I utilise philosophy for children (P4C) and associated creative and critical practices to engage more able pupils and help develop their range of thinking and learning strategies. I find that P4C and the Community of Enquiry approach is a very powerful vehicle which helps young people to become more reflective and to broaden their sense of what is possible. This technique is particularly valuable in that it provides a safe environment for people to step outside of their comfort zone. They become more aware of the fact that there may be many possible answers to each question and that each may have merits and demerits.
More able pupils sometimes think that they should not ‘chance their arm’ since failure might reduce their perceived ability. Within a community of enquiry, valuable lessons are learnt about the need for multiple hypotheses and that dialogue and collaboration leads to a range of possible answers to a question. Such collective responses are usually beyond those which individuals could arrive at on their own.