fish bowl strategy was used. The students on the outside made their thinking visible using a map.

Student work from Holy Trinity Primary School

Student work from Holy Trinity Primary School

At Tweedmouth West Primary students filled every space and their teachers invited students to think through multiple ways of approaching content. For example in Anne Robertson’s classroom students were to work graphing data. Her students shared different ways to display data including Carroll charts, bar graphs, and others – we left before seeing students collect their chocolate data.

Tweedmouth West Primary Students

Tweedmouth West Primary Students

In another room we heard students practicing violin. The violin teacher works with students in both schools. The rhythm of music has impact in other subjects such as reading.

Tweedmouth West Primary Students Practicing Violin

Tweedmouth West Primary Students Practicing Violin

James Nottingham, 2014 SURN Leadership Academy speaker, recommended both of these schools to us.