Australian and Australasian Organisations
Organisations affiliated with VAPS
The Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote philosophy in schools in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. VAPS is a member of FAPSA.
The Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP) is the professional organisation of academic philosophers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The purpose of the Association is to promote the study of philosophy in Australasia, and to co-ordinate professional activities.
The Council of Professional Teaching Associations of Victoria Inc. (CPTAV) is the peak organization representing professional teaching associations in Victoria. It helps member associations to deliver quality professional learning and thereby to improve student learning. VAPS is a member of CPTAV.
Other members of the Federation of Australasian Philosophy in Schools Associations (FAPSA)
Other Australian organisations of interest
No endorsement by VAPS is to be inferred from the listing of the following sites.
Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) is an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre. CAPPE is the world’s largest concentration of applied philosophers. Its purpose is to connect rigorous philosophical thinking with policy input, community discussion, and professional aims. The Melbourne division of the Centre presents regular seminars at the University of Melbourne.
St James Ethics Centre is an independent, not-for-profit Australian organisation which provides a non-judgemental forum for the promotion and exploration of ethics. Its mission is to encourage and assist individuals and organisations to include the ethical dimension in their daily lives, and thereby help to create a better world.
The Humanist Society of Victoria (HSV) is a non-profit body which aims to help develop a civil society; to advocate for ethical decision-making and responsibility for one’s actions, based on respect for individual autonomy, peaceful coexistence between peoples of differing ways of life, and maintenance of a sustainable environment; and to support human rights, civil liberties, secular education and a scientific approach to human problems. HSV conducts regular public lectures aiming to stimulate active, rational debate on a wide range of current social and ethical issues. HSV holds regular discussion meetings of members, advertised in the monthly newsletter. Typical subjects of discussion are submissions to be made by the Society to public bodies, presenting the Humanist view of important social questions.
The Existentialist Society holds monthly philosophical lectures for those who question whether life has a meaning and a purpose. Sometimes the lecture topics have no direct bearing upon Existentialism. A question-to-the-speaker period follows the lecture.
The Australasian Nietzsche Society contains links and materials that be of interest to Philosophy teachers and philosophers in general, including archival materials, scholarly papers, links and contacts for Nietzsche scholars.
The Atheist Society presents monthly public lectures and pub gatherings in Melbourne.
Vic Skeptics promotes rational thinking and is the Victorian branch of the Australian Skeptics. This organisation investigates claims of pseudoscientific and paranormal phenomena from a responsible, scientific point of view, and publicises the results of these investigations. The Australian Skeptics establishes a network of people interested in critically examining claims of the paranormal; publishes a periodical as well as articles and books; commissions research by objective and impartial inquirers; and conducts meetings, seminars and conferences.
Sea of Faith in Australia (SoFiA) is a network of Australians who are interested in the non-dogmatic discussion of religion, faith and meaning. SoFiA is a forum for discussing ideas, experiences and possibilities. It affirms the continuing importance of religious thought and practice, but sees religion as a field of creative human endeavour which must be ever-changing to remain relevant. The network welcomes people from all faith communities as well as those with no involvement in any organised religion. Many in the network meet regularly in local groups to share ideas and to discuss issues related to the making of meaning.
The Rationalist Society of Australia is the oldest freethought group in Australia, promoting reason since 1906. Members and supporters hold that all significant beliefs and actions should be based on reason and evidence, that the natural world is the only world there is, and that answers to the key questions of human existence are to be found only in that natural world. Their Reason Project will bring together in one place an expanding set of tools to educate about Reason and to improve the skills of Reasoning – a sort of one-stop shop of Critical Thinking for Adults.
QuitDay.org, who raises awareness on the environmental impact of tobacco companies and products.
The Nature Conservancy, who also promotes environmental responsibility through education and awareness.
The Philosophy with Children and Youth Network for Asia and the Pacific (PCYNAP) was founded in 2011 by philosophers and teachers in Asia-Pacific region and beyond who are interested in engaging children in philosophical inquiry. Among its aims are to promote, coordinate and disseminate research and to organise international congresses; to promote relationships between philosophers and educators and others concerned with the fostering of children’s and youth’s development through philosophy; and to coordinate efforts of those seeking to introduce philosophy into all formal and informal school curricula.
The International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) aims to strengthen communications among people in different parts of the world who are engaged in philosophical inquiry with children, in teacher education, in research and for school administrators looking to initiate and develop programs that would encourage children’s philosophical thinking.
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is also interested in promoting philosophy education internationally. Download UNESCO’s Recommendations on the teaching of philosophy in Europe and North America (February 2011).
The Philosophy Foundation is an educational charity raising aspirations and attainment through philosophical enquiry in the classroom and in the community. Its primary concern is to improve educational opportunities for the disadvantaged. The Philosophy Foundation trains philosophy graduates to do philosophy in schools in order to develop children’s autonomous learning, higher-order thinking skills, as well as critical and creative thinking.
Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE) is an educational charity dedicated to promoting philosophical enquiry in schools; raising levels of educational achievement through philosophical enquiry; developing materials that stimulate philosophical enquiry; raising funds for projects; raising awareness through conferences and training courses; and issuing a quarterly publication.
The P4C Cooperative is a non-profit co-op with a growing library of over 400 resources searchable by theme.
Blooming Minds is a project run by Kath Jones, a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Greenwich.Blooming Minds runs courses and provides training by professional philosophers in presenting philosophical ideas to children and young people. It offers courses, clubs and workshops for all age groups, both within schools and at the University of Greenwich campus. Its courses include introductory and advanced courses in philosophy and methodology, for teachers and others who would like to learn how to run their own philosophy sessions.
The Society for Philosophy in Practice (SPP) is a professional organisation promoting philosophical reflection in general life, in particular via Philosophical Counselling, Socratic Dialogue, and Philosophy for Children. The SPP organises courses, events and conferences, publishes the journal Practical Philosophy, and provides a discussion forum for all those interested in the practical application of philosophical thought.
The Institute for Advancement of Philosophy with Children (IAPC) at Montclair State University, New York, provides curriculum materials for engaging young people in philosophical inquiry and provides teacher preparation in the pedagogy of the classroom community of inquiry. The IAPC also conducts philosophical and empirical research in teaching pre-college philosophy and the uses of philosophy for educational objectives including critical and creative thinking, social democracy and ethical judgment.
PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) is a support, resource-sharing and advocacy organisation for teachers, parents, philosophers and others involved in teaching philosophy in schools.
The Northwest Centre for Philosophy for Children is a non-profit organisation affiliated with the University of Washington Department of Philosophy. The Center brings philosophy into the lives of young people through its “Philosophers in the Schools” program and offers workshops, given by educators trained in philosophy, about ways to facilitate philosophical dialogues with young people.
The National Association of the Community of Inquiry (NAACI) sponsors semi-annual meetings for educators. It invites for membership all those who think there are problems with Philosophy for Children, and who would be willing to attempt to solve these problems. The focus is on community of inquiry and critical thinking. NAACI seeks outreach to like-minded groups, programs, and individuals and the establishment of platforms for presenting research outside of Philosophy for Children circles.
The Squire Family Foundation believes that all students in American elementary and secondary schools should have an opportunity to study philosophy in order to develop their ability to understand and evaluate their own beliefs and values, as well as those of others, so that they can become open-minded, respectful, thoughtful adults and responsible citizens. The Foundation works with philosophers educators, and administrators to make this vision a reality.
The Centre for the Advancement of Philosophy in Schools (CAPS) – in the Philosophy department of California State University, Long Beach – brings philosophy into K-12 classrooms as a way of introducing philosophical issues and critical thinking skills to young people.
Education to Empower is a non-profit organisation whose ‘Young Philosophers Program’ provides educators with tools and support to teach philosophy.
The Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and the Foundation For Critical Thinking, two sister educational non-profit organisations, work closely together to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking.
Centre for Philosophy for Children, Washington State University: Contains lessonplans, resources for K-12 philosophy classes.
The Canadian Philosophical Association’s Philosophy in the Schools Project facilitates the sharing of strategies and contacts among all philosophers, teachers and officials who desire to make the school subject of philosophy available to the rest of children and youth across Canada.
Philosophy for Children Alberta is an affiliate centre of the Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta and of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. It offers hands-on workshops for educators, and activities including a summer camp for children.
Philosophy academics at the University of Alberta are running a Community Service Learning Program that sees philosophy students venture into primary school classrooms to promote philosophical thinking.
La Traversée: Prevention de la violence et philosophie pour enfants (The Crossing: Prevention of Violence and Philosophy for Children) is a website in French.
SOPHIA is an open, cooperative Foundation for European teachers, philosophers, teacher educators and parents interested in the field of philosophy with children. The Foundation aims to improve European cooperation in advancing this field. It organises educational projects, conferences and workshops; develops training standards; and develops a European curriculum and related materials for philosophical inquiry with children.
The Austrian Center of Philosophy with Children (ACPC) promotes research in philosophy with children and advances the field in theory and practice. The ACPC runs the Institute of Philosophy with Children. Among other activites, the Center archives literature relating to Philosophy with Children and holds seminars, courses, symposia and conferences. It publishes a quarterly journal, ‘Info-Kinderphilosophie’.