SAPERE is the Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education. Appropriately, in Latin, the word ‘sapere’ means to ‘understand’ or ‘be wise’.
Philosophy for Children (or P4C) is a curriculum for 6-16 year olds developed by Professor Matthew Lipman at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State College, New Jersey.
Lipman’s original project, conceived in the late 1960s, was to encourage children and citizens to be more reasonable ie ready to reason and be reasoned with. Like the ancient Greek philosophers, he saw this as the path to the ultimate goal of education: practical wisdom or good judgement. Lipman developed a model of learning called Communities of Enquiry, where the teacher and children collaborate with each other to grow in understanding; not only of the material world, but also of the personal and ethical world around them.
The askit strand uses the practice of philosophical enquiry within the context of Open Futures. askit creates a place where children question and discuss open philosophical questions together, searching for good reasons to support their conclusions and aiming to deepen and extend their thinking about some of the big ideas that shape their world. Over the four year pilot, askit has become central to Open Futures, with enquiry supporting the development of both practical and thinking skills.
To find out more about the SAPERE’s work with schools and young people, visit the SAPERE website.