Philosophy with Children, self-regulation and engaged participation for children with emotional-behavioural and social communication needs

Claire Cassidy, Helen Marwick, Lynn Deeney, Gillian McLean

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This study examined the effectiveness of Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) as an inclusive pedagogical approach by which to support the communicative interaction and opportunities for collaborative dialogue for children with social, emotional and behavioural needs in two mainstream classes. There is currently no empirical work that considers children with these particular needs participating in practical philosophy, particularly in CoPI. Two groups of children, aged between nine and twelve, engaged in CoPI over a period of ten weeks. The philosophy sessions were conducted as part of the regular class work. The results show that the children were able to engage in collaborative, philosophical dialogue with their peers without being any more disruptive than their classmates. The findings of this study lead to the assertion that it is the structure of CoPI that supported the children’s engaged participation and self-regulation and that this might usefully be considered in creating classroom activities for all children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalEmotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 May 2017


  • autism
  • SEBN
  • philosophy with children
  • self-regulation
  • social engagement

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