What are Thinking Skills?
The idea of’ ‘thinking skills’ has a practical use in focusing attention on ‘knowing how’ rather than ‘knowing that’ – on learning how to learn (Fisher 1995). If learning is making sense of experience, and thinking is how we learn, then improving children’s thinking will help them to make more sense of learning and of life. Thinking skills reflect the fact that the mind is made up of many capacities, not just an empty vessel to be filled but a set of living processes that need to be developed through experience, education and training (Fisher 1998, 1999).
What is Philosophy for Children?
Philosophy for Children develops skills in teacher and pupil questioning. It helps teachers develop skills of Socratic questioning (Fisher 1998). Children develop questioning skills, such as 5 year-old Tom’s question: ‘Where does time go when it is over? ‘
Philosophy for Children helps develop communication skills through careful listening and constructive discussion. As Paula, aged 13, said, ‘Philosophy gives you the confidence to speak and think for yourself.’
Philosophy for Children encourages students to create new ideas. As Ravi, aged 10, says: ‘It can be fun playing with ideas, like thinking impossible things and wondering if they are impossible.