Curriculum connections

Philosophy for children

Our approach helps students develop a broad range of thinking and communication skills, including many outlined by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in AusVELS: The Australian Curriculum in Victoria.

As outlined below, collaborative philosophical enquiry develops capacities specified in the AusVELS Interdisciplinary Learning domains of ‘Communication’ and ‘Thinking Processes’ as well as in the ACARA General Capabilities of ‘Ethical Understanding’ and ‘Critical and Creative Thinking’.



Listening, viewing, responding

  • listen attentively and without interrupting
  • ask pertinent questions to explore, clarify and elaborate on complex ideas
  • identify key points in presentations
  • respond insightfully, justifying interpretations with reasons and evidence
  • consider the possible justifications for alternative interpretations and points of view
  • challenge assumptions


  • communicate ideas clearly, precisely and in a coherent and logical order
  • build on the ideas of others
  • develop complex and challenging arguments
  • participate in peer discussions
  • learn self-regulation

Young philosophers


Reasoning, processing and inquiry

  • develop questions for investigation
  • explore issues from multiple perspectives
  • synthesise complex information
  • critically analyse and evaluate (sometimes contradictory) information
  • engage in sustained discussion
  • develop reasoned arguments using supporting evidence
  • consider the validity of arguments
  • distinguish between fact and opinion
  • discriminate among sources
  • seek relevance
  • reflect, deliberate and make informed judgments and decisions
  • develop concepts and coherent knowledge structures


  • think creatively about contentious, ambiguous, novel and complex ideas
  • generate multiple options, problem definitions and solutions
  • speculate about possibilities
  • seek imaginative alternatives

Reflection, evaluation and metacognition

  • articulate thinking processes
  • reflect on and refine ideas
  • become aware of how understanding has developed
  • evaluate the effectiveness of thinking strategies and modify them appropriately

Young philosophers


Inquiring collaboratively

  • Engage in open-ended, sustained collaborative inquiry and discussion with peers
  • Explore areas of ethical complexity and contention
  • Develop a consistent position and justify it to fellow members of a democratic community
  • Understand and engage with the ethical positions of others, dealing respectfully with disagreements
  • Make ethical judgements in the face of competing claims by appealing to reason and evidence
  • Acknowledge appropriate criteria in making and criticising ethical judgements

Understanding ethical concepts and issues

  • Analyse and discuss ethical concepts (such as the nature of justice, freedom, empathy and goodness)
  • Explore how these concepts apply to ethical issues

Reasoning in decision making and action

  • Use ethical reasoning for thoughtful decision-making
  • Explore the foundations of ethical controversies
  • Examine links between emotions, dispositions and actions
  • Consider the consequences of actions
  • Reflect on ethical action, agency and character

Exploring values, rights and responsibilities

  • Explore values, beliefs and principles underlying ethical judgments and actions
  • Examine differing values promoted by various communities and organisations
  • Explore notions of the common good, national and universal values, and human rights
  • Understand the relationship between rights and responsibilities
  • Consider different points of view on ethical dilemmas
  • Identify inconsistencies in the application of particular values and principles.

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