Essential Learning (AusVELS)

Our approach helps students develop a broad range of thinking and communication skills, including many outlined by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in AusVELS: The Australian Curriculum in Victoria.

Collaborative philosophical enquiry develops the following capacities specified in the AusVELS Interdisciplinary Learning domains of ‘Communication’ and ‘Thinking Processes’.

Young philosophers


Listening, viewing, responding

  • listen attentively and without interrupting
  • ask pertinent questions to explore, clarify and elaborate on complex ideas
  • identify key points in presentations
  • respond insightfully, justifying interpretations with reasons and evidence
  • consider the possible justifications for alternative interpretations and points of view
  • challenge assumptions


  • communicate ideas clearly, precisely and in a coherent and logical order
  • build on the ideas of others
  • develop complex and challenging arguments
  • participate in peer discussions
  • learn self-regulation

Young philosophers

Thinking Processes

Reasoning, processing and inquiry

  • develop questions for investigation
  • explore issues from multiple perspectives
  • synthesise complex information
  • critically analyse and evaluate (sometimes contradictory) information
  • engage in sustained discussion
  • develop reasoned arguments using supporting evidence
  • consider the validity of arguments
  • distinguish between fact and opinion
  • discriminate among sources
  • seek relevance
  • reflect, deliberate and make informed judgments and decisions
  • develop concepts and coherent knowledge structures


  • think creatively about contentious, ambiguous, novel and complex ideas
  • generate multiple options, problem definitions and solutions
  • speculate about possibilities
  • seek imaginative alternatives

Reflection, evaluation and metacognition

  • articulate thinking processes
  • reflect on and refine ideas
  • become aware of how understanding has developed
  • evaluate the effectiveness of thinking strategies and modify them appropriately

Young Philosophers