Unlocking the potential of stories: ethical awareness and narrative competence in P4C
This workshop for the 2013 Philosophy for Children conference ‘Developing Creative and Critical Thinking’ – hosted by DECSY and Sheffield Hallam University – brought together, teachers, practitioners, academics and students interested in critical and creative thinking.
Grace and Emelia from Thinking Space gave a workshop that explored the use of stories in philosophical enquiry about ethical issues. P4C typically uses stories, but we think that rich ethical enquiry requires two things from learners and teachers that can sometimes be neglected:
The narrative competence to read closely and write expansively
And the ethical awareness to recognise and respond to the ethical dimension the stories you encounter, or create
Working with an animation, the daily papers, a jazz recording and book of fairy tales, this workshop encouraged participants to explore these issues through a combination of discussion and creative activities. Through this exploration, we modelled several practical ways to use narrative in ethical enquiries with greater awareness of the profound epistemological connections between the two.
This workshop is based Grace’s academic work on narrative in ethical life and learning. It forms the basis of a paper for the XVI Conference of the International Council on Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) in Cape Town.