Fostering citizenship in marginalised children through participation in community of philosophical inquiry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents a series of case studies in a range of Scottish educational settings of children who might be considered to be socially marginalised, including children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and children who because of significant social disadvantage are looked after in residential care settings. These children were involved in an extended study of the potential value of participation in practical philosophy in the form of Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI). The Curriculum for Excellence for all children in Scotland aged 3 to 18 has ‘Responsible Citizens’ and ‘Effective Contributors’ as two of the four ‘Capacities’ identified as the key outcomes of the curriculum (Scottish Executive, 2004). CoPI has certain features and qualities that would appear to create conducive conditions for the achievement of these broad goals. The present study investigates the ways in which marginalised children engage with CoPI and attempts to evaluate the impact of participation in such learning activity on key aspects of citizenship education, including children’s dialogical skills, critical thinking and reason giving. From careful analysis of recorded CoPI sessions, the level and quality of engagement of each of the case study children was assessed and this was related to other available information in order to ascertain the ways in which an approach such as CoPI might empower socially marginalised children. The analysis would support the hypothesis that in addition to benefiting from being provided with what Wegerif (2011) has described as “dialogic space”, marginalised children appear to benefit from the structure that is inherent in the practice of CoPI.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
EventEuropean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction - Munich, Germany
Duration: 28 Aug 201331 Aug 2013


ConferenceEuropean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction
Abbreviated titleEARLI 2013


  • community of philosophical inquiry
  • children’s voice
  • marginalised children
  • citizenship
  • participation


Dive into the research topics of 'Fostering citizenship in marginalised children through participation in community of philosophical inquiry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this