Media coverage

3/11/2011 Philosothon 2011 – the first Australasian high school philosophy competition – ABC Radio National – transcript and audio available.

26/06/2011: Students swap Play-Doh for Plato by Andrew Taylor. Great philosophers cannot agree on whether stealing is ever justified so it’s little wonder year 1 and year 2 students at Bondi Public School are engaged in lively, but civilised debate on the question. Read more…

May 2011: Showcasing Quality Work, Australian Teacher Magazine. Philosophy has taken off as a subject area, and with their June conference the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools (VAPS) aims to help current teachers improve their teaching, but also introduce new teachers to the subject. Read more…

18/3/2011: When art becomes a thought bubble by Elisabeth Tarica (The Age). Installation art is terrific stimulus for philosophical dialogue,” says ACCA’s public and education programs manager, Caitlin Malcolm. Read more…

8/7/2010: Should philosophy be taught in schools? by Peter Worley. The three ‘R’s’ in education that teach children their basic foundation skills are commonly known as Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. A fourth ‘R’, Reasoning, must be added. Read more…

8/4/2010: The Examined Life, Age 8, by Abby Goodnough. A few times each month, second graders at a charter school in Springfield, Mass., take time from math and reading to engage in philosophical debate. There is no mention of Hegel or Descartes, no study of syllogism or solipsism. Instead, Prof. Thomas E. Wartenberg and his undergraduate students from nearby Mount Holyoke College use classic children’s books to raise philosophical questions, which the young students then dissect with the vigor of the ancient Greeks. Read more…

8/4/2009: Five-year-olds taught philosophy of Plato in bid to encourage reading, by Rebecca Camber. For the average five-year-old, you might expect playtime rather than Plato to be upmost in their thoughts. But now the sound of neo-Socratic dialogue can be heard in primary school classrooms throughout the land as infants debate life’s great mysteries in philosophy lessons. Read more…

20/03/2009: Curriculum: Philosophy – I can make kids think, by Meabh Ritchie. Imagine you’re teaching a class of Year 2 pupils and you ask them to do the simple sum of 2 + 2. One child says four, “because it’s my lucky number”, another proceeds to do the calculation by counting on their fingers, but answers five because of a small error. Which one knows the answer? When this question is posed to a class of Year 5 pupils at Holy Trinity Primary School, south London, they are so keen to answer that their raised hands are almost elevating them out of their chairs. Read more…

7/2/2008: Children as young as FIVE get philosophy lessons – and here are the questions they will be asked, by Laura Clark. While other five-year-olds are learning to spell their names and tie up shoelaces, infants at one school are debating life’s great mysteries – in philosophy lessons. Staff say that instead of “thumping each other” in the playground, pupils now challenge each other’s ideas when they disagree. Read more…

2 July 2008: Schools of thought: teach children philosophy, experts urge, by Anthea Lipsett. Children of all ages should study philosophy in school to develop their critical thinking skills, education experts said today. Academics suggest that, rather than start off with Socrates, teachers use common classroom disputes to help children learn about abstract philosophical principles such as fairness, morality and punishment. They give the example of apportioning blame for spilling paint. Read more…

17/2/2008: Five-year-olds taught philosophy. Five-year-old children are being asked to ponder on philosophical questions about life, death and God in an east London state school. Read more…

6/2/2008: Philosophy lessons for primary pupils, by Dominic Hayes. Which is better, day or night? Is there really such a thing as good luck? Do people ever truly appreciate what they have? And can a five-year-old really be expected to grasp the thorny issues of modern philosophy? Read more…

15/8/2007: An Interview with Maughn Gregory: Philosophy for Children, by Michael F. Shaughnessy. Read the interview…

28/4/2006: Thinking Skills: Child Philosophers. A 30-minute programme featuring P4C in a secondary context. View here…

16/05/2005: Ponder this, by Roslyn Guy. Our educators are doing more than just instructing children in the three Rs, they are doing something revolutionary – teaching them how to think. It’s nearly lunchtime but the 12 students in Pat Gay’s philosophy class are in no hurry to eat. There are too many important questions to ponder. Read more…