Teacher training

Philosophy for children

Chairs1The Philosophy Club provides professional development programs to empower primary and middle school teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently facilitate philosophical enquiry in the classroom.

Our comprehensive training programs run for two or three days in your school’s professional development time, optionally supplemented by additional mentoring visits during class time.

Participating teachers learn how to identify philosophical questions and how to make use of a multipurpose toolkit of thinking, reasoning and metacognitive techniques. We also equip teachers with facilitation strategies to foster students’ skill development in collaborative enquiry, conceptual exploration, dialogue and reflection.

Our training programs promote deep understanding and provide memorable practical experiences while also presenting a wealth of useful resources to help embed philosophy as an integral and sustainable part of your school’s curriculum.

Choose from the following options:

Our two-day PD program: Introduction to Philosophical Enquiry

Our three-day PD program: Philosophical Enquiry in Practice – tailored to the needs of your school.

All our PD programs include:

  • Stimulating, practice-focussed presentations, challenging interactive exercises and lively discussions;
  • The Philosophy Club’s purpose-written 90-page teacher handbook (see Contents page);
  • Clearly presented notes with key points from our talks;
  • Ready-to-use practical resources including a scope & sequence, lesson planning guides, student evaluation rubrics, teacher self-evaluation forms, and a list of recommended books and resources;
  • Transcripts of numerous facilitated philosophical discussions among students, for your reference;
  • Information about how Philosophy integrates with the AusVELS curriculum; and
  • Access to The Philosophy Club’s range of (password-protected) online supplementary materials, including original materials such as our guide for working with ethical controversies in the classroom.

Please contact us for further information on our PD offerings.

Ideally we want teachers to model the skills and dispositions which underlie philosophical thinking… where teachers fail to do this it is unlikely that children will come to think philosophically whatever curriculum materials they have… If we want children to engage in philosophical thinking, we must first develop this disposition in teachers.1

[Children are] very eager and open to thinking philosophically about ideas… They’re trying to understand their world and make meaning in it. And I think unfortunately in our current system these questions aren’t getting uptake… in part because teachers aren’t really trained to deal with those kinds of questions.2

1Knight, S. & Collins, C. (2010). Enlivening the Curriculum: The power of philosophical inquiry. Theory and Research in Education, 8(3) 305–318.

2Goering, S. [TEDx Talks]. (2011, June 30). Philosophy for kids: Sparking a love of learning; [Video file].

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