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“I just think I should get a…  What is it?  When you learn stuff?”


“Yeah, one of them things.  Then you, or any other boy for that matter, can’t think they’re smarter than me,” said Delphi, pointing at him with her piece of grass that she had fashioned into a pen.  Plato shook his head.

“You’ll never listen to a teacher, I know you.  I don’t think that about you anyway.”

“I will, you’ll see!” Delphi said, “Besides, my dad chose this teacher himself.  He can’t do it because he’s to go and work, so he got the best one there is.  He’s the best teacher ever, I bet.”  


Delphi has decided that it is time that she had a teacher.  But when she begins her lessons she starts to realise that there are very different ways teaching and learning can work...  Delphi meets three famous philosophers from history and discovers that the most important learning is the learning about learning!


Big Questions:

  • What is the best way to learn?

  • What is learning?

  • What would the perfect teacher be like?


Skills focus:

  • Developing metacognition

  • Asking questions to help learning

  • Analysing and evaluating ideas


Best Teacher Ever

A philosophical enquiry about how we learn

Best Teacher Ever is multi-part enquiry about learning.  The purpose of this story and enquiry is to help children consider what learning means, and what is the best way we can learn new things.  It was created to help children develop their metacognition, and better understand how teaching and learning really works.

This story was originally a cut chapter from Delphi the Philosopher - but became much bigger and more substantial over time - so it became obvious it was it's own story!  It is made up of 3 parts, with a short prologue and epilogue.  Like all Delphi resources, it can be taught in full lessons (as two one-hour lessons), used as a class novel or can be read independently by older children.  The resources available include the story, alongside a full set of teacher notes containing the key questions, activities and examples of pupil responses.  There is also the slideshow featuring brand new images from the story (including some very cute goats!).

Delphi and Meno
Delphi and Mr Locke

The story follows Delphi as she encounters her very first teachers.  She is very excited at first, certain that she will find learning easy, whatever her friend Plato might think about it.  Over the three main parts of the story she has lessons from three very different teachers - who just happen to be three famous teachers from the history of philosophy!

The first is Meno, a friend of Socrates, who loves to ask a lot of questions - but can Delphi learn just by being asked what she already knows?  The second is Mr Locke, a very strict and strange old man who insists on Delphi repeating facts until she's remembered them.  The final teacher is the bizarre Mi-syur Roo-so who seems to think that the best way for Delphi to learn is to play and discover things for herself!  You'll have to read the story yourself to see what happens - but Delphi discovers that finding the best teacher ever might be harder than she thought.

Based on the ideas of Socrates, Plato, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, this lively and engaging story will help children understand what really makes good teaching and learning.

Delphi and Plato
Delphi with the goats
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