“No longer can the teacher be one who lives apart from the noise and strife of busy men and cities to instil into his pupils the wisdom of past ages. A knowledge of world affairs is as important to him as to the statesman. His job, among others, is to develop critical thinkers, for the children of today are the citizens and statesmen of tomorrow.”

—Greta Lyttle c1940

Preshil has always concerned itself with developing awareness and understanding of the key issues of the times and responding to them in concerned, imaginative and critical ways.

The Philosophy For Children (P4C), ‘Community of Inquiry’ approach that we have adopted aims to support children to develop their thinking skills and contribute to the shared understandings of their classmates.

Philosophical inquiry requires:
• Generating new ideas;
• Seeing existing situations in new ways;
• Identifying alternative explanations;
• Seeing connections;
• Finding new ways to apply existing ideas.

Intellectual flexibility, open-mindedness, adaptability, and readiness to try new ways of thinking about things are hallmarks of well-conducted philosophical inquiry and are the aim of the philosophy program in the primary school.

VCE Philosophy

Philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’ and is the oldest academic discipline. It is broadly concerned with ethics, epistemology (philosophy of knowledge) and metaphysics. It is the founding discipline of logic and continues to develop and refine the tools of critical reasoning, influencing approaches in mathematics, science and the humanities.

VCE Philosophy contains a broad introduction to philosophy, exploring themes and debates within metaphysics, epistemology and value theory as well as techniques of reasoning and argument drawn from formal and informal logic. It investigates human nature through the mind/body debate and questions regarding personal identity, leading to an examination of the good life. In this subject, we aim to develop an appreciation of the wisdom of both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. We do this through introducing students to the central questions of philosophy and the core skills of philosophical inquiry.

You can view the 2014-2018 Study Design here.

Annual Philosophy Conference

This conference aims to bring together students, teachers, academics and interested members of the public, to examine a particular topic. This one day conference is a wonderful opportunity to hear from internationally recognised thinkers and to engage in debate and discussion regarding issues that are not only relevant to the VCE Philosophy curriculum but to anyone seeking to understand.

“Students know their opinion won’t be trampled on. It’s a method of engagement where you examine something for its value and that’s an important skill in today’s world where we are bombarded with information.”

Dr Lenny Robinson-McCarthy

You can read about the last conference here.