VAPS Newsletter

18 February 2019
Issue One
Events Calendar
Regional & Rural Schools
Philosothon Grants
PD - Ethics Trail at Melbourne Zoo
Research Opportunity
Schools Workshops
Philosophy in Schools Readings
Victorian Association of Philosophy in Schools
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Events Calendar


Sunday 24th February 

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 1)


Sunday 3rd March

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 2)

Thursday 14th March


Friday 22nd March

VCE Unit 1 Forum

Sunday 31st March

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 3)


Thursday 4th April

Middle Years Philosothon (Melbourne Museum)


Friday 3rd May

Ethics Trail PD - Melbourne Zoo

Sunday 19th May

VCE Unit 3 Forum


Friday 14th June

Primary Years Philosothon (NGV)


Thursday 18th July

Middle Years Philosothon (Immigration Museum)

Friday 26th July

Ethics Trail PD - Melbourne Zoo

Sunday 28th July

VCE Unit 4 Forum


Sunday 4th August

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 1)

Tuesday 13th August

Secondary Philosothon (Wesley College)

Sunday 18th August

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 2)


Sunday 1st September

Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training (day 3)

Thursday 12th September

Middle Years Philosothon (Scienceworks) 


Friday 18th October

Ethics Trail PD - Melbourne Zoo


21st November

Middle Years Philosothon (Melbourne Museum)



VAPS will host six Philosothons this year.


Primary Years Philosothon (years 4-6) at the NGV (14th June)

Middle Years Philosothon (year 5-8) at Melbourne Museum (4th April)

Middle Years Philosothon (years 5-8) at the Immigration Museum (18 July) 

Middle Years Philosothon (years 5-8) at Scienceworks Museum (12th Sep)

Middle Years Philosothon (year 5-8) at Melbourne Museum (21st Nov)

Secondary Philosothon (years 8-11) at Wesley College (StK) (13th Aug)


All Primary & Middle years Philosothons are 10 students per school.

The Secondary Philosothon comprises teams of 8 students per school: 

2x year 8, 2x year 9, 2x year 10, 2x year 11.

(Fewer students per school can be arranged by negotiation).


For more details or to register early interest in attending, please contact the Philosothon Coordinator here.


Facilitators are needed for all philosothons.

This is a chance to visit the exhibits for free and gain some valuable professional development experience conducting philosophical communities of inquiry with students.  You will love it!


If you are interested, please fill out this short form or contact the education officer here.


Community of Inquiry Level 1 Training starts this week. (24 Feb)

Registration forms can be found here.

More details can be found here.


Bookings are also being taken for the Semester 2 training starting on 4th August. 


For more information, please contact our Education Officer here.







Regional & Rural Schools

VAPS Philosophical Practice Officer

VAPS has implemented a new position to assist regional and rural schools with incorporating philosophical inquiry into their schools.


The Philosophical Practice Officer is available to visit schools seeking to build philosophical inquiry into their school's practice.


VAPS has secured grant money to assist regional and rural schools thanks to the Department of Education. Regional and Rural schools will receive at 75% discount of all costs (which will be taken from the grant money).






For more information, contact the treasurer here.

Philosophical Practice Officer's Offerings

                                                           (75% discount for Regional or Rural Schools)

TYPE                                                                                                                     COST (dis)

School Visit Base Fee (0-2 hours from Melb)                                       $100 ($25)

School Visit Base Fee (2+ hours from Melb)                                        $250 ($63)


School Day in Class (demonstrations; mentoring; planning)     $500 ($125)

After School PL (1 Hour)                                                                             $400 ($100)

Whole Day PL                                                                                                $1200 ($300)


*Combinations of sessions available

*These sessions can be made available to non-regional or rural school for the full fee upon request.


For more information, contact the treasurer here.


VCE Network Meetings


VCE Forums

Friday 22nd March

VCE Unit 1 Forum (Deakin University Burwood)

Sunday 19th May

VCE Unit 3 Forum

Sunday 28th July

VCE Unit 4 Forum

Venue TBA


The Chief Examiner's Report from 2017 is now available. Please find it here.


The 2019 exam specifications are available here.


2019 will bring with it a new study design. Get your head around it here. Also have a look at the new 2019 prescribed texts here

Start typing your article in here...



Please see our website and calendar for full details about venues, times, and registrations for all events.

Please join the VAPS VCE google group here.

VCE Network Leaders can be emailed below:





VAPS Annual General Meeting

The Victorian Association of Philosophy in Schools will hold its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 14th March at Scotch College.


VAPS encourages members to attend and check in on the successes of VAPS over the last year, and its direction going forward. All current members of any type (individual, student, institutional) are welcome to attend. 


Immediately after the AGM there will be a general committee meeting, which is for committee members only. If any VAPS members want to have greater input into philosophy in schools throughout Victoria, they are welcome to email the Secretary and apply to join the committee. We are a not-for-profit association and anyone available to give their time to help further the reach of philosophy in schools is always needed and welcome. 


Secretary: Lucas McGauran (Email)


Philosothon Grants


VAPS has also received funding from the Department of Education to support regional and remote schools to access philosophy events. 

Funding is available to attend all VAPS events, including Philosothons, and Level 1 training.


All regional and rural teachers and schools can apply for grants for upcoming philosothons this year or any of the trainings this year

For more information, contact the treasurer here.


2019 FAPSA GRANTS are now available to assist school teachers, schools and university students build critical, collaborative, and creative thinking skills in students. Please apply directly to FAPSA through the relevant links below.


Twenty grants were awarded in 2018. Click here to see what grant recipients did with their funding. Feedback from the first round including comments like:

"Thank you for helping us create what was a memorable and empowering experience for all involved." Mark Bellham Waikato Diocesan School for Girls-New Philosothon Grant recipient.


"This was the training I wish I had prior to tutoring at university, ....The strategies for anchoring, for the proper use of procedural and substantive questions in facilitating a discussion, and the sequence of moving from establishing background knowledge, through asking questions about specific examples, to asking questions about general themes, all would be very useful to anyone starting out as a philosophy tutor. I am also keen to participate in future Philosothons." Tim Nailor Adelaide University-Phd. Student Grant recipient

"The Western NSW Primary Philosothon-Big Ideas Challenge is over and what a great time we had with critical thinking, creativity and philosophy!" Mandi Randell Central -West Leadership Academy New Regional Philosothon Grant recipient.


A new suite of grants is now available to assist you in building critical thinking skills, collaboration skills, and creativity in your students. This year we are also offering extra assistance for teachers to access advanced teacher training in 2019.

Click on any links below for further details....


New Regional Philosothons: Subsidies are available for schools to help regional and remote schools cover the costs associated with starting up their own local Philosothon. This will involve other schools in their area. Click here for an application form.

New Philosothons will be supported in cities that do not currently have one, including the ACT, New Zealand, the Northern Territory, Singapore, South Australia, and Tasmania. Click here for an application form

Northern Territory Grant applications- These are travel grants to enable teachers to participate in professional development opportunities related to the Philosothon Project. Some priority will be given to indigenous teachers and or teachers of indigenous students. Please fill in the online application form and we notify you ASAP if your application was successful. Click here to apply.

Travel & Participation subsidies: Subsidies will be provided to assist students/staff who might not otherwise be able to participate in a Philosothon. This might be because they live in remote locations or because the school is dealing with students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Click here for an application form.

Judges/facilitators subsidy- Money is available to schools to pay judges/facilitators an Honorarium to cover travel costs etc. Click here for an application form

Teacher training subsidy- If you are wanting to complete an introductory FAPSA approved course to teach Philosophy or advanced teacher training course subsidies are available in 2019 Click here for an application form

Training for Phd Students: Training and professional development will be organised to allow students to be trained in the Community of Inquiry pedagogy which, in turn, enables them to act as facilitators in Philosothons. If you are wanting to complete an introductory course to teach Philosophy FAPSA approved courses or advanced teacher training subsidies are available for Phd students in 2019  Click here for an application form

Resource development: Teachers and academics will be recruited to consult on and 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. Click here for an application form.

FAPSA is an umbrella organisation which seeks to enrich and expand philosophy education in primary and secondary schools in Australasia. It supports the interests of its nine affiliated Associations through professional development and advocacy initiatives, has an official open access journal, Journal of Philosophy in Schools, and holds a biennial conference.Contact: Project co-ordinator Mr Matthew Wills (e) | Ph: +61 (0)400 029 660 | 
FAPSA Website:

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.

PD - Ethics Trail at Melbourne Zoo

Teacher Professional Development with Zoos Victoria Ethics and Conservation: Exploring the ethics trails at the Melbourne Zoo

If you’re a Levels 3- 10 teacher this professional development day is for you. You’ll be able to preview the Melbourne Zoo Ethics Trails and case studies and get the chance to develop your competency for teaching ethical issues in an engaging and non-formal education setting.


The professional development will be delivered by experts in the field of philosophy and ethics education from VAPS (Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools) in partnership with the Melbourne Zoo Learning Experience Team.


The content of the day will be based on the new Ethics Trail and self-guided program, Ethics and Conservation, which has been specifically developed for the Melbourne Zoo.


Primary and Secondary teachers can attend this free professional development day at Melbourne Zoo to support their teaching and learning practice in the Victorian Curriculum area of Ethical Capability.



Time: 9.30am – 3.30pm

Location: Melbourne Zoo

Cost: FREE for Zoos Victoria members ($70 to join as a teacher member) 


For bookings call 1300 966 784


  • Friday 3rd May (Term 2)
  • Friday 26th July (Term 3)
  • Friday 18th October (Term 4)


Download the teacher and student notes for years 3/4, 5/6. 7/8, 9/10, and VCE.

You can find additional resources and support at Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools.


More details available at the Zoo website.

*Free with VIT registration

Research Opportunity

Research Opportunity for Teachers

Monash University researchers from the Department of Philosophy and School of Media and Journalism Studies are examining how critical thinking can be developed in schools. The project "Being Philosophical about digital media: applying critical thinking skills to new cultural environments," is being funded by Monash University and the Victorian Department of Premier and Government. The project aims to foster inclusive & mutually supportive communities and demonstrate the benefits of combining philosophical critical thinking skills with media theory to affect practical interventions in social education for vulnerable young people. Critical thinking skills result in intellectual resilience, teaching how to think independently, responsibly and creatively. The aim is to empower young people via their peers, and to provide them skills to critically navigate digital environments. 


The findings of the research will be made available to the Department of Premier and cabinet via project updates and a project report. This report will also be made available to our research partner, Victorian Association of Philosophy in Schools (VAPS).    


Following is a link to complete an anonymous online survey regarding media practices and critical thinking skills encountered during your duties as a teacher. Your response to the survey is non-identifiable and completing the survey is implied consent for the data captured to be used as part of the team's research.


Survey Link:


Thank you for considering being part of this project. If you or your school are interested in knowing more and participating further in this project, please contact:


Kind Regards,

Drs. Chadha, Butchart, Howard and Ruddock


MONIMA CHADHA              

Department of Philosophy

Monash University

Level 6, Menzies Building, Clayton Campus

20 Chancellor's Walk

Monash University VIC 3800


Schools Workshops

Ethical Capability School Workshops

WORKSHOP 1 - Introduction to the Ethical Capability Curriculum (1 Hour)


This 1 hour workshop is an introduction to the Ethical Capability curriculum via a hands-on interactive exploration of an ethical concept using tools from the toolkits through the pedagogical approach of Community of Inquiry.


WORKSHOP 2 - Implementation of the Ethical Capability Curriculum (6.5 Hours)

This 1 day workshop supports teachers to plan their Ethical Capability curriculum by taking them through the three stages of planning. At each stage participants are taken through an exploration, using tools from the toolkit and modelling the practice of Community of Inquiry, of an ethical issue. Participants explore and experience how to use the toolkit to explore conceptual understanding and ethical decision making. At each stage teachers are provided with time to reflect on the implementation of the curriculum in their own classroom.


WORKSHOP 3 - Implementation of the Ethical Capability Toolkit (6.5 Hours)

This one day workshop supports teachers in developing their toolkit for their own classroom.


WORKSHOP 4 - Practicing Ethical Capability in Context (6.5 Hours)

Is a one-day training program that familiarises participants with the EC curriculum and gives them the experience of thinking together and learning within a Community of Inquiry in a public place.


WORKSHOP 5 - A developmental Approach to Assessment and Reporting of the Ethical Capability (12 Hours)

This workshop introduces practitioners to using a developmental approach to learning and assessment. Focussing on the learning intentions and achievement standards outlined in the Ethical Capability, participants

will learn to gather appropriate data and create rubrics useful for their teaching context.


This training meets AITSL standards for PD requirements for Pre-service, Graduate and Proficient teachers in relation to professional development supporting the implementation of the Ethical Capability in the Victorian Curriculum Levels F-10.

Philosophy in Schools Readings

Ben Kilby - Why Teachers' Beliefs & Values are Important in P4C Research: A Victorian Perspective

This paper argues that there is a gap in current research in Philosophy for Children (P4C) that focusses on teachers’ perspectives, and particularly in relation to their beliefs and values. The paper looks briefly at what P4C is and its current status in the Victorian education system in Australia. It then moves to exploring how teachers’ perspectives, through analyses of their beliefs and values, adds significant value in education. This paper also explores the importance of teachers’ beliefs and values specifically in the context of P4C. It then concludes by analysing some recent P4C research which has begun to explore teachers’ perspectives, before finishing with future research directions that build on these previous studies which will lay important groundwork for extending the reach of P4C into education systems.








Chair: Tristan Hill (Email)

Deputy-Chair: Dr Harry Galatis (Email)

Secretary: Lucas McGauran (Email)

Treasurer: Ben Kilby (Email)



Education and Innovations Officer: Dr Janette Poulton (Email)

Webmaster: Julian Lowndes (Email)

Social Media and Publications Officer: Tristan Hill (Email)

Membership Officer: Ben Kilby (Email)

Philosophical Practice Officer: Ben Kilby (Email)

VAPS Newsletter
VCE Unit 1 Forum Flyer.pdf
Level One Rego Sem 2- 2018 registration form (1).docx
Advanced Practice Worrkshop 2018 (2).pdf