Philosophon grants now available

2019 GRANTS are now available to assist school teachers, schools and university students build critical, collaborative and creative thinking skills in students.

Philosothons are structured in the form of competitive, time-constrained explorations of big questions by groups of eight to ten students, each one forming a “community of inquiry”. During these explorations, professional university-based philosophers grade the groups for their critical thinking and cooperation, for example, active listening and building on one another’s arguments. Rather than more traditional debates, in which the goal of winning can prompt rhetorical shortcuts that can obscure deep thought, the grading during a philosothon encourages co-operation and creativity. The highest scoring groups and outstanding individuals receive recognition and participants feedback testifies that the experience is often transformative.

Twenty grants were awarded in 2018. Click here to see what grant recipients did with their funding. Feedback from the first round including comments like:

“Thank you for helping us create what was a memorable and empowering experience for all involved.” Mark Bellham Waikato Diocesan School for Girls-New Philosothon Grant recipient.

“This was the training I wish I had prior to tutoring at university, ….The strategies for anchoring, for the proper use of procedural and substantive questions in facilitating a discussion, and the sequence of moving from establishing background knowledge, through asking questions about specific examples, to asking questions about general themes, all would be very useful to anyone starting out as a philosophy tutor. I am also keen to participate in future Philosothons.” Tim Nailor Adelaide University-Phd. Student Grant recipient

“The Western NSW Primary Philosothon-Big Ideas Challenge is over and what a great time we had with critical thinking, creativity and philosophy!” Mandi Randell Central -West Leadership Academy New Regional Philosothon Grant recipient.

A new suite of grants is now available to assist you in building critical thinking skills, collaboration skills and creativity in your students. This year we are also offering extra assistance for teachers to access advanced teacher training in 2019. Click on any links below for further details….

New Regional Philosothons: Subsidies are available for schools to help regional and remote schools cover the costs associated with starting up their own local Philosothon. This will involve other schools in their area. Click here for an application form.

New Philosothons will be supported in cities that do not currently have one, including the ACT, New Zealand, the Northern Territory, Singapore, South Australia, and Tasmania. Click here for an application form


Northern Territory Grant applications- These are travel grants to enable teachers to participate in professional development opportunities related to the Philosothon Project. Some priority will be given to indigenous teachers and or teachers of indigenous students. Please fill in the online application form and we notify you ASAP if your application was successful. Click here to apply.

Travel & Participation subsidies: Subsidies will be provided to assist students/staff who might not otherwise be able to participate in a Philosothon. This might be because they live in remote locations or because the school is dealing with students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Click here for an application form.

Judges/facilitators subsidy– Money is available to schools to pay judges/facilitators an Honorarium to cover travel costs etc. Click here for an application form

Teacher training subsidy– If you are wanting to complete an introductory FAPSA approved course to teach Philosophy or advanced teacher training course subsidies are available in 2019 Click here for an application form

Training for Phd Students: Training and professional development will be organised to allow students to be trained in the Community of Inquiry pedagogy which, in turn, enables them to act as facilitators in Philosothons. If you are wanting to complete an introductory course to teach Philosophy FAPSA approved courses or advanced teacher training subsidies are available for Phd students in 2019  Click here for an application form

Resource development: Teachers and academics will be recruited to consult on and develop age-appropriate resources to be used as stimulus material for Philosothons. A website will be developed to house these resources and enable access for all participants. Click here for an application form.

FAPSA is an umbrella organisation which seeks to enrich and expand philosophy education in primary and secondary schools in Australasia. It supports the interests of its nine affiliated Associations through professional development and advocacy initiatives, has an official open access journal, Journal of Philosophy in Schools, and holds a biennial conference.

Contact: Project co-ordinator Mr Matthew Wills (e) | Ph: +61 (0)400 029 660 | FAPSA Website:

This project was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust.

Posted in Resources.