Students from Kindergarten to Year 8 participate in the Philosophy Program, Philosophy for Children, which extends students’ ability to wonder, to inquire and to discuss issues. Thinking skills are developed and critical reflections extend students’ reasoning skills so that they become better equipped to deal with daily life issues.
Philosophical thinking lessons are scheduled each week, however the inquiry format is woven into all other lessons providing students with ample opportunity to exercise initiative and discovery. The students and teacher form a community of inquiry, sitting in a circle so that everyone can see and hear each other. The members of the community set the agenda by formulating questions after reading a short passage from the stimulus material. The initiators of the questions explain what interested them or puzzled them. Discussion then takes place. Once practised in thinking, students can extend their skills to critical evaluation which is connected to questioning and reason–giving, to facilitate the making of judgements.