Report on The Head Teachers’ Conference – Norwich

After a day of heavy snow on Monday, the weather turned mild and the sun shone – a huge relief for us. The Head Teachers’ conference in Norwich was able to go ahead!

Dot and I gave a brief talk about our involvement with philosophy, how and why it works so well for children and for the whole school.

The main thrust of the conference was an experiential philosophy session demonstrating the process and skills so participants could go back to school and deliver a basic philosophy lesson. The process we use is effective with both children and adults – the difference is in the level of enquiry that takes place.

A range of questions came up from the stimulus and the group chose the question – Do things make you happy? A very thought provoking enquiry followed, touching on the nature of happiness, what is happiness, why we give and what giving means. Time constraints meant that the enquriy was in full flow when we needed to bring it to closure – something that happens so frequently with children!

Both Dot and I enjoyed ourselves very much – it was a joy to spend time with such enthusiastic heads (or their reps) and feel that there is such interest in developing philosophy in schools. The evaluation forms showed the conference had been a success. See the entry on feedback from the session.