SAPERE – the UK charity for P4C


  • P4C is short for Philosophy for Children, or in a broader context, Philosophy for Communities.
  • Key principles of P4C:
  • the key practice that starts and drives the whole thinking process is enquiry (interpreted as going beyond information to seek understanding).
  • the key practice that results in significant changes of thought and action is reflection.
  • … (full text about P4C).

Courses; INSET; Quality, Validation; Projects; Research; Resources; Be involved; Forum; Links;
Address: SAPERE, Innovation House, Mill Street, Oxford OX2 0JX, UK;

About SAPERE: SAPERE is the Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education. 

Founded in 1992, SAPERE is the internationally recognised educational charity that brings together a network of people throughout the UK practising and promoting philosophical enquiry for children and communities, often referred to as P4C.

This network enables SAPERE to have a stronger voice in the development of educational and social policy in the UK, and to promote the benefits of philosophical enquiry. SAPERE is based in Oxford, from where it co-ordinates and validates training courses in P4C, organises conferences and projects, and provides updates of new resources, courses and events to the growing P4C network.

The main aim of SAPERE continues to be ‘the advancement of education for the public benefit, in particular amongst those young persons up to the age of 16 years, by the promotion of the development of their skills in logical thinking and other philosophical techniques so that their personal and social lives are enriched.’

P4C = Philosophy for Children AND Philosophy for Communities:

  • When it originated in the USA in the late 1960’s, P4C was an abbreviation for Philosophy for Children, and most attention was focused on its efficacy as a thinking skills intervention. Tests showed dramatic improvements in children’s reasoning and comprehension. It has since become clear that the approach also has positive effects on children’s social and emotional, as well as intellectual, development.
  • SAPERE offers a series of courses for people who want to practise P4C within a school curriculum and in a variety of other settings, and thousands of teachers have been trained in P4C concepts and techniques since SAPERE was established. There are currently three levels of courses validated by SAPERE with corresponding handbooks published as a guide for each level. Courses which individuals can apply to attend are advertised on this website and SAPERE also organises tailor-made INSET courses on a regular basis.In Philosophy for Communities the SAPERE mission goes beyond promoting P4C in educational establishments, as we and other organisations believe that its application is beneficial for a much wider audience. Accordingly, we have developed partnerships with many organisations, including OXFAM, the NUT, the Living Earth Foundation, the Shine Trust, Age Concern, and Antidote (the Campaign for Emotional Literacy). These partnerships have extended the awareness and use of P4C into faith and multi-faith groups, local community groups, prisoners and young offenders, and organisations addressing global citizenship.
  • SAPERE is committed to giving people access to the skills and dispositions that will help them generate their own sense of wisdom with others. We foster and cherish independence of thought as well as the willingness to share and build ideas communally.

In Latin, the word ’sapere’ means to understand or be wise

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