The Philosophy Club is a social enterprise that facilitates collaborative philosophical enquiry among children in Australia. It helps children to investigate life’s big questions and explore a world of ideas, with the aid of intriguing stories, pictures, games and crafts that spark philosophical wonder and dialogue. To learn more, visit the website/blog or join The Philosophy Club on facebook.
Who we are
Michelle Sowey: Co-founder and Director.
After receiving First Class Honours in Philosophy from the University of NSW, Michelle Sowey worked in intelligence analysis and educational equity before dedicating herself to supporting children’s thinking through philosophical dialogue. She began The Philosophy Club in living rooms and community halls across Melbourne and Sydney, using a process of collaborative enquiry to ignite children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding.
Michelle has come to be known for her energy, dedication and excellence in communicating with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. In 2013, she launched the Big Questions philosophy mentoring program which connected university-level philosophy students with primary school students from low socio-economic backgrounds. In 2014 she was awarded the Prize for Innovation in Inclusive Curricula by the Australasian Association of Philosophy in recognition of her success in making philosophical dialogue accessible to a wide range of participants.
While continuing to run extra-curricular workshops and to train facilitators in the practice of philosophy with children, Michelle is seeking to partner with schools keen to inspire their students’ critical and creative thinking.
David Urbinder: Co-founder and Development Manager.
Educator and designer David Urbinder creates The Philosophy Club’s innovative curriculum materials, providing rich and challenging learning experiences that engage children in critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration and reflection.
David has been involved in The Philosophy Club’s development since its inception, initially through curriculum and resource development, and more recently as a facilitator and development manager. David is passionate about the capacity of philosophical dialogue to empower a new generation by promoting more rational and independent thinking.
Drawing on his background in education and psychology, David has helped shape The Philosophy Club’s unique curricula of activities and discussion plans. Using skills he developed in media and design, David has created a range of multimedia ‘idea catalysts’ in the form of original films, scripts, stories, soundtracks and theatrical activities, all designed to provoke children’s deep and whimsical thinking.
The Philosophy Club would like to acknowledge the work of the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools which supports teachers in Victoria by providing training, networking and curriculum development opportunities.
We would also like to acknowledge the achievements of The Philosophy Foundation and Thinking Space in the UK, along with many other organisations around the world, whose initiatives continue to be an inspiration for our work.