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Melbourne, Australia
1st -2nd October 2022

“Communities of Inquiry: Significance, Cultural Change and the Ongoing Relationship to P4C”

FAPSA is celebrating 30 years of sharing Philosophy for Children in the Asia-Pacific region. We are looking forward to sharing our celebrations with colleagues from the past, present and inspiring those for the future.


We invite you to submit a proposal to present at this historic event.

We particularly invite submissions that consider the significance of communities and how this core principle has been brought into sharp relief in the past several years. The reality of isolation has become a common challenge within the P4cwC community. Where practitioners are tasked with creating experiences which allow for the effective embodiment of communication within the practice of shared cognition. The importance of non-verbal communication as well as affect and gesture has been brought into sharp relief.

Given that the practice of Philosophy for Children draws upon Dewey’s conception of the Community of Inquiry we encourage a re-examination of the nature of the relationship between notions of community and the authentic practice of philosophical inquiry. Have our notions of community shifted in the last 30 years? And if so, what does that mean for our understanding of P4wC?

Sir Ken Robinson famously challenged 21st century educators to recognise that the culture and framework of our educational system is still firmly grounded in the factory system of the late 19th century; one which pacifies and over-assesses individuals; pitting them against one another to achieve educational success. He proposed that this culture was no longer fit for purpose. He further asserted that how we teach our young people is detrimental to their wellbeing and ultimately our communities.

The last 30 years have seen committed efforts by philosophers and educators to implement P4wC throughout the region, yet this has been a difficult undertaking. Might this challenge be a manifestation of the cultural dilemma Robinson has asserted? Or are there other reasons why P4wC has struggled to find a strong foothold in our communities? Further, how do we account for the emergence of hybrid practises that exhibit some of the elements of P4wC as well as embrace the elements of other pedagogical tools, such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, which disregards the role of intersubjectivity in cognitive action and knowledge acquisition? And what is our relationship and response to these practises? What other factors have contributed to the challenges of implementation?

We invite the exploration of how the Community of Inquiry retains significance to the contemporary practice of P4wC. How the values and practises articulated by Lipman and Sharp can be meaningfully understood in the contemporary context. And what challenges and outcomes for future practice are envisioned.

We encourage submissions that consider the questions raised and others that explore these themes, such as;

  • “How are the concepts of ‘Community of Inquiry’ and “Philosophy for/with Children” related? How ought this relationship be understood and how should it influence our practises?
  • In what ways and to what extent is community important to the practice of philosophical inquiry?
  • How ought we to understand “community”? What are the implications for what constitutes a community of inquiry in both real world and virtual settings?
  • How do cultural and community experiences, particularly of non-Western P4C practitioners, inform the practises that have arisen within P4wC? Do they lead us to rethink the balance (or ‘relationship’) between the individual and the community?
  • What constitutes an authentic Community of Inquiry, and what are the challenges to its implementation?
  • How can we meaningfully assess communities and groups? What are the consequences for how we identify cognitive action within groups? How can this be negotiated in a culture of standardised testing?
Send submissions, via email, to Janette Poulton by Friday, April 1st, 2022. 


$350 non-members
$250 members
$150 students/unwaged

One day

$180 non-members
$130 members
$80 students/unwaged

Excursion day



FAPSA have 10 scholarships available for student and early career teachers to attend the conference for free. This does not include accommodation or travel costs.

Please apply by sending a formal request to Janette Poulton. This should include some details about your location, context of practice and reasons for attending.