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 Philsothon took place at Cranbrook school in Sydney New South Wales and was hosted by the Federation
of Australasian Philsophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA). In 2012 the first Primary School Philsothon was held at the National Art
Gallery in Victoria. Click here for an ABC Radio National Program about the Australasian Philsoothon.
Why a Philosothon?
Philosothons promote critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration skills. Philosothons are different from debates in that students
can agree with each other and the ultimate aim is for a group of 10-12 students to build a collective 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 that are and 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 an inter-school competition where schools send a team of their best Philosophers to a host school. Students then
engage in a series of discussions where the aim is to collectively come to a conclusion about a complex ethical or philosophical issue.
The event differs from debating in that students are scored highly if they build on each others arguments, even those from different
schools. 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.