P4C Books

BOOKS   A selection only!  Many are available from the on line shop at the Australian Council for Educational Research www.acer.edu.au .  See also Fishpond, or Amazon.com. For other books see the FAPSA website www.fapsa.org.au

The original P4C books
The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children materials by Matthew Lipman and Ann Sharp, stimulus novels and extensive teachers’ manuals.  Elfie (Yr 1), Kio and Gus (Yr 3/4), Pixie (Yr 4) and Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery (Yr 5), which focuses on logic. Lisa explores ethics, (Yr 7– 10).  Rather “American” but a great resource.  For older students, Suki, on aesthetics and Mark, on political philosophy (and the US Constitution)

For Year 1 -3
Philosophy with Kids  1- 3,  by de Haan, MacColl and McCutcheon.  Australian materials for 5 to 7 year olds.  These offer discussion plans, exercises and games that promote philosophical inquiry, based on existing picture books.  Slso More activities for Longman.

Books into Ideas, by Tim Spod.  Suitable for work with 5 -7 year olds.  Excellent discussion plans and exercises to support children’s picture books, a good introduction to Philosophy for Children and hints for setting up a community of inquiry in your classroom.  Hawker Brownlow Education

Philosophy with Young Children – a classroom handbook by Philip Cam, Liz Fynes-Clinton, Kathlyn Harrison, Lynne Hinton, Rosie Scholl & Simon Vaseo.   A wonderful book for doing philosophy with Year 1 and 2 students, and for any class beginning philosophical inquiry.  It offers activities and discussion plans on philosophical themes in picture books, plus simple and effective skill building activities. Published by, and available from, Australian Curriculum Studies Association.

Thinking About Picture Books, by Anne Maree Olley.  Excellent NZ series of support materials for philosophical inquiry using picture books.  Also Time to Think. Published by Essential Resources.  Order on line: www.erpublishers.com

Big Ideas for Little Kids – by Thomas Warternberg.  A useful book offering structured ways to explore the philosophical themes in a range of children’s stories, including Arnold Loeb’s Frog and Toad books.  Rowman & Littlefield Education, and in Kindle.  See also http://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org for other resources.


For Years 3 – 6

Philosophical and ethical Inquiry for students in the middle years and beyond. By Sarah Davey Chesters, Liz Fynes-Clinton, Lynne Hinton, Rosie Scholl. An excellent book offering different kinds of stimulus materials, support materials and skill building activities. Australian Curriculum Studies Association.

Thinking About Journal Stories, by Anne Maree Olley.  Very good series of support materials for philosophical inquiry using NZ school journal stories.  Order on line: www.erpublishers.com
Sophia’s Question – Thinking Stories for Australian Children – by Phillip Cam.  A short novel for upper primary age children covering an impressive array of topics (fate, friendship, secrets, animals, dilemmas, fairness, jumping to conclusions and the good life).  Very nicely written, and with an accompanying Teacher’s Manual.  Hale and Iremonger.

Philosophy Park, by Philip Cam. Stories and teachers’ manual – based on the ideas of the great philosophers. Excellent resource and great for teachers learning too! ACER Press.

Stories for Thinking, Poems for Thinking, Games for Thinking etc,  by Robert Fisher.  A collection of poems, games and traditional stories with activities, discussion plans etc to support inquiry.  Nash Pollock Publishing.

Discussions in Science, by Tim Sprod. Doing science, and the philosophy of science, using the community of inquiry. Unusual and useful! ACER Press.

The IF Machine, by Peter Worley. Classic philosophical puzzles and thought experiments re written for children, with support materials. Great for teachers learning too. Continuum International Publishing. Worley has many other useful and interesting books. See The Philosophy Foundation. https://www.philosophy-foundation.org/


For Years 6 – 8

Thinking Stories  1- 3, ed. Phillip Cam – stories (by different authors) and teachers’ manuals, suitable for 10 -12 year olds.  No 3, with stories all by Phil Cam, is particularly good, and focuses on ethics and social philosophy. Published by Hale and Iremonger.

Storywise, Philosophy Club, Roger Sutcliffe, Steve Williams et al.  Available from Dialogueworks in the UK. Web address:  www.dialogueworks.co.uk .

Connecting Concepts, by Clinton Golding.  A very useful collection of exercises that make exploration of contestable concepts easy and fun.  Can be used in secondary school or adapted for primary school. ACER.

See also Sophia’s Question, Philosophy Park, The If Machine, Philosophical and Ethical inquiry… above


For Secondary School

Philosophy for Children through the Secondary Curriculum, edited by Lizzy Lewis and Nick Chandley. Published by Continuum. Chapters on doing philosophy in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography etc.

www.schoolphilosophyresources.com A website which lists and reviews a range of materials for secondary school philosophy – text books, introductions to philosophy, stimulus texts, websites, podcasts, film clips etc.


“How to” Books
Thinking Together – Philosophical Inquiry for the Classroom,  by Philip Cam.  A very good book that describes both the point of and the practice of philosophy in the classroom and has some great exercises and techniques.  Use in conjunction with materials listed above.  Published by Hale and Iremonger.

P4C Pocketbook – by Barry Hymer and Roger Sutcliffe. An extremely useful short and snappy guide to the practice of philosophical inquiry in the classroom. Published by Teachers’ Pocketbooks, UK.

Twenty Thinking Tools, Phillip Cam.  ACER .  Extremely useful support for facilitating inquiry.

Teaching for Better Thinking – the Classroom Community of Inquiry,  by Laurance Splitter and Ann Sharp.  A classic on theory and practice of P4C.  Available from ACER.



Teaching Ethics in Schools – A new approach to moral education – by Phillip Cam.  Argues that a community of inquiry approach is vital in moral education. Gives an excellent short summary of traditional philosophical theories about ethics, guidance on how to encourage collaborative ethical inquiry, and advice on how to construct activities and exercises.  ACER Press.

A Sneetch is a Sneetch and other Philosophical discoveries – by Thomas Warternberg. An introduction to many topics in philosophy, using children picture books as the starting point. Very accessible. Wiley-Blackwell.