Philosophical Inquiry with Children : The Development of an Inquiring Society in Australia book cover
1st Edition

Philosophical Inquiry with Children
The Development of an Inquiring Society in Australia

ISBN 9781138362925
Published December 3, 2018 by Routledge
296 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Philosophy in schools in Australia dates back to the 1980s and is rooted in the Philosophy for Children curriculum and pedagogy. Seeing potential for educational change, Australian advocates were quick to develop new classroom resources and innovative programs that have proved influential in educational practice throughout Australia and internationally. Behind their contributions lie key philosophical and educational discussions and controversies which have shaped attempts to introduce philosophy in schools and embed it in state and national curricula.

Drawing together a wide range of eminent scholars and practitioners in the field of educational philosophy, this anthology, the first of its kind, provides not only a historical narrative, but an opportunity to reflect on the insights and experiences of the authors that have made history. The collection is divided into three parts. The overarching theme of Part I is the early years of Philosophy for Children in Australia and how they informed the course that the ‘philosophy in schools movement’ would take. Part II focuses on the events and debates surrounding the development and production of new materials, including arguments for and against the suitability of the original Philosophy for Children curriculum. In Part III, key developments relating to teaching philosophy in schools are analysed.

This collection of diverse views, critical appraisals, and different perspectives of historical currents is intended to stimulate thought-provoking questions about theory and practice, and to increase general awareness both nationally and internationally of the maturation of philosophy in schools in Australia. It is also intended to encourage readers to identify emerging ideas and develop strategies for their implementation.

Table of Contents

About the Editors

List of Contributors



The Philosophical Classroom: An Australian Story Gilbert Burgh & Simone Thornton


Introduction Gabrielle Mardon

Chapter 1. Philosophy for Children Comes to Australia Laurance J. Splitter & Jennifer Glaser

Chapter 2. Getting Started: The Early Use of the IAPC Curriculum Jennifer Glaser & Anita Bass

Chapter 3. The Federation Debate: Creating an Australasian Network Laurance J. Splitter & May Leckey

Chapter 4. From Newsletters to An Australasian Journal and Beyond Stephan Millett

Chapter 5. Australian Practices Go Overseas Megan Jane Laverty


Introduction Gabrielle Mardon

Chapter 6. ‘Memo to Harry Stottlemeier And Friends: You Are Not Wanted Here’. Reflections on The Idea of a Philosophy Curriculum in Australia Laurance J. Splitter

Chapter 7. What’s So Special About A Story? Revisiting the IAPC Text-As-Story Paradigm Jennifer Glaser

Chapter 8. Resourceful Teachers and Teacher Resources Susan Wilks

Chapter 9. From Picture Books to Science in The Classroom Tim Sprod

Chapter 10. Writing for Children and Teachers: A Philosophical Journey Philip Cam

Chapter 11. Connecting Concepts and Developing Thinking Classrooms Clinton Golding


Introduction Gabrielle Mardon

Chapter 12. Teacher Education and Professional Development Janette Poulton

Chapter 13. Philosophy and The Curriculum Monica Bini, Peter Ellerton, Sue Knight, Stephan Millett & Alan Tapper

Chapter 14. Philosophy in Schools Across Australia Kate Kennedy White with Liz Fynes-Clinton, Lynne Hinton, Jill Howells, Emmanuel Skoutas, Daniel Smith & Matthew Wills.

Chapter 15. Philosophy in Public and Other Educational Spaces Selena Prior & Susan Wilks

Chapter 16. Australian Research into The Benefits of Philosophy for Children Stephan Millett, Rosie Scholl & Alan Tapper

Chapter 17. Philosophy for Children Goes to University Jennifer Bleazby & Christina Slade


Chapter 18. Growing Up with Philosophy in Australia: Philosophy as a Cultural Discourse Simone Thornton & Gilbert Burgh



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Gilbert Burgh is Senior Lecturer in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the founder of the Queensland Association for Philosophy in Schools and has published widely on democratic education, citizenship, ethics and dialogic inquiry.

Simone Thornton teaches Philosophy in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her area of specialisation is environmental education, and her publications range from Albert Camus and education, to the role of genuine doubt in collaborative philosophical inquiry.


"Two elements regarding the construction of the argument of this book are what makes the book of great value to readers beyond Australia and beyond philosophy for children. First, each chapter is a combination of personal stories integrated with educational, philosophical and pedagogical theory that simultaneously focuses on P4wC and COI and broader educational and cultural issues. The second advantage of the structure of the book is the different vantage points of the authors." - Richard Morehouse, Journal of Didactics of Philosophy

"This book offers a robust and refined picture of P4C to anyone keen to understand how P4C fits into a specific educational, cultural, and political context. Its contribution is particular timely and important for some countries that try to employ a wholistic approach to P4C intended to create a more supportive environment for P4C practitioners. This book offers a good starting point to realise not only an inquiring school community but an inquiring society/world." - Kei Nishiyama, Philosophical Inquiry in Education