Philosphical Dialogue Project

The Philosophical Dialogue Project fosters critical, creative and caring thinking inside and outside NUIG through the P4C (Philosophy for Children) pedagogy. We're inviting our students to become active inquirers who augment their academic skills by thinking together and sharing philosophical curiosity either with their peers or with children in local schools.

Philosophy Dialogue project images

Communities of Philosophical Inquiry ask and explore philosophical questions collaboratively. This form of dialogic practice fosters critical and meta-cognitive skills that lead to posivitve outcomes for learners in their thinking and academic work. This project also aims to create a space to tackle pressing questions that matter in contemporary life and society through structured dialogues.

From September 2018 there are three ways philosophy undergraduates can get involved in this exciting initiative:

  • As members of a Community of Philosophical Inquiry
  • As facilitators engaged in peer-assisted learning and community outreach
  • As mentors

This project is directed by Dr Orla Richardson and Dr Lucy Elvis.

For more information, please email: and

The P4C Pedagogy

 Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a powerful educational approach which has been developed over 40 years, and is practised in over 60 countries. UK studies showed that children participating in P4C experienced improvements in literacy and numeracy. Teachers reported that the dialogues promoted by P4C were effective in improving communication and conflict resolution across diverse pupil groups. In P4C, children develop their own questions in response to a given stimulus, enquiring thoughtfully, and collaboratively, as a group guided by the facilitator. Through reflection on their thoughts and participation, they suggest how they could improve on their learning (skills and content) next time.

The P4C pedagogy was developed by Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp at Montclair State University, New Jersey. This college is the home of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children which develops best practices in facilitation and research into the pedagogy and its history.