Students from kindergarten to year 10 participate in weekly philosophy classes. In the early years our focus is to acquaint the children with the introductory tools associated with philosophical enquiry.
Children learn to clarify and express their views, to give reasons for their opinions and to respect other people's ideas. The classes are usually based upon a narrative text containing a central problem.
As they progress through their primary schooling children continue to use and develop the skills they have learned in their early years. They are also taught how to ask enquiry based questions, how to expand their thinking to include differing perspectives and how their own thinking is shaped by personal experiences. The children participate in one philosophy lesson per week but are encouraged to apply these skills across all areas of the curriculum.
During high school the students continue to use and develop their skills in problem solving and active listening. Students are encouraged to apply sound independent judgement and to be intellectually proactive and persistent. Our aim is to educate our children to be socially communicative individuals who posses the ability to be creative, explorative and co-operative in their thinking.
Skills that we wish to develop include:
- an enquiring outlook coupled with an ability to articulate problems and issues
- a tendency to be intellectually proactive and persistent
- a capacity for imaginative and adventurous thinking
- a habit of exploring alternative possibilities
- an ability to critically examine issues and ideas
- a capacity for sound independent judgement.
Social Habits that will be developed as a result of the above include:
- a habit of actively listening to others and of trying to understand their points of view
- a disposition to give reasons for what you say and to expect the same of others
- a habit of exploring disagreements reasonably
- a disposition to be generally co-operative and constructive
- a disposition to be socially communicative and inclusive
- a habit of taking other people's feelings and concerns into account. (Thinking Tools, Philip Cam, 2006)
Professor Phil Cam, the Chairman of the Federation of Australian Philosophy in Schools Association visited our school to conduct workshops with all of our teachers. His work has been applied very successfully in a number of schools across Australia.