We established The Philosophy Club because we thrive on the wonder, the exchange of ideas, the creative freedom and the critical rigour of philosophical enquiry – and we wanted to share this passion with others.
We are currently working with our partner schools in Melbourne (Australia) to develop a school-wide culture of critical and creative thinking. Please contact us if your school is interested in participating.
“Thank you for the amazing work you have done with our students. You are an exemplary practitioner and I feel we are so lucky to have found you!”
– Director of Curriculum and Head of Literacy, Eltham College.
We run unique professional development programs for primary and secondary teachers, and acclaimed student workshop programs for all year levels (P – 12).
- Our professional development programs empower teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently facilitate philosophical enquiry in the classroom.
- Our student workshops immerse young people in stimulating philosophical questions and open up a universe of ideas, with a focus on developing reasoning and communication skills through collaborative enquiry and dialogue.
We’re committed to creating a safe, respectful and supportive environment in which participants enjoy intellectual adventures in a spirit of curiosity and collaboration.
To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.”
– Bertrand Russell
Who we are
Michelle Sowey: Co-founder and Director.
After receiving First Class Honours in Philosophy from the University of NSW, Michelle Sowey worked in intelligence analysis and educational equity before dedicating herself to supporting children’s thinking through philosophical dialogue. She began The Philosophy Club in living rooms and community halls across Melbourne and Sydney, using a process of collaborative enquiry to ignite children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding.
Michelle has come to be known for her energy, dedication and excellence in communicating with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. In 2013, she launched the Big Questions philosophy mentoring program which connected university-level philosophy students with primary school students from low socio-economic backgrounds. In 2014 she was awarded the Prize for Innovation in Inclusive Curricula by the Australasian Association of Philosophy in recognition of her success in making philosophical dialogue accessible to a wide range of participants.
Currently, as a member of the Melbourne-based consortium Philosophical Engagement in Public Life (PEiPL), she co-leads a working group promoting philosophy in schools and the wider community. She is also a member of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations. Her paper Strengthening Dialogical Argument: What teachers can learn from authentic examples of student dialogue appears in the Journal of Philosophy in Schools.
“You are a consummate professional! …Your work is valued by the College.”
– Principal, Eltham College.
David Urbinder: Co-founder and Development Consultant.
Educator and designer David Urbinder creates The Philosophy Club’s innovative curriculum materials, providing rich and challenging learning experiences that engage children in critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration and reflection.
David has been involved in The Philosophy Club’s development since its inception, initially through curriculum and resource development, and more recently as a facilitator and development manager. David is passionate about the capacity of philosophical dialogue to empower a new generation by promoting more rational and independent thinking.
Drawing on his background in education and psychology, David has helped shape The Philosophy Club’s unique curricula of activities and discussion plans. Using skills he developed in media and design, David has created a range of multimedia ‘idea catalysts’ in the form of original films, scripts, stories, soundtracks and theatrical activities, all designed to provoke children’s deep and whimsical thinking.
We have to live today by what truth we can get today, and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.”
– William James