In the fifth elementary school in Sarajevo, the English teacher, Ajla Aljović, held a class using the Philosophy for Children P4C method. Students discussed about animals, friendship, emotions – both human and animal.
The focus of the class was also on the correct use of the verb can/can’t. The rules adopted at the beginning are: We work as a team; We respect each other; We listen carefully to others; We raise our hand when we want to speak; We believe in ourselves; We do our best; Be creative; Above all, have fun.
After establishing the rules, the students were told to look at the papers on which the motivational messages were written and read them, which created a relaxed atmosphere. The big ideas that the students proposed based on the stimuli – pictures of Tom and Jerry, are: friendship, love, emotions, dedication, rivalry, loyalty, family, prejudices. Proposed philosophical questions were: Do animals have emotions? What is the difference between being lonely and being alone? Which animal represents friendship? What is friendship? Is friendship another word for love? The voted philosophical question is: What is friendship? At the end of the questioning, the students gave a brief overview of the 4C questions.
This way of working was extremely well received by the students. They expanded the vocabulary, repeated the basics of grammar through, as the students say, “through play” and “free class without nervousness and pressure”. The girl who works according to individual plan and programe without a teaching assistant also actively participated in the work.
The students got rid of their nervousness and the fear that someone will judge them if they make a mistake, raising their hands and passing the ball to the one who will speak next had positive effects. The ball had a laughing character drawn on it.
In addition, the students like that they could look each other in the eyes, that the teacher is on an equal footing with them. They pointed out that they would like to learn in this way in other subjects as well, and that it would have a greater effect on learning the material.