Too small to make a difference?

A philosophical workshop for young people aged 12 –16

About this workshop

Young people aged 12 – 16 are invited to join in a morning of collaborative thinking about our individual and collective responsibilities in the face of the climate crisis.  Young people, this is a opportunity for you to meet with others in a comfortable environment where you will be invited to

  • deal with controversial questions that don’t have clear-cut answers
  • express your thinking and hear reasoned arguments from others
  • collaborate with others with open-mindedness and respect for different perspectives
  • question the assumptions underlying different points of view
  • evaluate different ideas, and weigh up more or less convincing arguments

When: Saturday 8 January 2022. Please log on at 10:15am (for a 10:20am start). The workshop will end at 12 noon.

Where: Online, via Zoom (Please note that this workshop was originally scheduled to take place in-person but has been changed to online, due to Covid.) Participants have been emailed a link for joining us on Zoom. If you have any questions please contact Michelle on 0425-221-604.

Presented by: Michelle Sowey (The Philosophy Club, Australia), as part of a project in partnership with Grace Lockrobin (Thinking Space, UK).

Enquiries: Contact Michelle on 0425-221-604.

Registration: This workshop is free, but the numbers are strictly limited and you must register here by Monday 20 December. Please note that by registering you are agreeing to give your consent for the following:

  • I consent for my child to take part in a philosophy session facilitated by Michelle Sowey on the theme of environmental citizenship.
  • I consent for transcriptions of my child’s words to be used in the book chapter produced by Grace Lockrobin and Michelle Sowey (see ‘Further information’, below).
  • I consent for my child to be filmed and for the footage to be stored securely.
  • I consent for video or audio clips from the session to be shared at an online presentation for international teachers and philosophers at the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) 2022 conference.
  • I consent for video or audio clips from the session to be shared via the websites and social media channels of The Philosophy Club and Thinking Space in the context of promoting the value of philosophical inquiry in environmental education.

(Please discuss this consent with your child before registering.)

Further information on this project

Following the significant COP26 meeting in Glasgow, philosopher Michelle Sowey of The Philosophy Club (Australia) is working with philosopher Grace Lockrobin of Thinking Space (UK) on a project that encourages young people to use their philosophical skills to think about questions raised by the climate and ecological emergency. Together they are writing a chapter for book edited by Joshua Forstenzer and Teacher Educator Fufy Demissie all about philosophical inquiry with young people.

Rather than simply writing an academic description of the kind of work we do together, Michelle and Grace want to include the real words of young people in their chapter to reveal to readers the way in which young people can actively engage as philosophers and citizens in these urgent conversations about the environment.

What will it involve?

This philosophical inquiry workshop will explore questions about individual and collective action in the face of the climate and ecological crisis. The workshop will be filmed, so participants must be willing to be recorded, and allow that recording to be shared between the authors, to be transcribed, and for sections of the transcription to be included in the chapter. You may agree to this with the publication or your real name or a pseudonym, but this is the minimum consent we need for you to take part.

We would also like to present our work at the 2022 International Conference for Philosophy with Children (ICPIC) in Tokyo. (We will be calling in by Zoom, rather than travelling to reduce our carbon footprint!) It will be a much livelier presentation if we could share real footage rather than just your words, hence we are asking for consent to share clips of the video at this event. 

Finally, we think it would be a powerful legacy of the project, if those clips could be shared more widely via our online channels. This would allow us to continue to advocate for the use of philosophical inquiry in environmental education as we have done here for example. You can visit the websites of The Philosophy Club and Thinking Space to better understand the context of this sharing; see some examples of past projects

How much does it cost?

This session is free of charge. The facilitator (Michelle) is not receiving any payment for running the workshop, and the authors (Michelle and Grace) are not receiving any payment for writing this chapter, for presenting at the conference or for promoting this work.

What will be recorded?

The workshop will be filmed and the film will be sent securely to the authors who will transcribe sections of the conversation to print as text within the publication. They will be careful to remain as faithful as possible to the meaning and flow of the original conversation.

What will it be used for?

Sections of the dialogue will be included in the chapter and published in the book. Video/audio clips may be shared at the conference and more widely online as part of our efforts to promote the use of philosophy for environmental education.

What will happen to the recorded footage?

The footage will be saved on to the author’s computer and will remain private. It will eventually be archived onto a storage drive, and will remain private. Once no longer needed, it will be deleted.

What if I withdraw my consent?

You are free to with draw your consent at any time up the submission of the chapter in January 2022.