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Nuffield Foundation Research

Non-cognitive Impacts of Philosophy for Children

This Nuffield Foundation-funded study with the Durham University School of Education analysed data from the 2015 Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research trial. 

  • The results show that pupils who received the P4C intervention were ahead of their counterparts in the comparison schools in self-reported communication skills, teamwork and resilience, though the effect sizes are small.
  • The effect sizes are generally larger for pupils living in relative poverty.
  • Teachers mostly reported positive effects in pupils’ confidence in questioning and reasoning.
  • Pupil interviews and observations confirmed that pupils enjoyed P4C and actively participated in the sessions.

As with the earlier trial, the study focused on pupils in Year 4 and 5 from areas of high social disadvantage. To explore impact, over 1,000 pupils completed detailed questionnaires before and after P4C and their responses were compared to a comparison group of over 1,600 similar pupils (who also acted as the control group for a trial of Youth Social Action).

The research project manager was Nadia Siddiqui: