The Council of ACT Education Associations, the Society of Philosophy for the Young (SOPHY) and Socratic
Solutions Australasia are proud to present a critical thinking seminar for students. Critical thinking includes good
communication, collaboration and even creativity and these can developed though students involvement in
philosophical Communities of Inquiry. There is a great deal of evidence that suggests that students improve
academically in science, literacy music and social interactions. This seminar will introduce students to basic critical
thinking skills and give them some insight into how to use these skills at a Philosothon or in an Ethics Olympiad.

On Wednesday 17 October 2018 at 9:30am - 2.

Australian Catholic University

Recommended Year Levels 8 &12 (flexible)

Contact Details
Contact Event Organiser
                         Matthew Wills is the founder of the  
                         Philosothon project and the Ethics
                         Olympiad. He was until last year the
                         Head of Philosophy,Values and Religion
                         at Hale School in Perth,  Western
                         Australia. He has worked in excellent
                         independent schools in NSW, SA and
                         WA. Until 2007 he was the Chief Executive
Officer for DAN, a network of over 450 Australasian schools
and universities. In 2009 he was awarded the Winston
Churchill Fellowship and an Australia Award in 2013 from
the federal government for excellence in teaching. He is an
executive member of the WA Association of Philosophy in
Schools. He has completed level 1 and level 2 training in
P4C and he has been instrumental in the successful
introduction and growth of various popular initiatives to
promote Philosophy and Ethics for senior students
including Philosothons and Ethics Olympiads. In 2015 he
was awarded the Outstanding Professional Service Award
from the Professional Teaching Council of Western
Australia. In 2017 his application for funding from the
Templeton Foundation was successful and he is currently
managing the Philosothon Project.

9.30-10.15am Critical Thinking Skills-
What does
a good argument look like? Research suggests that
a more in-depth focus on enhancing critical thinking
skills in K-12 can add academic rigor and increase
the scores on standardized assessments. This
session will provide each participating students with
skills in how to analyze and evaluate arguments.

10.15-10.45am What is a Philosophical Community
Inquiry and how can I participate applying best
practice. By utilizing activities to enhance critical
thinking, students are better able to understand why
something has occurred as opposed to just
understanding what has occurred.  This session will
provide students with skills and insights into best
practice in philosophical discourse.

Recess 10.45am -11am -Recess

11am-12.45pm Philosothons give students an ideal
opportunity to participate in a philosophical
Community of Inquiry - Collaborative philosophical
inquiry is a pedagogy which—the research literature
shows—brings improved reading, writing, maths,
science and problem-solving skills. In addition, it
brings important social benefits. Students will
participate in a COI and have the opportunity to
reflect on their experience with a view towards
improving results.

12.45-1.30pm Lunch

Ethics Olympiads- The mention of
Olympic rivalry probably conjures up images of
battles on a ski run or on the athletics track.  But an
Ethics Olympiad is a very different experience. It
requires excellence in communication skills and
ethical understanding rather than physical strength
or co-ordination. It is a different sort of strength, a
strength of character and a different sort of co-
ordination involving collaboration and the forming of
a well-reasoned arguments. It’s a unique opportunity
for schools to engage their students in interesting
ethical discussions with other students who come
from different parts of the country and the world. In
this session students will present their cases in a
collaborative forum.
Feedback from a students last seminar;
-"The Ethics Olympiad was lit"
- "The Zombies discussion was really
interesting but daunting in the practice
-" I really enjoyed meeting intelligent people
who disagreed with me"
-"Before I didn't know what Philosophy was and
now I know heaps!."
-" I learnt how to present a logical argument in
a concise manner ."
-" I really enjoyed the Ethics Olympiad in the
afternoon because it was fun voicing my
-" The ideas and concepts that were introduced
were very interesting"
- "I enjoyed all of today, but the best part was
the Ethics part as we experienced an Olympiad"