Philosophy for children and its impact on student dialogue, language, and thinking skills

Dublin Core


Philosophy for children and its impact on student dialogue, language, and thinking skills




With high stakes testing and teachers focused on behavioral outcomes, it appears little time is left for effective group dialogue in the classroom (Fisher, 2007). However, Philosophy for Children is a program that can be implemented in the classroom to encourage student dialogue and improve language and thinking skills. This study explores the impact of Philosophy for Children in a preschool setting on dialogue, language, and thinking skills as measured by number of occurrences of student-initiated questions, connections made to personal experiences, support or elaboration provided for answers in the form of reasons or examples, and the length of time of discussion. The participants in this study were six preschool students ranging from age 3 years, 11 months to 4 years, 11 months. Students met with the researcher twice a week for a total of ten sessions. At each session, the researcher read a children's book and pursued a philosophical discussion with the students. Each session was recorded for assessment purposes. As the sessions progressed, there was no trend in student-initiated questions, an increased in the number of connections students made to personal experiences, and support and elaboration provided remained consistent throughout the sessions. The length of discussion time remained consistent as well. Looking at the variables for each student independently offered more insight into the impact of the program as well as limitations. This study has shown that preschool children can participate in discussion, ask questions to peers, make personal connections, and provide support and elaboration when discussing philosophical topics. Future research should explore the impact of time constraints, gender roles, and organization of discussion material has on student discussion, language, and thinking skills.


Ardolli, Albane

Date Accepted



Preskill, Stephen
Gazzard, Ann
Arena, Danielle


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Is Part Of

Wagner College Electronic Thesis Collection




56 pages








Ardolli, Albane, “Philosophy for children and its impact on student dialogue, language, and thinking skills,” Wagner College Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 29, 2022,