A Brief History
In 2007 Hale School in Perth Western Australia embarked on a bold new project to promote higher order thinking among secondary school students. Since then each year the
event has grown with many hundreds of schools around Australasia and the UK now involved. In 2011 the first Australasian Philosothon took place at Cranbrook school in
Sydney New South Wales and was hosted by the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA). In 2012 the first Primary School Philosothon was
held at the National Art Gallery in Victoria. Click here for an ABC Radio National Program about the Australasian Philosothon.
Why a Philosothon?
Philosothons promote critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration skills. In a Philosothon students from different schools can agree or disagree with each other. The
ultimate aim is for a group of 10-12 students to build a collective reasoned response to a complex ethical or philosophical issue or problem. There are often cross curricular
links and students who might struggle with written expression find Philosothons a wonderful way to help them develop skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and
creativity which are important life skills and an asset to any working environment.
Welcome to the official website for Philosothons. A Philosothon offers a unique and exciting opportunity for students to engage in
philosophical and ethical discussions as part of a 'Community of Inquiry'. It uses a pedagogical model called Philosophy for Children.
(Click here for information about P4C). In the process of preparing and participating in Philosothons students develop higher order
thinking and communication skills. Click here for a video introduction.
Thinking philosophically is an adventure
What is a Philosothon?
A Philosothon is concerned with big questions, questions at the edge of science and reason. Each school selects between 5-8 students to represent the school and together
they explore philosophical and ethical issues orally. During the event they discuss four issues and the aim is to collectively come to a conclusion about the issue. The event
differs from debating in that students are scored highly if they build on each others arguments. Students can also change their mind during the course of the discussion.
University based lecturers in Philosophy award points on the basis of students critical thinking, collaboration and creativity. At the end of the evening medallions and trophies
are awarded to individual students and schools.