Professional Learning

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’

‘Why children should be taught philosophy (beyond better test scores)’


Day One: (Training day) at Brunswick East 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 central idea of the community of inquiry.

Day Two: (Training day) at Brunswick East 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.

Day Three: (Assessment day) at the Melbourne Zoo

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.


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.


For more information about the course, contact the Education and Innovations Officer


To attend, please see our Events page for upcoming training dates and fill out the form.

See our Events Page for details of upcoming training

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VAPS promotes critical and creative thinking among young people.

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Supporting teachers in fostering the intellectual and social skills that enable students to think philosophically.

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