Following the success of the Big Questions pilot last year, The Philosophy Club will be once again bringing collaborative philosophical inquiry to primary school classrooms in 2014. Big Questions remains the only program in Australia that connects school students with highly trained philosophical thinkers, and we are proud of the positive impact that our pilot program had on students at Mahogany Rise Primary School.
We’re pleased to announce that this year, the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts will be joining our partnership and providing funding and support for the program, and we look forward to recruiting a new cohort of exceptional senior undergraduate students from the University’s Philosophy department. Our comprehensive training program will equip them with the skills and confidence they need to facilitate productive dialogues among school students.
While the Big Questions program is designed inclusively to benefit all students in upper primary school, it specifically helps to boost engagement and aspiration for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and it extends gifted and talented students by providing rich and scaffolded learning experiences.
Our small-group approach to collaborative philosophical enquiry has a transformative effect on school students, empowering them to express their views, examine their assumptions, evaluate different arguments rigorously, and make considered judgements.
We are eager to continue working with primary schools in 2014 to help students develop their capacity for critical, creative and collaborative thinking. We invite schools to contact us to express interest in participating in Big Questions or to find out more about philosophical enquiry in schools.