The Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA) is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a substantial grant from the Templeton Religion Trust to fund a philosophy in schools project from September 2017 to August 2020. The Project will further develop Philosothons in Australasia by growing existing Philosothons and supporting the establishment of new ones, particularly in remote schools and at schools catering for students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
The Philosothon Project was conceived by Mr Matthew Wills, the Head of Philosophy, Values and Religion at Hale School in Western Australia. A Philosothon is a competition that sees students engaging in a Community of Inquiry, seeking to investigate a complex ethical or philosophical problem in a collaborative manner. Philosothons promote critical and creative thinking and collaboration skills.
The following grants are now available;
1. New Philosothons: Subsidies are available for schools to help cover the costs associated with starting up their own local Philosothon involving other schools in their area. Priority will be given to schools catering for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and regional areas. New Philosothons will be established in regions that do not yet have any; including the ACT, New Zealand, the Northern Territory, Singapore, South Australia, and Tasmania.
2. Travel Subsidies: Subsidies will be provided to enable students/staff from remote locations to travel and participate in National Philosothons. Judges and Community of Inquiry Facilitators recruited and trained up: Teacher training and professional development will be organised to allow post-graduate university students in philosophy and primary and secondary school philosophy teachers to be trained in the Community of Inquiry pedagogy which, in turn, enables them to act as Judges and Facilitators in Philosothons.
3. A monetary prize will be provided for the winning school in the annual Australasian Philosothon.
4. Funding is available to assist teachers to receive Level 1 training in order for them to be better equipped to facilitate Community of Inquiries at a Philosothon.
5. Resource Development: Teachers and academics will be invited to develop age appropriate resources to be used as stimulus material for Philosothons. A website will be developed to house these resources and enable access for all participants. These resources will be used as stimulus material for Philosothons.
6. Research and Project evaluation: Research will be conducted and reported on the benefits and findings of the Philosothon Project and published in reputable scholarly and open access publications such as peer-reviewed journals as well as Philosophy magazines.
7. Honorarium will be available to Philosothon organisers to pay judges and facilitators to assist them to cover travel costs or fee for service where they assist in the successful running of a Philosothon.
Contact: Project coordinator Mr Matthew Wills (e) firstname.lastname@example.org | Ph: +61 (0)400 029 660 | FAPSA Website: http://fapsa.org.au/ This project was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust.