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

Research on Cognitive Skills

  1. ALLEN, TERRY (1988): “Doing Philosophy with Children”. Thinking, vol. 7, no. 3. Allen finds a significant gain in logical reasoning (NJTRS) in the experimental group of 23 students.
  2. ALLEN, TERRY (1988): “I Think, Therefore I Can: Attribution and Philosophy for Children”. Thinking, vol. 8, no. 1. The results of this study indicate that the P4C program may be more beneficial in raising reading comprehension scores for children who are poorer readers than for those identified as more skilled.
  3. BANKS, JOYCE (1989): “Philosophy for Children and California achievement test: an analytic study in a Midwestern suburb”. Analytic Teaching, Vol. 9, 2. Using California Achievement Test, students in the experimental group have a significant gain in total reading and Language Scores.
  4. BROWNING, BECKY (1988): “Harry in three classes”. Analytic Teaching, Vol. 8, 1. pp. 70-72. A descriptive report of a teacher’s positive experiences using the Harry program with three different student populations. He underlines the special gains of special education students
  5. BURNES (1981): 5th and 8th grade students in Minnesota. Harry was implemented for two years. In the second year, all classes showed significant gains in reasoning. In the third year, gains were in reasoning and reading comprehension. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  6. CAMHY, DANIELA and GUNTHER IBERER (1988): “Philosophy for Children: A Research Project for further mental and personality development of primary and secondary school pupils” Thinking, vol. 7, no 4. The results show a positive effect on reasoning skills and flexibility (creative thinking); experimental group scores in the post-test are higher than those from the control group.
  7. CINCUINO, DOLLY (1982): “An Evaluation of a Philosophy Program with 5th and 6th Grade Academically Talented Students”. Thinking, vol. 2, no. 3-4. Fifty students made significant gains on all five measures (California Test of Mental Maturity; Questioning Task and three other tests). No control group was tested. Teachers, students and parents offer positive reports on the implementation of the program.
  8. CUMMINGS, NANCY PERRY (1979): “Improving the Logical Skills of Fifth Graders”, in Thinking 1(3-4), 90-92. Discussion of the author’s duplication of Lipman’s field experiment in 1970 (Lipman & Biermann, 1970). Finds support for Lipman’s claim regarding teaching children thinking skills with philosophy but feels further research needs to be done regarding the methodology. Data included.
  9. CUMMINGS, NANCY PERRY (1981): “Analytical Thinking for Children: Review of the Research” in Analytic Teaching 2(1), 26-28. Experiment with 32 fifth-grade students, using pre-test and post-test, experimental group and control group (two groups of 16 each). The study provides reliable data and their conclusion gives support to Lipman’s claim that a philosophical approach can be utilized to improve children’s logical skills, but the possibility of generalizing the study is limited.
  10. DANIEL, M.F. (1998): “P4C in Preservice Teacher Education” Analytic Teaching, 19, no. 1, 13-20. She reports on two research studies involving 4 and 13 teachers-to-be. She used P4C methodology, with different materials. A two-hour discussion period each week, for 9 and 15 weeks. Analysis of the verbatim transcripts of the meetings, a personal interview and short questionnaire shows that philosophical discussion is pertinent to practical training and fostering the development of critical thinking.
  11. DANIEL, M.F; L. LAFORTUNE; R. PALLASCIO; M. SCHLEIFER; P. MONGEAU (1999): “Philosophical Dialogue among Pupils: A Potent Tool for Learning Mathematics” in PALSSON, H., B. SIGURDARDOTTIR, Y B. NELSON: Philosophy for Children on Top of the World. Akureyri: Univ. Akureyri. Interesting, but without control group. In this article, the data and its analysis are not presented. They announce a future presentation. They find that introducing philosophical reflection among peers concerning mathematical concepts and problems helps pupils from primary and middle school to ‘tame’ mathematics: to like it better and to transfer it more easily into daily experience.
  12. DANIEL, M.F. & COLS. (2002) “The development of dialogical critical thinking.” This qualitative analysis studies the manifestation of “dialogical critical thinking” through four modes of thinking (logical, creative, responsible and meta-cognitive) according to different epistemological perspectives (egocentricity, relativism and inter-subjectivity oriented toward meaning). Research was conducted with pupils of three cultural contexts.
  13. ECHEVERRÍA, EUGENIO (1992): “El aprendizaje y la utilización del pensamiento crítico. Una investigación etnográfica.” In Aprender a pensar. N. 5, Pp. 60-69. It is an ethnographic research, with qualitative data from observing students in the classroom, the schoolyard and at home. Although there are some improvements in children’s thinking skills, some contradictions and incoherencies are observed. More qualitative research is needed to figure out why children use thinking skills in some contexts but not in others.
  14. EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE (New Jersey) (1978): Pompton Lakes and Newark 1976-78. A complete abstract in Lipman, M: Philosophy goes to school. p. 219-224. Significant improvement in Mathematics and Reading.
  15. GARCÍA MORIYÓN, F.; MORENO, A.; PASCUAL DIEZ, F.; TRAVER, V. (1988): “Evaluación de la aplicación del programa de FpN”. It evaluates the impact of P4C in three high schools of Madrid. The results suggest an improvement of the experimental group in general cognitive ability (RAVEN and NJTRS) and reading comprehension, but not in specific cognitive abilities or in personality.
  16. GARCÍA MORIYÓN, F.; COLOM, R.; LORA, S.; RIVAS, M.; Y TRAVER V. (2000): “Valoración de ‘Filosofía para Niños’: un programa de enseñar a pensar.” Psicothema. Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 207-211. It evaluates the impact of P4C in three high schools of Madrid. The results suggest an improvement of the experimental group in general cognitive ability, but not specific cognitive abilities or personality.
  17. GARCÍA MORIYÓN, F.; COLOM, R.; LORA, S.; RIVAS, M.; Y TRAVER V. (2002): La evaluación de la inteligencia cognitiva y la inteligencia emocional. Madrid: De la Torre. The book explores questions related to research on the implementation of the program and offers a guide to future evaluations. The authors include the results of their first research (2000) and of a replication done two years later. In the replication, EG does not improve more than CG.
  18. HOLDER, J. (1991): Final report on Phase II. 600 5th grade students in the EC, and other 600 in the CG. They implemented Harry 2-3 hours a week during 1991-92. Positive effect on students. They used NJTRS. No specific data are given. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  19. HOLDER, J. “Philosophy for Children in the Philippines Project” Final report on Phase III Unistar Mission. The results of those studies indicated a high potential of successful implementation of P4C programs in Philippines classrooms. The research was done in two 5th grade classes, experimental and control group and pre-test and post-test. They used modified versions of Harry and Reasoning Skills Test.
  20. HYMER; B. (September 2002) “If you think of the world as a piece of custard… Gifted Children’s use of metaphor as a tool for conceptual reasoning” (September 2002) A small-scale qualitative study that examines the transcript of a group inquiry conducted according to the practice of philosophical inquiry with children.
  21. HUERTA, FRANCISCO (1991): 438 students, 5th and 6th grade, in private school from Mexico City. There was no control group. Students improved in NJTRS. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  22. IMBROSCIANO, ANTHONY (1997): “Philosophy and Student Academic Performance” in Critical and Creative Thinking, 5 (1), 35-41. Students who did P4C got higher tertiary entrance scores, but it was a poorly controlled study, so the findings are only indicative. (Quoted by T. Sprod)
  23. IORIO, JOHN & WEINSTEIN, MARK & MARTIN, JOHN. (1984): “A Review of District 24’s Philosophy for Children Program”, in Thinking 5 (2), 28-35. It is an experiment conducted in Queens during 1981-1989. 369 third through sixth grade students (experimental group) were tested using a developmental version of NJTRS and a Child Description Checklist. P4C has a significant effect on raising pupils’ level of critical thinking. It increases children’s ability to reason critically, and does so by affecting both the pupil and the teachers’ awareness of the effect of the program on the pupil. All data are included.
  24. JACKSON, THOMAS E. & DEUTSCH, ELIOT (1987): Short abstract in “Philosophy for Children. Where we are now” Thinking. Supplement Two. 1000 students, K thru 12th grade in 15 of Hawaii’s public schools. Experimental group showed significant gains in NJTRS. Students and teachers favored the continuation of the program.
  25. JENKINS, JOSEPH (1986). “Philosophy for Children Programme at a Gloucestershire Comprehensive School in Great Britain”, in Thinking 6 (3): 33-37. Describes the author’s experience in implementing the Philosophy for Children program, the difficulties he encountered, such as weaning children away from desks, and the American language, and what benefits both he and the children received from the program. EG improved significantly better on NJTRS. Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  26. KARRAS, RAY W. (1979): “Final Evaluation of the Pilot Program in Philosophical Reasoning in Lexington Elementary Schools 1978-79”, in Thinking 1(3-4), 26-32. The P4C seems to have significantly improved students’ abilities in the use of formal and informal logic, and it has been favorably received by most students tested. The experimental group was made up of 150 sixth and fifth grade students. They discussed Harry during a full academic year, twice a week.
  27. LIPMAN, M. & BIERMAN (1970): “Field experiment in Montclair”. 20 children in experimental group showed significant gains over the control group in the area of logic and logical reasoning using CTMN. Two years and a half afterward, the differences between the two groups on reading was significantly different. Abstract in LIPMAN, M: Philosophy goes to school.
  28. MADRID MONTES, MARÍA ELENA (2001): Juchitán de los niños. Habilidades cognitivas en el aulaMéxico, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. It is a long report of a research about the implementation of the program in two primary school in Mexico, D.F. Most of the books deals with theoretical and philosophical problems, and some qualitative information about the implementation of the program. They used NJTRS to analyze the effect of the program on children’s reasoning skills. Data are not complete and the differences between control and experimental group are not conclusive.
  29. MALMHESTER, M. (1999): “The 6 Years long Swedish Project: “Best in the world in thinking” As partly presented at the ICPIC congress 1999. The author offers a general reflection on the implementation of the program. He mentions the positive impact on curiosity and general and mathematical reasoning. Mimeographed report.
  30. MARTIN, JOHN F. y WENSTEIN, MARK L. (1985): “Thinking Skills and Philosophy for Children: The Bethlehem Program, 1982-1983” Analytic Teaching, Vol. 5,2. 1.420 students. They used Harry, Mark and Lisa. They used Questioning Task and a reading and math test (SRA). Significant improvement. No control group. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  31. MEEHAN, KENNETH A.: “Evaluation of a Philosophy for Children Project in Hawaii” Thinking, vol. 8, no. 4. Around 100 students in classes spanning kindergarten through sixth grade participated in the evaluation. A growth of critical thinking skills was observed in participating children using NJTRS. Teachers reported through a questionnaire other positive results of implementing P4C. Complete data is not included.
  32. MEYER, JOHN R. (1988): “A quest of the possible? Evaluation of the impact of the Pixie programme on 8-10 years old”. Analytic Teaching, Vol. 9, 2. PP. 63-64. A quasi-experimental research, using NJTRS and Metropolitan Achievement Test 6. The statistical results do not support the hypothesis of the positive impact of the program on thinking and reasoning skills. However, other data from students’ interviews suggest significant educational gains as a result of the program. There is no data in the article.
  33. MOREHOUSE, R. & M. WILLIAMS (1998): “Report on Student Use of Argument Skills” Critical and Creative Thinking, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 14-20. This study analyzes and scores student written responses on an exercise which asked them to prepare and write arguments pertaining to a given problem. They evaluated three sixth grade classes: 37 students (control group), 32 students (experimental group after one year in the Philosophy for Children program), and 40 students (two years in the program). The difference between the control group and the two years experimental group is significant at the 0.0001 level in the written part of the instrument.
  34. NIKLASSON, J., OHLSSON, R., RINGBORG M.: “Evaluating Philosophy for Children”, Thinking, Vol. 12, No 4, 1996. They offer a qualitative evaluation of the differences between children who have been trained for two and a half years and children who had not been trained at all. They find significant differences in the way children discuss philosophical problems. There is no data included.
  35. PÁLSSON, HREIN (1996): “We Think More than Before About Others and Their Opinions. An Evaluation Report from Iceland”. Thinking, vol. 12, no 4. There is a significant improvement in thinking skills (NJTRS) and a positive attitude from children and teachers towards doing philosophy. Some other comments are made to improve the implementation of the program
  36. REED, RONALD & HENDERSON, ALLEN (1984): “Preliminary Report of a Three Year Study Teaching Analytic Thinking to Children in Grades K-7”, in Thinking Vol 5, no. 3, 45-58. They discuss the study, the methods of testing and the results found. Results suggested that all children, from Kindergarten upwards, could benefit from the P4C program, using a reading test and NJTRS.
  37. REED, R. and HENDERSON, A. (1981): 4th grade students in Fort Worth. EG: 51; CG: 25. EG had significant improvements on post test scores compared to CG. They used formal and informal reasoning test and an early version of NJTRS. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  38. SCHLEIFER, MICHAEL and LOUISE COURTEMANCHE (1992): “The Effect of Philosophy for Children on Language ability” Thinking, vol. 12, no 4. It is a very short paper. From their research, they conclude that the philosophical discussions improve the capacities of children at communication and expression in the French language. Well done research, but there is no specific data included in the article.
  39. SCHLEIFER, MICHAEL, PIERRE LEBUIS and ANITA CARON (1987): “The Effect of Pixie Program on Logical and Moral Reasoning” Thinking, vol. 7, no 2. Experimental and control groups comprised of 100 children each, age 8 and 9, using Pixie. The EG shows a significant gain in logical skills; the EG gained significantly in self-concept in two schools. The results partly confirm and partly oppose Piaget’s claims. There is not enough data in the paper to be conclusive.
  40. SCHLEIFER, MICHAEL, FRANCOIS NEVEU, MICHEL MEYER and HELENE POISSANT (1997): “Arguing with the Government”. Thinking, vol. 14, no 3. It is a research about children’s abilities at argumentative written discourse, with children from grades 4 to 6. They find some significant improvement of the experimental group in “consideration of the opponent’s argument”, logical reasoning, and usual language components in reading, writing and oral expressions.
  41. SCHLEIFER, MICHAEL and GINETTE POIRIER (1996): “The Effect of Philosophical Discussion in the Classroom on respect for others and non-Stereotypic Attitudes”. Thinking, vol. 12, no 4. Experimental group, after one year doing philosophy in the classroom, using Kio and Guss program, becomes more sensitive to the traps of jumping to conclusions or generalized too widely. No data is included.
  42. SHIPMAN, V. (1982): 6th grade students in Pennsylvania. Harry implemented for 1 year for 2 and a half hours a week. They used formal and informal reasoning tests, and Ideational fluency and flexibility (WCU). EG had greater gains than CG in reasoning and most of EG in ideational fluency. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  43. SHIPMAN, VIRGINIA C. (1983): “Evaluation Replication of the Philosophy for Children Program – Final Report”, in Thinking Vol. 5 no. 1, 45-57, Data were obtained on Questioning Task 4, a test designed to assess the thinking skills taught in the P4C program, for approximately 2,200 5th through 7th grade students in New Jersey. Despite differences in the extent of teachers’ understanding and implementation of the P4C program, and in students’ background characteristics and abilities, the data from this large diverse sample of New Jersey school systems and students indicated that even after adjusting for initial relevant group differences, students in program classes were superior to their non-program peers in formal and informal reasoning skills. Some data are included in the article.
  44. SIMON, CHARLANN (1979): “Philosophy for Students with Learning Disabilities”, in Thinking 1(1):21-34. Research paper on effects P4C has on learning disabled children. An experimental group of five children improve significantly more than the control group in critical thinking skills. Abstract in LIPMAN, M: Philosophy goes to school p. 219.
  45. SLADE, CH. (1990): “Logic in the International Elementary School”, in Thinking Vol. 8, no. 4. This paper justifies the content of the P4C program; it describes experiences and results achieved at the International School of Brussels. The implementation of the program has a positive impact on the experimental group. Data are included, without specific mention of number of subjects or tests used.
  46. SLADE, CHRISTINA (1988): “Logic in the Classroom” Thinking vol. 8, no 2. Two experimental groups one of 15 gifted mathematics students and the second of 10 very weak mathematics students; two control groups with the same characteristics. EG showed a significantly greater improvement in logical skills (NJTRS) but there was not any difference in Mathematics. Data are included.
  47. SLADE, C. (1992): “Creative and critical thinking. An evaluation of Philosophy for Children”. Analytic Teaching, Vol. 13, 1. PP. 25-36. First, she shows that students improve a lot in NJTRS, but she analyzes the test and concludes that it cuts too narrowly with respect to critical thinking skills. After analyzing other critical thinking tests and disregarding them as also too narrow, she moves to the concept of creative thinking such as it is embedded in the P4C curriculum and suggests that new evaluations should be done using the analysis of critical and creative thinking through the analysis of classroom dialogues.
  48. SOFO, FRANK (1986): (1986) “Revival of Reasoning in the Modern Age by Developing a Classroom Community of Inquiry within College Students”, in Thinking 6(3):25-29, Describes students reactions to discussion based approaches using P4C methodology. Experimental research conducted with students doing Diploma of Teaching. Gives findings and conclusions of study. Positive results for P4C. (Quoted by T. Sprod)
  49. SPROD, TIM (1997): “Improving Scientific Reasoning through Philosophy for Children: an Empirical Study” Thinking, vol. 13, no. 2. A significant improvement in scientific reasoning is verified. Other interesting conclusions about the implementation are suggested; the author proposes to use epistemic episodes as a key category for analysis of the conversations. The complete report is available in Word files.
  50. SPROD, TIM (1999): “I can change your opinion on that: Social constructivist whole class discussions and their effect on scientific reasoning” Research in Science Education 28 (4) 463-480. This appears to be the same research as that presented in the previous paper. The electronic copy includes full transcripts and other data.
  51. STROHECKER, M. (1986) “Results of the 1983-84 philosophy for Children Experiment in Lynbrook”, Thinking, Vol. 6, no. 2. 3rd grade students in New Jersey. EG (36 students) and CG (32) Pixie implemented for 9 months. Ideational fluency and flexibility tests. EG improved performance in both measures, significantly more than CG. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State Univ.)
  52. THOMPSON, A. GRAY & DUPUIS, ADRIAN. (1979) “Bilingual Philosophy in Milwaukee”, in Thinking 1Vol, no 1, 35-40. Report of an early pilot program in P4C with disadvantaged bilingual learners. Teachers report an improvement in children academic performances, mainly in language. There is no data, just positive comments from teachers
  53. WEINSTEIN, MARK. (1989): “The Philosophy of Philosophy for Children: An Agenda for Research”, in Analytic Teaching 10(1):40-46. University of Melbourne – (Quoted by T. Sprod)
  54. WEINSTEIN, MARK & MARTIN, JOHN F. (1982): “Philosophy for Children and the Improvement of Thinking Skills in Queens, New York”, in Thinking 4(2):36.
  55. WILKS, SUSAN (1992): “An Evaluation of Lipman’s Philosophy for Children Curriculum and its Implementation in Schools in Victoria”, unpublished MEd thesis, University of Melbourne.
  56. YEAZELL, M. (1981): 5th grade students in West Virginia. Harry implemented for one year once a week. As compared to norming data, EG had significant improvement in reading scores. (Quoted in Philosophy for Children. A report on Achievement. IAPC, Montclair State University.