A taste of our curriculum for the primary and high school years
We present our unique curriculum of stimulating philosophical topics in ways that are entertaining and accessible to students of all ability levels.
All our workshops include collaborative enquiry and dialogue. We begin by presenting a selection of multimedia stimulus materials such as visual stories, short films, dramatic role-play, tailor-made audio soundtracks, thought experiments, inventions, drawings, games and puppet theatre. These diverse “idea catalysts” provoke thinking, elicit creative responses and generate rich discussions among the children.
Please read on for an overview of sample workshop topics at different year levels: Prep-Year 1, Years 2-3, Years 4-6, Years 7-9, and Years 10-12.
Workshops for students in Prep – Year 1
In our workshops for the very early years, students begin to explore intriguing questions through multimedia presentations, collaborative games and small-group discussion of ideas. We also start to build students’ foundational thinking skills, such as giving reasons, developing criteria, drawing distinctions, and giving examples.
Workshops for students in Years 2 – 3
In our workshops for the early-to-middle primary years – with the help of drama games, multimedia simulations, puppets and crafts – students learn how to how to articulate their thoughts more clearly, and how to challenge and improve their own thinking. These valuable life skills help them develop more confidence in the validity of their beliefs, while remaining free to change their minds whenever they so choose. We continue to develop particular thinking skills in the context of group discussion.
Workshops for students in Years 4 – 6
In the upper primary years, we use dynamic audio-visual materials to help students think more deeply about big questions. Students increasingly engage each other in dialogue and learn how to think together, by building on each other’s ideas and disagreeing respectfully. We help students focus on improving the relevance of their contributions and developing greater consistency in their viewpoints. We also work on advanced thinking skills such as identifying assumptions, evaluating reasons and considering counter-examples.
Workshops for students in Years 7 – 9
In our junior high school workshops, students consider a variety of challenging issues across the major fields of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, politics and the philosophy of language. They contend with questions that don’t have clear-cut answers – only more or less convincing arguments for different conclusions. Wrestling with these sorts of questions is philosophy at its most vivid: a living, breathing practice that prompts students to refine their intuitions and worldviews. Through concept games, thought experiments, reader’s theatre and discussion, students develop increasingly sophisticated thinking skills which include: testing criteria, assessing arguments, weighing up conflicting evidence and making reasoned judgements.
Workshops for students in Years 10 – 12
In our senior high school workshops, students enjoy the freedom to experiment with ideas – to propose, evaluate, reject or concede arguments as they see fit. Our original stimulus materials present complex themes in innovative ways, and generate intense and nuanced discussions. These exchanges are marked not by the urge to win a debate, but rather by the search for more rigorous arguments and deeper understanding.
Just what is a reason? How do we know that some consideration constitutes a reason for believing or doing something? How do we evaluate the strength or merit of reasons? What is it for a belief or action to be justified? What is the relationship between justification and truth? Why is rationality to be valued?”
We are happy to create tailored programs to suit individual schools. Please contact us for further information.
You may also be interested in our Select Entry Enrichment program details (2018).
A prudent question is one half of wisdom.”