Course syllabus




SEMESTER 2, 2019

15 points

Course Director: Prof. Gillian Brock

Course Coordinator and Teacher: Dr Vanya Kovach

Well-being always comes first

We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.


Summary of Course Description:

PHIL 301 provides a unique opportunity to learn to use your philosophical skills and knowledge in a community context. It will be of interest to those who want philosophy to have practical application, those who are keen to gain skills in facilitating thinking of others, and those who may be interested in teaching as a career.

In this course you will learn the skills of facilitating philosophical inquiry with children, and engage in numerous communities of inquiry yourself, with other members of the class. You will become familiar with a range of stimulus and support materials, and learn how to construct these for a stimulus of your choice (such as a picture book, news story, film clip and so on). The course involves three hours of classroom practice with primary school children, and also provides opportunities to observe children engaging in philosophical inquiry. You will be supported in your preparation for your classroom contact time, and will also be supported by the classroom teacher during class time.

This is an experiential course and attendance at class is essential.  There will be no recordings made, and it will not be possible to succeed in the course through reading only.  The processes you will experience and learn from are engaging and enjoyable, and require the participation of all class members.


Learning Aims

Students will:

  • Become familiar with participation in, and reflection upon, philosophical communities of inquiry
  • Understand and practice the role of the facilitator in philosophical communities of inquiry
  • Use and reflect upon a range of stimulus and support materials for philosophical inquiry
  • Become familiar with strategies for enhancing the quality of students’ philosophical questioning, their critical skills and their reflective practice
  • Create activities and discussion guides to support  inquiry into philosophical concepts, questions and issues
  • Become familiar with commonly used processes for evaluating communities of inquiry


Course delivery format:

3 hours of meeting each week, including one hour of participation in a community of inquiry.  All three meeting hours are compulsory.

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)


 Assessment Summary:

  • Concept exploration activity (10%)
  • Discussion plan (10%)
  • Draft of Philosophy for Children Resource Package. (10%)
  • Philosophy for Children Resource Package:  Creation of  one set of classroom resources, supported by a guide to the relevant philosophical issues. 3000 words. (30%)
  • Assessment of Classroom Practice. You will be observed conducting three philosophical communities of inquiry facilitated in a school classroom. Your documented planning for, and reflections upon, these sessions form part of this assessment  (35%)
  • Five comments on readings/reflections on practice (5%)


Course Outline

This course outline is provision, and may change to meet student needs and interests

PHIL 301 Course Outline 2020-2.docx


Prescribed Texts:

There are no prescribed texts


 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details Due