Philosophy for (Thinking) Teachers

Carrie Winstanley, Janet Orchard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


‘Philosophy for Teachers’ (P4T) is an alternative approach to teacher education which promotes teacher’s capacity for ethical deliberation through philosophically informed dialogue between practitioners and philosophers within a community of enquiry (Orchard et al., 2016). We make the case to extend its application here, exploring its wider potential as a pedagogic model. P4T blends theory and practice in a way that is critical to the formation of ‘thinking teachers’ yet is relatively unusual in pre-service teacher education in England, where philosophy of education courses may have failed to engage student teachers, unable to grasp easily its relevance to their practice. Teacher education programmes should include rigorous engagement with relevant theoretical ideas in education, we maintain, understood as an applied discipline (Lagemann, 2000) in which practice is central. A philosophical dimension distinctively adds the potential to develop sound thinking as a disposition of teachers, not only in relation to ethics, as before in P4T (Orchard et al., 2016) but other professional matters too. These include the need for teachers to form autonomous views on debates around educational research in relation to forcefully argued and influential claims which influence policy makers and school leaders (Orchard and Winch 2015). We conclude by offering practical examples of ways in which P4T along these lines is being explored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Importance of Philosophical Thinking in Teacher Education
Subtitle of host publicationMapping the Decline and its Consequences
EditorsBruce Maxwell, Andrew Colgan
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429426827
ISBN (Print)1138386367, 978-1138386365
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019

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