Thinking and Writing

Dialogue, thinking and writing develop together

WRITING CAN BE an aid to thinking – as a means to organise, remember, refine and even discover one’s thoughts. Thinking – the sort of complex and systematic thinking that develops through focused dialogue, concept-stretching and inquiry building – can help writing. One reason that complex thinking through dialogue helps pupils to write well is that they learn to connect and structure their thoughts in a conceptually rich and responsive context. This translates into better-structured and more thoughtful writing. Pupils learn to control their own thinking and move beyond prompt sheets and writing frames.

In addition, when pupils discuss questions that matter to them, they are more motivated to write. Although many teachers and pupils value p4c in part because there is no ‘literacy barrier’ to participation, not using the written channel in p4c might be wasting a golden opportunity to allow writing and thinking to enrich each other. In this section we will collect strategies and resources you can use to develop dialogue, thinking and writing together in your lessons.