Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area


In this post I consider the possibility that the Effective Altruism (EA) movement has overlooked the potential of using pre-university education as a tool to promote positive values and grow the EA movement. Specifically, I focus on evaluating the potential of promoting the teaching of philosophy in schools.

I review empirical evidence and argue that teaching philosophy can:

  1. Promote positive values, including altruism and concern for sentient beings

  2. Grow the EA movement by:

    • Introducing certain EA ideas directly

    • Improving philosophical reasoning abilities such that people will be more open to EA arguments if they come across them. Due to this, I suggest that the teaching of philosophy to children and teenagers, combined with explicit EA outreach to young adults, may be an effective way to grow the EA movement

Due to these effects, I argue that promoting philosophy in schools is a credible EA intervention from various points of view, including a longtermist one. Promoting positive values should help with a wide range of issues including those that have not come up yet, and may be particularly important in light of risks of value lock-in in the future. Growing the EA movement is likely to be highly desirable whether or not one has longtermist leanings.

My neglectedness and tractability analyses focus on the UK. I argue that the fairly small, but not negligible, amount of attention given to the teaching of philosophy in schools provides an opportunity for impactful involvement from EAs in two main ways:

  1. Prominent philosophy academics in the EA movement could join existing advocacy efforts to raise the profile of philosophy in schools, with an ultimate goal of including philosophy in the national curriculum. This could be highly impactful if achieved, especially if involvement from EAs can lead to a greater focus on ethics and the inclusion of certain EA ideas

  2. EAs could become philosophy teachers, say at A-level, and boost the Philosophy for Children movement and/​or help spread an interesting pre-GCSE philosophy course that has recently been made available to schools in the UK and elsewhere. Greater adoption of this course would be beneficial in its own right, but could also help with a long-run goal of having philosophy included in the national curriculum. I argue that this teaching route may be one of the most impactful available for philosophy graduates if, after some time in teaching, they plan to promote the teaching of philosophy through more influential roles such as curriculum-setting

I also briefly touch on some other routes, including influencing current philanthropic spending in education to focus more on a philosophical education. I finish by discussing why existing criticism of education in EA circles may not apply to teaching philosophy.

Epistemic status: Fairly speculative. This is my first long post on the EA forum, so I welcome feedback on content and style. I have never worked in education so am far from an expert and would welcome feedback from people who know more about education than I do. I am not aware of philosophy in schools being discussed much in EA circles so I hope this stimulates some discussion (although I am aware of efforts such as SHIC which I discuss in the post).

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Matt Slomka for some very helpful comments.


There is consistently positive evidence on the benefits of teaching philosophy to children

The formal teaching of philosophy to children stretches back to at least the 1970s when the philosopher and educator Matthew Lipman, concerned with the reasoning abilities of the students he taught at Columbia University, founded the Philosophy for Children (P4C) movement with the goal to ‘improve children’s reasoning abilities and judgement by having them thinking about thinking as they discuss concepts of importance to them’ (Lipman, 1991). Lipman wrote ‘novels’ in which the young characters inquired about questions that mattered to them, stimulating discussion between teachers and pupils and fostering ‘a community of inquiry’. P4C materials have evolved over the years, but in general P4C involves pupils (from age 6 through 16) and their teacher sharing a short story, picture, poem, object, or some other stimulus. The children then take time to think of their own questions which are then discussed briefly before one is selected for more extensive discussion. The practice of P4C has spread across the world however, without being part of the formal curriculum, it remains something that relies on highly-motivated practitioners. Teachers are under multiple pressures and it is easy for P4C to “fall by the wayside” (Williams 2018).

Despite this, systematic reviews of controlled studies evaluating the effects of P4C have uncovered consistently positive effect sizes across a range of outcomes. Trickey and Topping (2004) review 10 studies that pass certain inclusion criteria, finding ‘moderate’ effects that are ‘certainly of educational significance’ across a range of outcomes, emphasising the low variance of effect sizes. The outcomes with significant effect sizes included, but were not limited to, logical reasoning, reading ability, interpersonal relationships, creative thinking, examination of assumptions and alternative ideas, confidence, persistence, maths ability and self-esteem.

Garcia-Moriyon, Robollo and Colom (2005) identified 18 studies of the impact of P4C on reasoning skills, concluding that ‘children do improve their cognitive skills through this methodology’ and noting that their studies tended to take place for one school year, whereas Lipman designed P4C to take place across several years, therefore speculating that gains would be greater with longer exposure to philosophical inquiry.

After their review study, Trickey and Topping decided to conduct their own longer-term research stretching over 16 months in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, finding a ‘substantial gain’ in reasoning ability of a greater magnitude than the previous studies. Perhaps most interestingly, their study tested long-term effects by testing treatment and control groups two years later, after participants had transferred to secondary (high) school without experiencing further philosophical inquiry in the interim. The significant pre-post cognitive ability gains in the experimental group in primary school were maintained, whilst the control group showed an insignificant but persistent deterioration in scores from pre- to post-test to follow-up. The authors state that the study provides evidence of maintained cognitive gains beyond the initial intervention.

Whilst research has focused predominantly on cognitive abilities, there exists a smaller body of evidence that indicates P4C can contribute to moral development. Schleifer et. al (2003) find that P4C improved children along four important moral dimensions: autonomy, judgment, empathy, and recognition of emotions. Russell (2002) explores a method of philosophical reflection very similar to P4C, verifying a qualitative improvement in moral conscience and a deepening ability to reciprocate when engaged in discussion with others. (Note—I am unable to access Schleifer (2003) or Russell (2002) to gather more detail on these studies). It is surprising that there is comparatively little research on moral growth, but interest in this area may be increasing. Garcia-Moriyon et. al (2020) outline a research methodology that investigates the impact of P4C on various affective traits including open mindedness, flexibility, respecting others and their rights, self-feeling, agreeableness, cooperation, assertiveness, tolerance to the unconventional, reflexivity versus impulsivity, and achievement motivation.

Overall it seems clear that children benefit from the teaching of philosophy, with the strongest evidence so far in the area of reasoning ability. It is worth emphasising the point made by Garcia-Moriyon et. al (2005) that these studies have uncovered these positive effects from interventions that, at longest, lasted 16 months. It seems likely that if children and teenagers were taught philosophy as a core subject at all ages that such effects would be significantly greater and, given the evidence for long-term effects, could persist well into adulthood.

Research into the effects of P4C continues with studies on outcomes such as imaginative creativity, empathy, resilience to various forms of indoctrination, widening access to cultural capital, moral growth, and civic empowerment.

Teaching philosophy could improve values and grow the EA movement

Given the evidence that I have outlined, I propose that teaching philosophy could be of interest to EAs in two ways:

  1. Promoting positive values, including altruism and concern for sentient beings

  2. Growing the EA movement by:

    • Introducing certain EA ideas directly

    • Improving philosophical reasoning abilities such that people will be more open to EA arguments if they come across them. Due to this, I suggest that the teaching of philosophy to children and teenagers, combined with explicit EA outreach to young adults, may be an effective way to grow the EA movement

The small body of research into the effects of P4C on moral development, outlined in the previous section, indicates improvements in empathy and moral conscience. The work of Daniel Batson (1991) on the empathy-altruism hypothesis indicates that increased empathy can evoke altruistic motivation to help others. Therefore it seems plausible that more widespread philosophical education could lead to more altruistic societies.

In addition, the evidence outlined in the previous section around improvements in the examination of assumptions and alternative ideas, and logical reasoning, suggests potential for explicit discussion around the moral status of sentient beings in philosophy class at a suitable age. Unfortunately there is no direct evidence of the impact of P4C on empathy towards beings outside of a core moral circle, such as non-human animals and future generations. However, it seems plausible that explicit discussion of the moral worth of these beings could result in increased in empathy towards them, given the increased empathy that has been observed towards humans due to philosophical learning. Interestingly, there is recent evidence that teaching the ethics of eating meat can reduce demand for meat products, however this was specifically for university students (see Schwitzgebel et. al (2020)). Research into expanding the moral circles of younger students through teaching ethics could be of high value.

(EDIT 31/​07/​20: As pointed out by MichaelStJules in the comments section there is a recent study (Bryant, Dillard (2020)) that demonstrates that educating middle and high schoolers in USA about the consequences of eating meat can lead to diet change. Those citing animal welfare as their main motivation were most likely to change their diets).

As well as improving values at younger ages, the evidence from the previous section implies that the teaching of philosophy could train people’s minds such that they become more accepting of EA ideas when they come across them. Firstly, the evidence cited in the previous section around the long-term effects of learning philosophy implies that recipients of a core philosophical education will have greater philosophical reasoning abilities at older ages, say at undergraduate study. The relevant abilities from the previous section that are developed through philosophical study include the examination of assumptions and alternative ideas, and logical reasoning. It seems highly plausible that adults, both young and old, with greater abilities in these skills will be more accepting of some of the more difficult or controversial EA ideas. For example, two ideas that require some open-mindedness and logical reasoning ability to take seriously include: the long-termist claim that the primary determinant of the value of our actions today is how those actions influence the very long-run future, and the idea that speciesism could be a form of discrimination comparable to racism and sexism. If indeed a philosophical education can increase the likelihood of people warming to or engaging with such EA ideas when they come across them, it implies that the teaching of philosophy to children and teenagers as part of their core education could be particularly effective in growing the EA movement when combined with explicit EA outreach to young adults.

Finally, as briefly touched on, it seems reasonable that some EA ideas could be introduced directly into philosophy curricula at suitable ages, which may also increase the likelihood of people taking an interest in EA more broadly later on. Ideas such as concern for non-human animals, helping the global poor, and obligations to future generations seem penetrable by children who are nearing teenagehood or earlier, if some of the anecdotes from the Stanford Encyclopedia article on Philosophy for Children are accurate. These areas also seem to me to be pretty natural ethical questions that could be included in a school philosophy curriculum. Indeed the UK’s School Certificate in Philosophy, which I discuss in more detail in my neglectedness and tractability sections, included the following EA-relevant discussion questions without explicit involvement from an EA to include them: “Should we experiment on animals?”, “Do animals think?”, “Can machines think?”, and “Is it more important to be good than to be happy?”. I see no reason why questions around obligations to the global poor or future generations can’t also be included in core philosophy curricula.

More philosophy in schools is impactful from a long-termist point of view

Promoting positive values should help with a wide range of issues including those that have not come up yet. Also, it is virtually self-evident that growing the EA movement is desirable from a perspective of doing the most good. However, in this section I want to outline why more philosophy in schools may be a worthy priority specifically from a long-termist point of view, via the key mechanisms I propose of improving values and growing the EA movement.

Firstly, as outlined on the 80,000 Hours website, promoting positive values such as altruism and concern for other sentient beings could be important from a long-termist point of view in light of risks that values held by society could get ‘locked in’ for a long time, for example in constitutions or at the dawn of a superintelligent AI. If such a value lock-in scenario occurs in the future, it is best to have ‘improved’ values as much as possible before this point. It would be important to start as soon as possible, as ‘values-building’ is something that can continue for a very long time. Indeed values-building would only be ‘finished’ if we had figured out the ‘perfect’ values and successfully embedded them into all influential institutions and people. Therefore if we find the concept of ‘value lock-in’ a credible one, this motivates promoting positive values as an important endeavour to begin now. Will MacAskill in his forum post on whether we are living at the most influential time in history, gives some possible future periods that could be the most influential ever, most of which are influential due to the prospect of value lock-in. Indeed it is partly for the reason of value lock-in that 80,000 Hours lists ‘broadly promoting positive values’ as a ‘potential highest priority’ issue that they find to be promising, but haven’t investigated enough yet to be confident.

One may counter the importance of promoting positive values now by arguing that we are currently living at the most influential time in history as we are at a unique ‘time of perils’ where we have the technological power to destroy ourselves but lack the wisdom to be able to ensure we don’t. In such a case we should be spending resources now on near-term existential risk mitigation, rather than on slower ‘buck-passing’ strategies that enable decision-makers to be as effective as possible in the future. I think that the ‘time of perils view’ is a credible one, but note that, given the current heavy focus in the EA community on direct actions to reduce existential risk, it seems reasonable that we should put a greater share of resources into ‘buck-passing’ strategies than we currently do. In addition, as recently argued by Will MacAskill, it is possible, given the observation that civilisations have recovered in the past and the immense desire for humans to avoid extinction, that we have overestimated the possibility of complete and permanent population or civilisational collapse. This, if true, may imply a shift towards somewhat broader attempts to influence the long-run future.

On a slightly different note, it is worth considering Greaves (2016) which introduces the idea that we may currently be ‘clueless’ about what we should do to make the world better given that common interventions, perhaps particularly those in global health, have a large number of effects that we can’t reasonably ignore, but that we have no real way of aggregating. If clueless, it is reasonable to suggest that we should spend more resources trying to get out of such a clueless state. This may be achieved by promoting philosophical reflection and growing the EA movement. It is also interesting to note that my suggestion of promoting philosophy in schools aligns with a recent post on the EA Forum that argued that increasing the benevolence and intelligence of actors can be beneficial from a longtermist point of view. Given the evidence I outlined earlier, philosophy in schools should accomplish both.


Promoting philosophy in schools is fairly neglected in UK

The UK national curriculum currently contains citizenship education which is taught from 11-16 and religious education which is taught from 5-16. Philosophy is not part of the curriculum, however there is a philosophy A-level taught from age 16-18 that is optional.

There are some efforts to promote the teaching of philosophy in schools both from a curriculum and non-curriculum focus. The following are the main efforts in the UK to promote philosophy in schools, which I became aware of from materials from the 2019 Philosophy in Schools: Enriched Curriculum, Enriched Lives conference.

  • SAPERE (The Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education) promotes the P4C movement throughout the UK through training, conferences and academic research projects. Their total income in 2019 was £762,773

  • The Philosophy Foundation does philosophy sessions and workshops in schools, communities and workplaces

  • The NCH School Certificate in Philosophy Short Course is a philosophy course that was developed in 2019 as a partnership between New College of the Humanities and Cranleigh School. This course is currently targeted to years 9-10 (ages 13-15), and is available to all schools both within the UK and internationally

The NCH School Certificate in Philosophy Short Course was developed after an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince the government to allow a philosophy GCSE, led by philosopher AC Grayling.

Whilst I cannot claim that the teaching of philosophy or efforts to incorporate it into curricula are entirely neglected, this may boost the potential of further focus in this area as there is existing work and research to build on. I go into more detail on how EAs can get involved in the next section.

In terms of large gift giving (£1m+) in the UK in 2016, non-university education was only £23m whilst religious giving was £47m and higher education a much larger £656m. Whilst I don’t know the breakdown of this £23m, it seems highly likely that only a small fraction is related to philosophical or values-based education. In the US, educational philanthropic giving is vast with Bill Gates spending nearly $390m in 2017 and the Waltons more than $190m. This giving focuses on particular K-12 policies including increased accountability for teachers, more school choice, and higher-stakes testing, that are all quite controversial. It seems clear to me that values-based education is not really on the radar for educational philanthropists at the moment.


There are a number of ways that EAs can build on existing progress in the UK

Advocacy for philosophy in the national curriculum

Firstly, I think that prominent philosophy academics in the EA movement could join existing advocacy efforts to raise the profile of philosophy in schools, with an ultimate goal of the inclusion of philosophy in national curricula. Not only could this involvement from prominent EAs add more voices to the advocacy, but it could also boost the status of ethics and increase the probability of the inclusion of certain EA ideas into a curriculum. The initial development of any curriculum is important as large deviations from this starting point are rare.

As mentioned, there was a recent and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince the government to allow a philosophy GCSE, led by philosopher AC Grayling and with involvement from other prominent philosophers including Angie Hobbs, Simon Blackburn and Julian Baggini. This previous attempt provides a base that makes it easy for prominent EA philosophers to get involved. Clearly curriculum change, like any institutional change, is difficult and relies on buy-in from specific government actors. However, it is worth noting that there is some positive attention from prominent politicians such as David Willetts, a former minister of state for Universities and Science who spoke at the 2019 Philosophy in Schools: Enriched Curriculum, Enriched Lives conference. In addition, changes in personnel can lead to sudden changes in policy, especially if these changes occur due to a change in government. It may also be that the strength of the case for the inclusion of philosophy in curricula is growing given increasing discussion around topics such as free speech, systemic racism and climate change, which are somewhat philosophical in nature.

Spreading philosophy as a teacher

In response to the disappointment of the government rejecting the request for philosophy to be a GCSE, John Taylor from Cranfield School and AC Grayling created the NCH School Certificate in Philosophy which, after a pilot year, has already been rolled out to around 20-30 schools in the UK for ages 13-15. Following a course of study during which philosophical ideas are introduced and debated, the School Certificate in Philosophy invites students to engage in a personally-chosen philosophy project which will typically take around 20 hours of work and can be produced in a variety of forms (e.g. written report, presentation, artwork or video). This project-based learning could create a good first impression of philosophy due to the hands-on approach, raising the probability of continued study.

I propose that philosophy graduates in EA may find it impactful to become philosophy teachers and spread this course, whilst also teaching philosophy in another capacity such as at A-level and/​or by supporting the P4C movement. It might be most beneficial to focus on teaching at top schools, as this is where future leaders are most likely to come from. Expansion of the School Certificate is good in itself of course, but will only be tractable if there are teachers who are willing to teach it. Ultimately, large-scale adoption of this course would strongly boost a case for philosophy as a GCSE, which in turn could boost a case for formal inclusion of philosophy into curricula at other ages.

One reason why it might be highly impactful for philosophy graduates to teach philosophy is that they may, in many cases, not have a very high-impact alternative. Philosophy graduates are not in a great position to earn-to-give and the recent EA skills survey noted that philosophers are not really needed in the EA movement. Perhaps education is a good route for many EA philosophers who either can’t or don’t want to pursue a route in global priorities research. It is worth noting however that non-philosophy graduates can also teach the NCH course and support the P4C movement.

As I detail in the next section, I think that previous criticism in the EA movement of teaching as a career route may not be that relevant to teaching philosophy. In addition, there may be various benefits to having EA-aligned teachers at schools who can, for example, spread EA ideas through an explicit EA or philosophy society and advise students on high-impact fields of study and careers. Teachers can, and probably should, look to go into more influential roles in the long-run such as educational management or policy roles from which they may be able to promote philosophy in schools more effectively.

Influencing philanthropists with interest in education

As mentioned, many philanthropists such as Bill Gates are interested in education but direct money to educational causes that are often controversial or are unlikely to be that impactful from a long-termist point of view. The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation currently focuses on increasing educational access for black, Latino, and low-income students. Whilst this is undoubtedly a good thing, from a long-termist point of view it is unlikely to be as good as promoting philosophical education.

It may not be very tractable to shift philanthropic spending, but success in doing so could lead to very large benefits, meaning that such an approach has high expected value. In order to influence philanthropists, people could seek roles in grant-making organisations that have an existing interest in education, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, and make a case for a greater focus on philosophy in education. Of course other philanthropic organisations such as the Open Philanthropy Project could also direct spending towards philosophy in education, but at the moment I am not confident enough in the value of such spending in comparison to accepted EA alternatives such as mitigating x-risks to endorse this as a goal (although my view on this could change).

Some other possible routes

Some other promising routes include:

  • More research into the benefits of and optimal ways to teach philosophy to children and teenagers

  • Going into party politics or policy-making to either become or influence the key decision-makers who set educational curricula

  • Others that I haven’t thought of and may be clear to those who know more about education than I do

Previous EA discussion of education may have overlooked the potential of philosophy

I feel that existing discussion of education in EA circles may have overlooked the potential of promoting philosophy in schools.

80,000 Hours’ past criticism of education may not apply to teaching philosophy

In January 2017, 80,000 Hours published a blog post entitled 5 reasons not to go into education which followed on from a Teaching Career Review published July 2015.

Essentially the key points made are:

  1. Teaching in the high-income world will only help the richest people in the world

  2. Teaching is very popular amongst the socially-motivated so it’s difficult to make a difference on the margin

  3. You can only impact a small number of students at a time through teaching which may be less than other approaches

  4. Teaching is not a great path for building career capital compared to other routes

  5. Teaching salaries are low relative to the skill and commitment required

  6. Not much is known on how to improve academic performance or the benefits of doing so (so applies to education more broadly than just teaching)

I am not going to claim that all of these points are weak or irrelevant. However, if we are focusing on philosophy education as a means to improve values and grow the EA movement, points 1 and 6 become moot. Additionally, point 2 depends on the neglectedness of the specific approach which I have argued in this case is pretty high. Point 5 is true when considering state schooling in the UK, but is less true when considering top private schools where I think most of the benefit of a philosophy education can be realised, due to the fact that future leaders are more likely to come from these schools. Overall I would accept point 5 but don’t see it as particularly relevant to the question of doing good given that, despite low salaries, job satisfaction in teaching is pretty high according to the 80,000 Hours review.

Points 3 and 4 are probably both fair, but specific to teaching, and may not be as relevant to certain educational work such as advocacy and management or curriculum-setting positions which can be exit options for teachers. I would suggest that anyone pursuing the teaching route aims at these more influential options in the long-run.

It is worth noting that 80,000 Hours in their teaching profile actually suggests that someone who is set on teaching “work in a top-tier school, where one has the potential to influence the capabilities and values of your country’s next generation of leaders in politics, business and research, and so on”. Rather than being a ‘best approach in a low-impact area’ I think that influencing values in a top school may be high-impact in its own right.

SHIC focused on EA outreach which proved ultimately unsuccessful

The closest thing to what I am proposing that has been tried in the EA movement may be high-school EA outreach. For example, Students for High Impact Charity (SHIC) was an organisation that delivered educational workshops for high school students (primarily ages 16-18) through interactive content focused on EA ideas. SHIC suspended operations in 2019 and a subsequent post went into some reasons why.

The post implied that the main reason why SHIC wasn’t a success was that it was hard to engage with students long-term due to the fact that the outreach was temporary and delivered by people who are not staff members at the school. The outreach was also focused on EA concepts and it is noted that “while it could be very influential to alter the national, state, or provincial curriculum, this is likely to be difficult to do”. This is indeed true if we are talking about EA specifically. However, as I have argued, I think it may be more promising in the case of general philosophy. General philosophy instruction at schools, combined with EA-specific outreach to young adults at university, may be an effective overall strategy.

Concluding remarks

As mentioned in my epistemic status note, all of this is quite speculative and I hope for engagement and feedback. I am open to the possibility that this is not in fact a worthy long-termist area for EAs, but it would be interesting to see where the main points of contention are.

In the event that this idea is well-received, further investigation would be warranted as this post is only designed to start a discussion and provide a base to work on. If such investigation is warranted, I would be interested in connecting with people who are interested in being involved.

Academic References

Batson, C.D., Batson, J.G., Slingsby, J.K., Harrell, K.L., Peekna, H.M. and Todd, R.M., 1991. Empathic joy and the empathy-altruism hypothesis. Journal of personality and social psychology, 61(3), p.413.

Bryant, C. and Dillard, C., 2020. Educated Choices Program: An Impact Evaluation of a Classroom Intervention to Reduce Animal Product Consumption.

García-Moriyón, F., Rebollo, I. and Colom, R., 2005. Evaluating Philosophy for Children: A meta-analysis. Thinking: The journal of philosophy for children, 17(4), pp.14-22.

García-Moriyón, F., González-Lamas, J., Botella, J., Vela, J.G., Miranda-Alonso, T., Palacios, A. and Robles-Loro, R., 2020. Research in Moral Education: The Contribution of P4C to the Moral Growth of Students. Education Sciences, 10(4), p.119.

Greaves, H., 2016, October. XIV—Cluelessness. In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Vol. 116, No. 3, pp. 311-339). Oxford University Press.

Lipman, M. (1991) Philosophy for Children, in: Costa, A.L., 1991. Developing Minds: Programs for Teaching Thinking. Revised Edition, Volume 2. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Russell, J., 2002. Moral consciousness in a community of inquiry. Journal of Moral Education, 31(2), pp.141-153.

Schleifer, M., Daniel, M.F., Peyronnet, E. and Lecomte, S., 2003. The Impact of Philosophical Discussions on Moral Autonomy, Judgment, Empathy and the Recognition of Emotion in Five Year Olds. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children, 16(4), pp.4-12.

Schwitzgebel, E., Cokelet, B., Singer, P., 2020. Do ethics classes influence student behavior? Case study: Teaching the ethics of eating meat. Cognition, Volume 203, 104397

Topping, K.J. and Trickey, S., 2004. ‘Philosophy for children’: a systematic review. Research papers in Education, 19(3), pp.365-380.

Topping, K.J. and Trickey, S., 2007. Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: Cognitive effects at 10–12 years. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(2), pp.271-288.

Topping K. J., & Trickey, S. (2007). Collaborative philosophical enquiry for school children: Cognitive gains at two-year follow-up. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77, 781–796.

Williams, S., 2018. A brief history of p4c, especially in the UK.