Established in 1991 in Australia, the Federation of Asia-Pacific Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA) is a professional non-profit organisation promoting philosophy in schools and representing the interests of its affiliated associations across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as informal members and partnerships throughout the wider Asia-Pacific region. The Federation’s primary purpose is to facilitate the educational aims and objectives of these affiliated associations.
Celebrating 30 Years Through Reflection and Renewal
During our 30th year since creation FAPSA has undergone a series of reflective processes as a community. This has allowed us to reflect on our achievements, purpose and visions for the future. Our first step, in late 2019 was to officially change our name from the Federation of Australian Philosophy in Schools Association to the Federation of Asia-Pacific Philosophy in Schools Associations, in recognition of our growing and important community in the Asian and Pacific regions.
The most significant external change for our community in the last 30 years has been the emergence of the Internet and the many tools it creates to support organisations such as ours to communicate and function efficiently.
In recent times the challenges of the pandemic have seen us evolve to become a more integrated FAPSA community, through the shared delivery of online resources and training. By combining our local expertise we have created an exciting and supportive online community for educators throughout the region.
In response to our reflective process, new community initiatives and the advances in technology FAPSA has responded by making alterations to its governing structure so that all associate members, regardless of size can now serve on the executive. We have also undergone incorporation as a not-for-profit business to encompass our new shared online educational initiatives. These changes are reflected in our updated Constitution.
Our new logo is a celebration of our community as diverse thinkers who come together to create something new and wonderful. When we combine we are more than our individual parts, and we bloom.
FAPSA is a community of peers who select a small executive every two years to run our daily affairs.
The FAPSA Council includes representatives from each of the affiliated associations. We meet each year in person at our annual conference, where we also undertake our AGM. We also meet several times a year online to work on shared projects.
Any association, group or organisation established for the purpose of promoting philosophy in schools may seek to be recognised by the FAPSA Council as an affiliated association.
To achieve its objectives, FAPSA provides professional development and continuing support for teachers; maintains a professional network by organising meetings, online discussion forums and conferences; and promotes the activities of affiliated associations in national and international forums.
FAPSA also collaborates with the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP) which is the professional organisation of academic philosophers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The purpose of the AAP is to promote the study of philosophy in Australasia and to co-ordinate professional activities.
FAPSA has links to international philosophy in schools organisations including the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC), an organisation founded by philosophers and teachers interested in engaging school students in philosophical inquiry. (Download the ICPIC President’s Report, 2009 – 2011.)
FAPSA also has links to international philosophy of education societies such as the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) https://pesa.org.au/
Some of the Federation’s members are active in the promotion of philosophy in education through organisations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).