Level 1 Community of Inquiry training


Aim: To give teachers and others sufficient practical understanding of philosophical inquiry with children in a Community of Inquiry (COI) setting to enable them to start practicing it in their own educational contexts.


VAPS has spent over 20 years developing and delivering this course to support newcomers in the COI methodology.  We are very proud of our work! We run two beginner level courses each year. Each course is run over two training days. Participants can also attend a third assessment day.

The Community of Inquiry (COI) is a pedagogical method for encouraging and incorporating philosophical, critical, creative and deep thinking in the classroom. There is significant research indicating the positive impact philosophy can have for children in the classroom in terms of student confidence, self-esteem and academic performance. Here are some relevant links:

'Latest research on philosophy with children'

'Want to improve NAPLAN scores? Teach children philosophy'

'Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English'

     The Semester One 2018 course program:


Day One: February 18th (Training day) at Brunswick Primary School

This first day is a general introduction to philosophy with children. Emphasis will be on the nature of philosophy as conceptual development, on the idea of doing philosophy with children and on the cental idea of the community of inquiry.


Dr. Glaser is recognized internationally as a leading figure in the Philosophy for Children movement. She is a past president of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) and currently serves on the ICPIC executive. She is a philosopher whose primary work is in the fields of Jewish education and Philosophy for Children. She is founder and co-director of the Israel Centre for Philosophy in Education – “Philosophy for Life” (ICPE), as well as a founding member of VAPS!


Day Two: March 4th (Training day) at Brunswick Primary School and CERES

Focus is on the materials and activities available and some of the practical skills in using them to create a community of philosophical inquiry in the classroom.


ROb is professor of philosophy at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He treveals all: 
 My philosophical interests are various, and at http://robwilsonphilosophy.com/ you can find representative work in the areas I’ve published in, such as mind and cognition, biological science, eugenics, social science. I have also led two large-scale projects in engaged philosophy that aim to integrate philosophical thinking more directly with community-based concerns. The first project in engaged philosophy focuses on philosophy in the schools, a long-standing interest that I first explored while I was still an undergraduate. (I spent two months working at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children in Montclair, New Jersey before running the first Western Australian conference on philosophy for children at Yanchep in 1986.) More recently, I was the founding director forPhilosophy for Children Alberta (2008-2015), and as a part of that helped to set up both in-school programs—such as a philosopher in residence program—and an innovative summer day camp, Eurekamp! I am currently looking at the best ways to adapt these innovations so that they can integrate with the vibrant philosophy in the schools community in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia more generally. Here I will be working with VAPS at the state level and FAPSA at the national level.


Day Three: March 18th (Assessment day) at the Melbourne Museum

This final day draws on teachers’ experiences of introducing philosophy into the classroom, takes a closer look at assessment and philosophy’s links with Key Learning Areas. Participants are required to prepare and lead short COIS, and will receive immediate feed-back from expert practitioners.


Monica is the Curriculum Manager (Capabilities) in the Curriculum Division | Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). Monica will provide an overview of curriculum planning for the teaching and assessment of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 Capabilities.



Completing the two day course qualifies as professional development and a certificate of attendance is awarded. Participants must complete the third assessment day in order to be certified as Level One trained with the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA.ORG.AU), the peak body for Philosophy for Children (P4C) in Australasia. 

To attend, please download and complete one of these forms and send it to the Education and Innovations Officer:

PDF version of application form

DOC (Word) version of application form

For more information about the course, requirements and program, please contact the Education and Innovations Officer.