The Hale Philosothon has evolved from an event involving nine Perth schools in 2007 to an annual event involving twenty eight West Australian schools and many interstate schools. In 2012 the second Australasian Philosothon was held at AB Paterson College on the Gold Coast.
This event encourages students to participate in 'Communities of Inquiry', investigating deep philosophical and ethical questions. The judges' observations seem to suggest that the standard of inquiry improves each year. In preparing and participating in the event students have the opportunity to practice and develop higher order thinking and communication skills.
For more information about the Hale Philosothon and the National Philosothon please contact Head of Philosophy, Values and Religion Matthew Wills on 9347 9722 or visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosothon.
In 2007 Hale School embarked on a bold new project to promote higher order thinking among secondary school students.
The first thing was to flag the idea with other local Perth schools and a total of ten schools accepted the invitation to participate, Christ Church Grammar School, St Hilda's AGS, Methodist Ladies College, John Septimus Roe ACC, Penrhos College, Wesley College, Perth College, Guildford Grammar School and St Mary's AGS. Each school prepared a team of five students, one from each year level (8-11) and a reserve from any year level. Various resources were developed, links were made with the Philosophy departments in all major Perth universities, trophies and medallions were ordered and we set up a website for the event.
On 7 November 2007 nine teams came together in the John Invererity Music and Drama Centre. All students participated in each discussion, with the reserve able to replace them on a maximum of two occasions. Group members remained in year level groups for the first two Communities of Inquiry and then for the final two discussions students were mixed in age. Points were assigned to individual students and used to work out team and individual scores. A magnificent trophy was awarded to the winning school at the end of the evening and medals were awarded for various categories. All students received a certificate to honour their selection to represent their school. The evening was a great success and the fact that Hale won made it even better!
In 2008 Mr Wills travelled to each Australian state and conducted seminars to outline the Philosothon model to interested schools. Following these seminars Ascham College ran a Philosothon in 2009 with 14 Sydney Schools participating. In 2010, Ballarat Grammar conducted a Melbourne Philosothon and in the same year, AB Paterson College in Brisbane ran a Philosothon. There is now over sixteen Philosothons being held throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Another recent development is has been the establishment of Primary School Philosothons in Victoria and Western Australia.
Another recent development is has been the establishment of Primary School Philosothons in Victoria and Western Australia. More information about these initiative can be found on the Philosothon website; http://www.philosothon.org
The 2011 winning Hale Team