Classroom books and resources

Something to Prove

Something to Prove: Philosophy, Community of Inquiry and Creative Thinking

Dr Andrea Monteath (The Life Writing Project, 2015)
Something to Prove is an introduction to philosophical thinking, and the practice of community of inquiry. Researched and written specifically for young adults and their teachers, it pokes an exploratory finger into the areas of metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, political ideology, equality, culture, freedom, and more. The book employs contemporary story-­telling techniques, informal language, and a fast-­paced variety of hypothetical scenarios, all within the familiar framework of a textbook. Something to Prove is an educational resource modelled on the Western Australian Certificate of Education’s
‘Philosophy and Ethics’ course, and is designed to support teachers and students interested in introductory philosophy concepts, philosophical community of inquiry practices, and creative problem-­solving techniques.

Something to Prove Flyer

 


Art is What You Make of It

Susan Wilks & Tony Healy,  Art is What You Make of It (Hawker-Brownlow, 2012)

The arts perform a vital role in the growth of human consciousness because they create sensory experiences and help the development of perception and aesthetic awareness. If we use the exploration of social and cultural contexts as the framework for developing visual arts curricula, then the nature of learning experiences will be much more diverse. Art Is What You Make of It assists teachers to engage their students, from the middle years and beyond, in the exploration of complex issues presented by artworks of both contemporary and past eras. The term “artworks” here encompasses all aspects of the fine arts, design and digital media. The scenarios and examples in the book examine the blurring of boundaries between art forms; art which is ephemeral or which exists only in photographic, technological or other forms of information storage; and art that seems to deliberately set out to upset or offend the viewing public. The scenarios and information in Art Is What You Make of It offer fruitful and stimulating starting points for inquiry, and assist in the development of a better understanding and appreciation of art’s diversity and complexity. The issues raised and the discussions that stem from this book can lead to exploration of issues that range across disciplines and year levels.

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Philosophy Park: A beginner’s guide to great philosophers and their ideas

Philip Cam (ACER Press 2013)

Philosophy Park introduces readers in the upper primary years to influential ideas of some of the world’s most famous philosophers—both ancient and modern—through conversations between a cast of colourful characters. Children first learn about each philosopher, and then read a story that unpacks a key philosophical debate, before reflecting, analysing and discussing the ideas in class.

Some of questions explored in Philosophy Park:
• What is it for something to be good?
• Is happiness the most important thing in life?
• How do we know what is real?
• Where do ideas come from?
• How can you be sure that you exist?

To assist in this process, an accompanying Teacher Resource provides carefully constructed topic questions, activities and exercises that are designed to extend student thinking and guide classroom discussion and debate. Working in this way will help children to develop the art of Critical and Creative Thinking — a core requirement and ‘general capability’ in the Australian Curriculum.

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Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry for the Middle Years and Beyond

Sarah Davey Chesters, Liz Fynes-Clinton, Lynne Hinton, Rosie Scholl (ACSA, 2013)

This book seeks to broaden teachers’ understanding of stimuli for philosophical inquiry, and suggests a variety of easily accessible stimulus materials appropriate across disciplines. Students and teachers are able to unleash their ability to question, to satisfy their thirst for meaning and understanding, to explore possibilities with others and to test their own thinking within a supportive community. Engaging in philosophy sessions enables teachers and students to explore the curriculum and life beyond the schoolyard in depth, through learning to think in a critical, creative and caring way. This form of learning will assist them to understand and make sense of their lives.

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The Socratic Classroom: Reflective Thinking through Collaborative Inquiry

Sarah Davey Chesters (Sense Publishers, 2012)

This book provides a framework for a collaborative inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning suitable not only for formal educational settings such as the school classroom but for all educational settings. For teachers, educationalists, philosophers and philosophers of education, The Socratic Classroom presents a theoretical as well as practical exploration of how philosophy may be adopted in education. The Socratic Classroom captures a variety of philosophical approaches to classroom practice that could be broadly described as Socratic in form. There is an exploration of three distinct approaches that make significant contributions to classroom practice: Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry, Leonard Nelson’s Socratic Dialogue, and David Bohm’s Dialogue. All three models influence what is termed in this book as ‘Socratic pedagogy’. Socratic pedagogy is multi-dimensional and is underpinned by ‘generative, evaluative, and connective thinking’. These terms describe the dispositions inherent in thinking through philosophical inquiry. This book highlights how philosophy as inquiry can contribute to educational theory and practice, while also demonstrating how it can be an effective way to approach teaching and learning. Audience This publication is suited to educators, teacher educators, philosophers of education and philosophers in general. It has a theoretical and practical focus, making it truly interdisciplinary.

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Teaching Ethics in Schools


Philip Cam, ACER Press, 2012

Teaching Ethics in Schools provides a fresh approach to to moral education based on reflection and collaborative enquiry. It demonstrates how an ethics-based model can stimulate ethical enquiry, influence habits of mind  and encourage students to develop good moral judgement. The book draws on the history of philosophy in succinct terms and relates this to contemporary school contexts, while including an array of activities, exercises and discussion points as stimuli for teachers to adapt and apply across diverse subject areas, throughout all stages of school.

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Sophia’s Question & Teacher Resource Book

Philip Cam (Hale & Iremonger, 2011) Sophia’s Question is a philosophical novel that is a stimulus for thought on topics such as freedom, fairness, and friendship—topics which are supplemented by accessible introductions to intellectual tools such as open questions, good reasons, careful distinctions and proficient reasoning—all woven into the fabric of the novel to support deep and careful examination of the issues and ideas that arise. There is a separate Teacher Resource Bookthat helps teachers to develop an inquiring classroom community, in which students use questioning, justification, conceptual exploration and reasoning to explore these issues and ideas together.

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Discussions in Science

By Tim Sprod, Chair of the Association for Philosophy in Tasmanian Schools, past Chair of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations, and past Secretary of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children.
Aimed at science teachers of children ages 10-14, this book contains 18 stories that can be used to initiate a community of inquiry, and extensive support material for teachers in running that community. Issues raised include concepts central to science, the philosophy and methodologies of science, ethical puzzles surrounding scientific research, and links between the lives of students and scientific matters. Published by ACER. For further information, download the flyer.


Chill Out!

Written and produced in collaboration between the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, South Australia Department of Education and Children’s Services, Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Broadcasting Commission and Office of Film and Literature Classification as a Garth Boomer Scholarship project.

Chill Out! is a multimedia resource which draws upon segments from the ‘Lift Off’ series to explore a range of social issues. It has been designed for students from P/K to Year 4. Within each unit, teachers can select from a range of options which they feel are a logical sequence of activities and requirements for their class or individual students. As a cross-curricula resource, it will enable teachers to extend and incorporate exploration of social skills into the curriculum areas of English, SOSE and HPE. Chill Out! consists of Teacher’s Guide, Video (DVD) anthology and online component (Topic 4).

(Australian Children’s Television Foundation)

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I Think…

Written and compiled by Susan Wilks & Colleen Abbott and produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Cross curriculum teaching kit. Years 1-7.

I Think … is a practical, cross-curricular resource which uses TV to explore philosophical themes with children. The teaching kit comprises a Teachers’ Guide book, video anthology and website. It is based on the animated short films ‘Munch Kids’ from the ‘Lift Off’ series, in which children discuss important, puzzling big ideas and wonder about the solutions to environmental and personal issues.

(Australian Children’s Television Foundation)

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What’s Fair?

Written and compiled by Val Catchpoole and produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Values and anti-bullying teaching kit, video and CD. Years 5-8.

What’s Fair? is a cross-curricular resource for ethical inquiry comprised of a teachers’ guide book, video clips from the TV series ‘What’s Fair’ and website. It is designed to focus on a range of themes relevant to English, Studies of Society and Environment, and Health and Physical Education – Human Relations. It aims to support teachers in developing ethical inquiry as part of these curriculum areas. It is also well suited for use within Lifeskills programs designed to foster positive student behaviours within a supportive school environment.

(Australian Children’s Television Foundation)

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Lift Off

Produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, with assistance and consultation from Jen Glaser and Peter Clarke.

Includes animated short films, ‘Munch Kids’, which uses the voices of children recorded discussing a topic, and wrestling with some big questions. They wonder about the solutions to environmental and personal issues and other puzzling big ideas. Developed through a philosophy program for children, their words are interpreted in a variety of interesting animated forms, including paper cut-outs, real objects, line drawings, painting, newsprint and photographs, so as the children explore the question, their unscripted insights become alive and dynamic.

(Australian Children’s Television Foundation)

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Books into Ideas: A Community of Inquiry

Tim Sprod

Books Into Ideas uses a Philosophy for Children approach to encourage thinking in young learners. The author explains how teachers can set up a community of inquiry within the classroom and teach questioning techniques at all levels of thinking. Based on 15 published picture books, Books Into Ideas will take your students into the world of literature and critical thinking, interpreting and expressing ideas.

(Hawker Brownlow)

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Discovering Our Voice: Instructional Manual to Accompany ‘Geraldo’

Ann M Sharp & Laurance Splitter

Discovering Our Voice provides teachers with an accessible way of exploring philosophical concepts with their students. The manual is intended to accompany Geraldo by Ann M Sharp. Geraldo is a story about a boy who leaves one culture and tries to ‘join’ another. In addition to his feelings of dislocation, he finds that he must learn a new language as well as social and ethical norms. In order to cope with this, he finds a new way of looking at things.

(ACER Press)

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Making Sense of My World: Instructional Manual to Accompany ‘The Doll Hospital’

Ann M Sharp & Laurance Splitter

This manual contains numerous discussion plans and activities designed to foster good thinking, dialogue and community relationships among very young children.

Making Sense of My World is intended to accompany The Doll Hospital by Ann M Sharp, which centres on Jess, a girl who explores the boundaries of her world with her toy, Roller. A trip to the doll hospital triggers a permanent change in their relationship.

(ACER Press)

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Time to Think, Books 1-2

Anne-Maree Olley

A Guide to Thoughtful Discussion Series

The books in this series encourage the development of good thinking skills: reflective analysis, reasoning and discrimination. It asks students to consider philosophical concepts and promotes discussion. This series is supported by teacher notes, a checklist of essential thinking skills and evaluation forms. Suitable for ages 6-13.

(Essential Resources)

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Thinking about Picture Books, Books 1-2

Anne-Maree Olley

A Guide to Thoughtful Discussion Series

Both books uses plans and activities to stimulate discussion on philosophical concepts in well-known and well-loved picture books. This guide to thoughtful discussion is suitable for students of all ages, right up to senior secondary school level. It comes with ready-to-copy handouts, teacher notes, a checklist of essential thinking skills and evaluation forms.

(Essential Resources)

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Thinking about… Journal Stories, Books 1-3

Anne-Maree Olley

A Guide to Thoughtful Discussion Series

This series uses New Zealand School Journals to help students develop discrimination and reasoning skills and to encourage them to consider philosophical concepts. The activities are designed to fit easily into the reading programme, and there are also teacher guides on assessment and evaluation. Suitable for ages 7-12.

(Essential Resources)

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Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery

Matthew Lipman, Australian adaptation by L.J. Splitter

Harry Stottlemeier’s Discovery (Years 4-7) focuses on the development of basic logic and reasoning skills within the context of ordinary language. The central characters in the story develop their own community of inquiry, bringing together different perspectives and ways of thinking. Harry deals with the criteria and principles which underlie good thinking in all subject areas and disciplines. The Teacher Manual to accompany this novel is Philosophical Inquiry.

(ACER Press)

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Thinking with Rich Concepts: Philosophical Questioning in the Classroom

Clinton Golding

Provocative topics that really make students use all the thinking tools and strategies at their command. Rich Concepts include: Happiness; Choice; Ownership; Identity; and 10 more that lead students into thoughtful, guided discussion. Student warm-ups to start ideas flowing, then move through various exercises and respond to different statements to really grapple with each concept. Complete with practical teacher’s notes, sample discussions and evaluation tools.

(Hawker Brownlow)

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Connecting Concepts: Thinking Activities for Students

Clinton Golding

Connecting Concepts is a classroom resource designed to help teachers turn their classroom into a community of inquiry through exploring concepts such as violence, the mind, culture, knowledge and justice. Includes: discussion ideas and exercises suitable for whole class, group and individual activities using a wide range of learning styles. Clear guidelines, examples and sample questions provide a step-by-step introduction to conceptual analysis in the classroom.

(ACER Press)

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Philosophy with Kids

Chris de Hann, San MacColl & Lucy McCutcheon

  • Books 1-3
  • More Ideas and Activities

Philosophy with Kids covers a series of themes and ideas, including activities designed to develop listening and thinking skills, problem solving and questioning techniques, and cooperative behaviour that are applicable through all the key learning areas.

(Longman Australia)

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Philosophy with young children — a classroom handbook

Philip Cam, Liz Fynes-Clinton, Kathlyn Harrison, Lynne Hinton, Rosie Scholl & Simon Vaseo.

Philosophy with Young Children is a handbook for teachers of early primary, and is designed to assist teachers in the teaching of philosophy, and in developing skills of inquiry and reasoning in their students, utilising story books. It focuses on twelve stories and includes activities relating to each story with details of the area of philosophy emphasised, philosophical themes to be covered, and activities based on eliciting good questions, exploring concepts and developing reasoning skills.

(Australian Curriculum Studies Association)

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20 Thinking Tools

Philip Cam

Twenty Thinking Tools is designed to support the development of collaborative inquiry-based teaching and learning through class discussion and small group work. It introduces teachers to the theory and practice of collaborative inquiry, and provides an easy-to-follow guide to the tools that students will acquire as they learn to examine issues and explore ideas.

(ACER Press)

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Twister, Quibbler, Puzzler, Cheat: Ten Tall Teasing Tales

Philip Cam

Explore the truly false and the falsely true in these ten, tall, teasing tales! There’s the spaceship computer that’s a compulsive liar, the bamboozled barber under the sentence of death, a pair of robots who claim to be the same robot, and the spine-chilling experience of the man who crossed the bridge between Kirov and Vorik. These stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes sinister, introduce the reader to puzzles that have teased the human brain for thousands of years. Presented in dramatic form and illustrated by lively cartoons.

(Hale & Iremonger)

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Thinking Stories

Philip Cam

  • Philosophical Inquiry for Children, Books 1-3
  • Teachers Resource/Activity Book, 1-3

The first two books in this series contain a collection of illustrated stories from all over the world including the USA, Scotland, Germany, Canada, Taiwan and Australia. Each story has been chosen for its ability to promote children’s natural curiosity about issues such as friendship, multiculturalism, magic and make-believe, order in nature, and freedom and rights. The third book contains seven interconnected stories set in an urban Australian community. Illustrated and told in an easy-to-read style using a child narrator as the ‘voice’ of each incident, these stories explore issues such as friendship, racism, violence, justice, truth and lies, trust and respect. Each book has a teacher’s resource and activity book full of discussion plans and exercises to help create a ‘community of inquiry’ in the classroom.

(Hale & Iremonger)

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Thinking Together: Philosophical Inquiry for the Classroom

Philip Cam

Written for primary school teachers with an interest in developing children’s thinking skills, Thinking Together shows how children’s literature and other material can be used to help children raise puzzles and problems that will encourage them to think. It explores the idea of a classroom community of inquiry, and shows teachers how to use questioning techniques, group discussion, and other activities to achieve growth in thinking skills.

(Primary English Teaching Association/Hale & Iremonger)

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Values Education in Schools: A resource book for student inquiry

Mark Freakley, Gilbert Burgh & Lyne Tilt MacSporran.

Values Education in Schools is an important new resource for teachers involved in values and ethics education. It provides a range of ‘practical philosophy’ resources for secondary school teachers that can be used in English, religious education, citizenship, personal development and social science subjects. The materials include narratives to engage students in philosophical inquiry, doing ethics through the activity of philosophy, not simply learning about it.
(ACER Press)

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Engaging with Ethics: Ethical Inquiry for Teachers

Mark Freakley & Gilbert Burgh (2000)
This book adopts a ‘community of inquiry’ approach to the teaching of professional ethics to pre-service teachers. It is designed to assist students to bridge the gap between ethical theories and their practical experiences as beginning professionals. The first part of the book articulates the framework for the approach taken while the second part provides a series of fictional ethical vignettes set consisting of school teachers and their students in a local school.
(Social Science Press)

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Ethics and the Community of Inquiry: Education for Deliberative Democracy

Gilbert Burgh, Terri Field & Mark Freakley (2006)
Ethics and the Community of Inquiry develops a practical philosophy of education that addresses professional values and conduct and pedagogical practice within a framework of democratic education. The authors propose a philosophy of genuine inquiry to integrate curriculum, teaching and learning, and to place deliberative democracy at the centre of education reform.
(Thomson Social Science Press)

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