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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Evaluation of a randomised controlled trial of ‘SAPERE: Philosophy for Children’

A research project of the School of Education.


The intervention is known as ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C).


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Sapere (£111873.19 from Education Endowment Foundation)


This is an educational approach which is centred on philosophical enquiry. The aim of the programme is to improve children’s abilities and dispositions to question, reason, construct arguments and collaborate with others. Through the training and development of teachers, the initiative is intended to foster cognitive improvement and greater self-confidence, leading to higher academic attainment


This is a randomised controlled trial, funded by the EEF, evaluating the impact of P4C with primary age children. The design uses a waiting list control involving 45 schools across the UK. The process evaluation looks at the implemention of P4C. The impact outcomes are KS2 results, and gain scores in a Cognitive Attainment Test. Pupils have also been asked, via survey, about their interactions with teachers, and wider possible outcomes such as autonomy and self-confidence, 


From the School of Education