Image of children sitting on the floor in a classroom, raising their arms.

Research on Both Cognitive and Affective Skills

  1. CRESSWELL, R. “Spreading thoughts”, in Thinking (Vol.10, nº8) Report on a pilot project to create interest in Philosophy for Children. Students and teachers express their interest and positive attitude regarding the program, and they claim the need for a more complete formation in the program.
  2. DANIEL, M.F. & A. M. (2000): “Learning to think and to Speak: An Account of an Experiment Involving Children Aged 3 to 5 in France and Quebec”. Thinking, vol. 15, no. 3, 17-25. The present experiment was conducted in France and Quebec with two groups of kindergarten pupils, (from 2 and a half to 4 years in France and 5 years old in Quebec). They worked with a story for kindergarten, Audrey-Anne’s Tales. It was a pre-experiment, and there are no conclusions about the development of awareness in relation to the body, to violence and prevention of violence.
  3. HOPE, HAAS J. (1975): “Miller Street and Morton Street. Newark”. 200 students in the experimental and 200 hundred in the control groups. On the sixth grade level, substantial improvements in reading, critical thinking and interpersonal relationships. Fifth grades showed gains in their attitudes toward intellectual freedom. The combined sixth and fifth grades showed significant improvement in reading (p was less than 0.2). Results in other categories tested were inconclusive. Abstract in LIPMAN, M: Philosophy Goes to School (Temple University Press, 1990).
  4. JACKSON, THOMAS E. (1993): “1990-1991 “Evaluation Report of Philosophy for Children in Hawaii” Thinking Vol. 10, no 4. It is a report of the evaluation of the implementation of the program during the 1990-91 school year, with 56 teachers involved. The report is based on two questionnaires answered by students and teachers, who offer their perception of the program. The results are very positive. The article includes the questionnaires.
  5. KYLE, JUDE (1987): “Not A Success Story: Why P4C Did Not ‘Take’ With Gifted Students In A Summer School Setting”. Analytic Teaching. Vol. 7, no. 2. The author offers a descriptive narrative detailing limited success with using Philosophy for Children in a summer program for gifted and talented children. Some ideas for better implementation of the program are suggested.
  6. McDERMOTT, MAUREEN: “The Encouragement of ‘Reasonableness’ through the Practice of Philosophy with High School Children at Risk”. Positive impact of implementing Harry with a group of 12 students at risk in school. At the end of the implementation, 8 students succeeded in recovering their academic performance. Students improve in reasonableness. Word file.
  7. MALMHESTER, B., OHLSSON R. (1994): “Children’s Protests against Philosophy”, CAHMY, DANIELA G.: Children Thinking and Philosophy. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Philosophy for Children. Graz: AcademiaVerlag, Sankt Augustin.
  8. MALMHESTER, B., OHLSSON R. (1994): The 6 Year Long Swedish Project: “Best in the world in thinking”. Qualitative report of the impact of doing philosophy with children in their cognitive skills and some affective dimensions. It also focuses on the possible danger of fostering relativism. Word file.
  9. MALMHESTER, B. (1999): “The Dynamics of Pupils in Philosophy Classes” Qualitative description of children’s attitudes during philosophical discussion in the classroom. Word File.
  10. MURRIS, KARIN: “Evaluating Teaching Philosophy with Picture Books”. Memo graphic report. K. Murris summarizes the report of a research project carried out in 1992 in 18 schools of Wales (Improving Reading Standards in Primary Schools Project). Six schools delivered the thinking skills and the reading intervention; six schools delivered only the reading activity; and six schools delivered no additional intervention. The teacher/researcher gathered and analyzed evidence of the discussions through participants’ self-assessments. The program resulted in gains in: thinking and reasoning; listening skills, expressing language; discussion and debating skills; confidence and self-esteem.
  11. NORTHERN TERRITORY DEPARTMENT (1991): “A report on the Philosopher-In-Residence Project”, in Thinking (Vol.10, no.4) The favorable introduction is based on the reactions from principals, teachers, parents and pupils. About 2400 children, more than 300 teachers, parents and others participants offer a positive evaluation of the implementation of the program. There is no quantitative data, just qualitative comments.
  12. SASSEVILLE, MICHEL (1994): “Self-esteem, Logical Skills and Philosophy for Children” Thinking, Vol. 11, no 2. Four experimental groups (3rd to 6th grades, 96 students) and five control groups (123 children). The students in the first and second quartile showed a positive and significant increase in self-esteem and logical skills. Students in the third quartile showed no significant difference in self-esteem, but showed an increase in logical skills. They observe a significant drop for the students of the fourth quartile in self-esteem and there is not any change in logical skills. There is not enough data in the paper.
  13. THOMPSON, A. GRAY & ECHEVERRÍA, E.: “Philosophy for Children: A Vehicle for Promoting Democracy in Guatemala”. Analytic Teaching, Vol. 8, 1. PP. 44-52. Interesting research. The authors focus on thinking skills and democratic attitudes, using NJTRS and other tests that are not mentioned. There is no data, but some pieces of evidence from teachers’ comments are offered.
  14. YEAZELL, MARY (1981): “What Happens to Teachers Who Teach Philosophy to Children”, in Thinking 2, 86-88. Study to determine the effect of using P4C material on teachers’ attitudes and critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills did not seem to be significantly altered; however there was significant change in personal attitudes, specifically affirmation of self-actualizing values. The study involves 8 teachers and data are included.
  15. YULE, SANDY AND GLASER, JEN (1994). Classroom Dialogue and the Teaching of Thinking, unpublished research report, University of Melbourne.
  16. Unknown author (1997): “Philosophy with Children: Evidence of Effectiveness.” It offers a short report of benefits from doing philosophy in some schools in United Kingdom: Wapping, Tuckswood First Schools, ‘Improving reading standards in primary schools project’ (Dyfed LEA, 1994) and a research carried out by Elizabeth Doherr – clinical psychologist (July 2000). Word file.