Philosophy goes to school in Australia: A history 1982-2016

Gilbert Burgh, Simone Thornton


This paper is an attempt to highlight significant developments in the history of philosophy in schools in Australia.[1] We commence by looking at the early years when Laurance Splitter visited the Institute for the Advancement for Philosophy for Children (IAPC). Then we offer an account of the events that led to the formation of what is now the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA), the development and production of a diverse range of curriculum and supporting materials for philosophy in schools, the making of the Australasian journal, and more recent events. Our purpose is to create further interest in exploring this complex and rich history. This will achieve a better understanding of the possible future directions for classroom practice and research.

[1]     An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (see Burgh & Thornton 2016).

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