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Philosopher’s Backpack™

Philosopher’s Backpack™. A thinking skills tool for P4C to develop 4C thinking skills and concept activities, and help to embed increased Socratic questioning in facilitation. Caring thinking Collaborative thinking Creative thinking Critical thinking.

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Philosopher’s Backpack™

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  1. Philosopher’s Backpack™ A thinking skills tool for P4C to develop 4C thinking skills and concept activities, and help to embed increased Socratic questioning in facilitation. Caring thinking Collaborative thinking Creative thinking Critical thinking

  2. Philosopher’s Backpack™ is an innovative tool for facilitating thinking skills activities and enquiry as part of P4C and Global Learning. The central idea is that the ‘backpack’ is a metaphor for anotion that P4C can be facilitated in any indoor or outdoor classroom anywhere in the world.  P4C has the explicit aim of teaching pupils to think for themselves and the assumption is that the underlying values of the ‘backpacker’ are towards independent and responsible thinking. Inside the backpack, is a set of ‘kit for global thinking‘. Theseareused as tools for thinking skills games and conceptual activities to develop caring, collaborative, critical and creative thinking, or as a visual’hook’ to prompt Socratic questioning during an enquiry. In terms of Global Learning, there is an explicit focus on being aware of, and exploring the multiple perspectives of how an idea/opinion may apply in more global contexts. Experience of using the Philosopher’s Backpack™ in the classroom so far, has shown that it is a highly accessible and practical tool for helping pupils to articulate their thinking, especially in terms of metacognition(thinking about thinking). "I am not Athenian or Greek, I am a citizen of the world."  (Socrates 469-399 BC) Philosopher’s Backpack™

  3. Introducing the Philosopher’s Backpack™ into your classroom. The Philosopher’s Backpack™ is intended to be a collaborative research project between you and your pupils, so it is important that you introduce and explain to the pupils about the action research, rather than simply start using the backpack. Their input and ideas are as important as yours! Show the pupils the backpack and explain the basic concept is that it contains ‘kit for global thinking’ to help develop caring, collaborative, critical and creative thinking during P4C sessions. Hold up each piece of kit, explaining how it can be used to play thinking games or as a visual hook to remind us of important questions that need to be asked during the dialogue part of the enquiry. Share a few of the examples from the information provided. Explain that as they start to use the kit, they may have their own ideas for thinking games (based on ones they already know, or new ones). They might also have ideas for new pieces of kit they could put in the backpack. Please feel free to do this – the idea is very much that it is a creative and collaborative project! "I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”  (Socrates 469-399 BC) Philosopher’s Backpack™

  4. 4 C Thinking Skills of P4C Philosopher’s Backpack™

  5. Philosopher’s Backpack™ KIT FOR GLOBAL THINKING Thinking Skills Games – Concept Activities – Facilitation The Philosopher’s Backpack™ contains a start-up set of 6 pieces of ‘kit for global thinking’. These can be used as a physical prop during an activity, or as a visual hook to help you and your pupils embed the key elements of philosophy for children as you build your community. You and your pupils are encouraged to continue to add to your kit for global thinking so that each community or school has a unique Philosopher’s Backpack relevant to their needs and interests. The aim is that the further development of the backpack is a collaborative project, so that ideas can be shared and developed with other practitioners.

  6. Philosopher’s Backpack™ Facilitation prompt Can you shine a light on the most relevant concept? Can you/we shine a light/ highlight/ identify/focus on the most important/relevant concept in the stimulus/question/dialogue? 4 C thinking skills and concept activities: Have concept cards on the floor – read out familiar fairy stories or show pictures; ask children to shine a light on the most relevant/important. (critical and creative thinking) Make choices with a group of images/objects. Use the torch to shine a light on an image you prefer/would rather be. (critical and creative thinking) Use torch to shine a light on a concept after introducing stimulus or after generating enquiry questions. (critical thinking) Headtorch: shine a light Use the headtorch to make a choice or identify concepts Philosopher’s Backpack™

  7. Philosopher’s Backpack™ Facilitation prompt Can we look closer at this concept? What can you/we explain/clarify/ mean when we look at this concept/question? 4 C thinking skills and concept activities: Use the magnifying glass to pass around the circle as each child speaks. (caring and collaborative thinking) Start with a chosen word/concept e.g friendship. Pass the magnifying glass around and complete the phrase. ‘Friendship means……’ (critical thinking) Play ‘If I had to explain this concept to an alien, I would say it is….’ (creative thinking) Magnifying glass: looking closer Use the magnifying glass to look more closely at the concepts in a question Philosopher’s Backpack™

  8. Philosopher’s Backpack™ Rope: making connections and drawing distinctions 4 C thinking skills and concept activities Use the rope as a continuum or agree/disagree – true/false line. (critical thinking) Use the rope to put similes and antonyms on a continuum of a given word/concept(critical thinking). Use rope to jump to other side on whether you agree or disagree with statements(critical thinking). Put rope in a circle – stand in the middle if you agree, or outside the circle if you disagree. (critical thinking). Facilitation prompt Can you make a connection to anything else that has been said? Can you make a distinction between concepts/ideas? Can you help pupil X with what they are saying? Rope: giving a lifeline to help another pupil when articulating their ideas Philosopher’s Backpack™

  9. Philosopher’s Backpack™ Sunglasses: exploring alternative views and reasons 4 C thinking skills and concept activities Give the children an opinion e.g children should wear uniforms in school because… pass sunglasses around the circle to give an alternative reason/opinion (critical and creative thinking). Facilitation prompt What might someone else think? What could someone who disagreed with you think? Use the sunglasses to explore multiple perspectives Philosopher’s Backpack™

  10. Facilitation prompt Is this a universal/global question? Could a ‘backpacker’/ visitor/traveller answer it without taking part in the stimulus? Is this always the case? Is this universal for everyone, everywhere? Philosopher’s Backpack™ 4 C thinking skills and concept activities Throw or roll the ball randomly around the circle until everyone has held the ball. Say person’s name as you are passing(caring and collaborative thinking). Use the ball to pass around the circle. Only pass when you have finished talking(caring and collaborative thinking). Show an image or object e.g. a bottle of water. Give thinking/talk time then use the ball to go around the circle to complete the sentence, ‘Everyone in the world would say….about the image/object’. (creative thinking) Global ball: universal for all 4 C thinking skills and concept activities (cont) Introduce concepts e.g. happiness, poverty, friends, peace, religion etc. Ask children to identify which concept fits each group - some, few, no one, everyone, many people. Use the global ball to explore whether a question/reason/ opinion/idea applies to all situations/all people around the world Philosopher’s Backpack™

  11. Philosopher’s Backpack™ Facilitation prompt Are we taking the question in a different direction? Are we moving forward with this question? Are we still discussing the question? 4 C thinking skills and concept activities Give children a starting word/concept and pass the compass around the circle to make word connections with the previous person. Then discuss if/when the connections changed ‘direction’ from the starting word/concept. (critical/caring thinking) Using the main concept/s from the enquiry question, ask children to find similes and antonyms. Put the main concept in the middle and arrange the rest in a compass format on whether they are close in meaning or far away. (critical/creative thinking) Compass: navigating the question Philosopher’s Backpack™ Use the compass to navigate your way with the direction of the question

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