What is SAPERE B&H?

Sapere (Lat.) – knowledge, learning, wisdom

SAPERE B&H is a community of philosophical inquiry and reflection whose ultimate goal is to develop practical wisdom and well reasoning among children and adults.

SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Inquiry and Reflection in Education) Philosophy for Children (P4C) operates in the UK. TPO Foundation, in cooperation with SAPERE Institute in London, established the first SAPERE B&H Critical Thinking Programme in 2018.

P4C –  (Philosophy for Children) Philosophy for Children is an approach and method of learning and teaching that enhances thinking, communication skills, confidence and academic personality development.

It is based on:

  • Inquiry about philosophical questions and concepts
  • Reflections on arguments which lead to improvement of thinking and change of attitude
  • Inquiry Skills: Critical, Creative, Collaborative, Caring

Professor Matthew Lipman, with the colleagues of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children – IAPC in America, devised a new model of learning in the late 1960s. While teaching, he witnessed underdeveloped reasoning skills in his students and concluded that children should be taught critical thinking and questioning at the earliest stage of education.  He concluded that a better understanding of a particular issue or concept is achieved only if there is a collaboration between a teacher and children. Therefore, he developed a method based on a “community of enquiry” in which a teacher and student work together to build an understanding of a particular concept, but also to develop a habitus of personality who is capable of critical and ethical thinking.

Today, the P4C approach is used in various social, humanities and natural science subjects in more than 60 countries. Children who attend P4C-administered schools show better results in reasoning and critical thinking, but also progress in building self-esteem and academic integrity.

The P4C method helps us to ask philosophical questions, to express our opinions in a creative, critical, collaborative and caring way, and to seek answers. It is a process in which children and young people seek truth and wisdom crucial for creating a person who can think critically.

P4C – Philosophy for Children is:

  1. An approach to education based on group inquiry, reflection and developing skills
  2. A structured method
  3. Based on the creative questions, critical responses and students’ imagination
  4. Focused on a community of inquiry, that works together towards better understanding “big questions”
  5. Democratic method and student-centred

P4C – Philosophy for Children is NOT:

  1. Out of the box programme
  2. A completely random discussion
  3. Based on obtaining a definitive “correct” answer
  4. The same as circle time
  5. Focused on the teacher as the centre of the questioning process

The first SAPERE TOT in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The first five-day SAPERE TOT (training of trainers) with the P4C method was held in August 2018, in Sarajevo. The trainer was Dr Patricia Hannam, who works as a UK Education Advisor and is a longtime trainer at SAPERE Institute. The participants of the training were teachers from four grammar schools: Second Gymnasium Sarajevo, Third Gymnasium Sarajevo, First Bosniak Gymnasium Sarajevo, Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Visoko; Primary School Teachers: Vareš Majdan Primary School and Stranjani Primary School in Zenica, Professors of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zenica, representative of the Jewish Community of Sarajevo and members of  TPO Foundation


Thereafter, another three TOT of 4-day duration training sessions were held with the same group of trainers who are certified for each level of training by the SAPERE Institute certification from London.
All trainers conducted at least 10 philosophical enquiries with children and students over the period 2018-2020 and simulations within TOT group, wrote essays and reflections on key texts and took the final exam.