P4C Do-it-yourself

Intentions

I don’t want to add to the bombardment of information people are getting at the moment. I’ll work on this and other pages for you in the coming weeks. I’ll build the pages slowly, a bit at a time, and we’ll announce new additions on our Facebook page so if you want to get updates please find the page (p4c.com) and ‘like’ it. Otherwise, check in to this website from time to time.

Steve Williams, Editor, P4C.COM

All these resources will also appear under the heading of ‘Website Samples’. I’ve subgrouped them here and under the other headings.

Thinking Circles

This is a resource for helping people of all ages create questions, statements and concepts in response to a shared book, film or other experience. It could be used by individuals prior to having an online discussion. It could also be used as a hook for individual reflection. It gives a structure so people can take some time selecting what is interesting and important for them.

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Believers and doubters

Brief version
This is a great activity to use with groups either online or face-to-face. Online can mean messages in writing or via video.

Start with a statement that has either of the words ‘is/are’ or ‘should/shouldn’t’ in it. For example:

  • The cause of the present crisis is the poor treatment of animals.
  • Social media should remove all untrue messages about the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The bravest group of people at the moment are NHS workers.
  • Young people shouldn’t be told to stay at home because they are unlikely to get ill with the virus.
  • Schools should stay shut because it’s better to learn from home.

Not all statements should be ones everyone is likely to agree with and even those should leave some room for exceptions and arguments that the statement doesn’t apply in all cases. I’ve given examples that could apply to the pandemic but a statement on any topic can be used.

What to do next
1. Everyone works to support the statement by trying to come up with the best justifications for the view they can. They are ‘believers’.

2. Then everyone turns into ‘doubters’ by trying to list the best reasons to doubt the statement, including imagining better alternative views. It’s very useful for someone to keep a record of all the responses so they can be shared.

3. After the tasks are completed and the results shared, people can then study the points raised, and seek clarification and understanding by asking questions. Then they come to their own view and give reasons. The reasons might involve an explanation of which justifications, doubts and criticisms were most important to them.

That information can be shared too by individuals. This is a great preparation for any kind of argumentative writing.

For a longer version with an explanation of some benefits, click on the button.

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