Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools (VAPS)

The Humanist Society of Victoria (HSV) and VAPS share a common interest in ethics, which comprises one of the major sections of classical philosophy. Ethical Understanding is now a General Capability in the new National Schools Curriculum and the recent Victorian Supreme Court Decision of 22 February in the matter of Sophie Aitken and Others notes that ethics may also be taught during the special religious instruction period. Both HSV and VAPS seek to use the Community of Inquiry as their major teaching method. Hence in this website HSV seeks to extend reciprocity to VAPS in return for its encouragement of the HSV Children’s Ethics Course and public lectures.

The following events are part of the VAPS calendar in 2013

Aristotle’s Ethics by Peter Rzechorzek of RMIT University to speak Tuesday, 19th March, 5 – 7 pm at Scotch College, Hawthorn, Quad Board Room (there will be signs!)

Community of Inquiry on Ethical Understanding in the National Curriculum, Sunday, 24 March, 9;30 AM – 4 PM  at Brunswick East Primary School, Stewart St, Brunswick East.


The VAPS’ Conference this year is titled: The Examined Life: Philosophy and Education (September 6th and 7th).

General Philosophy For Children

-Community of Inquiry

-Generating and Asking better Questions

-What is P4C?

-Philosophy in the Primary Years

-Philosophy in the Middle Years

-Philosophy in Films for Teenagers

-Warm up games for Philosophy

-Using concept and thinking games

-Thinking Across the Curriculum

-Thinking and the place of Philosophy in the National Curriculum (ausVELS)

-The Community of Inquiry and Differentiation

-Preparing your school for a Philosothon – primary

-Preparing your school for a Philosothon – secondary

-Philosophy and Art – incorporating philosophical concepts and aesthetic theory into the Arts

-Philosophy and Science – incorporating philosophical concepts into the Sciences

-Philosophy and Literature, Humanities, etc,

-Setting up a Philosophy Club

-Parents and Philosophy

-Alternative programs to SRI (Special Religious Instruction)

VCE Unit 1 and 2

-The four branches of Philosophy

-Teaching Logic and Reasoning

-Teaching Epistemology/Ethics/Aesthetics/Political Philosophy/Metaphysics

-New teachers to Philosophy sessions – Unit 1/2 Topics – Aesthetics, Epistemology, Ethics, etc.

-Activities and Resources for Units 1 and 2

VCE Unit 3 and 4

-New teachers to Philosophy sessions – Unit 3/4 Topics

-Greek Perspectives on the Good Life

-Refreshers on Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Weil, Nietzsche, Descartes, Hume, Armstrong, Popper, Kuhn, Hume.

-The new course outline for 2014

General VCE Topics

-Preparing Philosophy Students for the Exam

-Teaching Philosophical Essay Writing in preparation for the exam

-How to write a SAC that meets VCAA requirements


-Extended Investigations (New VCE subject on trial)

-Thinking in an IB School

-Theory of Knowledge

Sand-Pit Sessions (Primary and Secondary separate)

We are also seeking people who would like to participate in Sand-Pit sharing sessions, facilitated by a VAPS member.  This would require you to bring 1-2 resources, present your resources and talk about how you use them and if they are available electronically to put them into a file sharing location on the day for others to download. Your resource could be a great book, lesson plans, thinking tools, a video of one of your classes, etc.  We will divide these sessions into Primary and Secondary school groups.

Philosophy of Education

-Philosophy of Education: Why we need to understand

-Dewey on Thinking

-Community of Inquiry, Differentiation and Vygotsky’s ZPD

-Inquiry Methodology – what is it and how does it work

Some of these topics are already being covered by VAPS members and associates but if you would like to co-present we would welcome any extra help.  You are also free to come up with other topics.

If you are interested then please register your interest by filling out the Call for Papers Registration form.

Share/Like this page:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *