Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Philosophy for Children Program on Students’ Cognitive Outcomes
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Philosophy for Children (often abbreviated as P4C) is an educational program that aims at introducing philosophy into K-12 education with its distinguishable curriculum design and pedagogy. It begins with stimuli (children’s literature, questions, or other media) that contain philosophical themes to inspire students’ questions and discussions. The class proceeds through students’ philosophical conversation in a community of inquiry, rather than through traditional lectures. This meta-analysis examines the research on Philosophy for Children, published from 2002 to 2016 to show how the program affects students’ cognitive outcomes and provide practical guidance to educators. A total of 10 studies (including 2 follow-up studies) between 2002 to 2016, representing 1509 students from second grade to twelfth grade, are included in this meta-analysis. Results show medium effects (d=0.58) on all outcomes except reasoning skills outcomes, which are significant (d= 1.06). The results suggest that the philosophy for children program has overall moderate effects on students’ cognitive and socio-psychological abilities, and has significant, positive effect on the reasoning abilities of students.
Yan, Sijin (2017). Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Philosophy for Children Program on Students’ Cognitive Outcomes. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from