The facilitator explains the rules of a philosophical discussion:
– you don’t have to talk but you must listen
– if you’d like to speak, rather than put your hand up, put your fist on the table or your knee with your thumb facing up.
The chosen question is then discussed by the class. The order of a discussion could be:
– The students have some independent thinking time.
– First thoughts from some students – what is their basic gut reaction to the question?
– More detailed response such as defining the important words in the question.
– A final round where students can express any final thoughts that they have.
*If the students had little or no experience of Philosophy 4 Children, it was possible to simplify the above process. For example, students could be given possible themes to discuss before question creation. Or the question for discussion could be pre-selected. The discussion could also be simplified to just include first thoughts and a brief reflection.
After the above discussion has closed and just before Farmer Stuckey might ask the children what they think they should do about Fizziwig, the facilitator comes out of character and announces that the DE is over.
A short plenary follows asking the students different questions such as what the DE made them think about, what they enjoyed most and what they found most challenging.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of a possible structure of a Dramatic Enquiry.
That brings us to the end of module 1. In the next module you will be given more information on ‘The Arcadian Civil War’ Dramatic Enquiry.